RTF Quarterly Newsletter: Quarter No. 53 July-September 2023

During this quarter, the RTF expanded the measure portfolio by adding the Efficient Portable Electric Spas UES and deactivated some applications in the Residential Lighting UES. These deactivations were celebrated as they represent the significant accomplishments in past residential lighting programs. In addition, the RTF looked ahead to 2024 by discussing the RTF 2024 Work Plan and adding performance metrics to the residential HVAC measures to support programs offering air conditioning and heat pump measures next year. Please reach out to Laura Thomas with any questions.

Measure Work

Residential Lighting

Last year, the Residential Lighting UES measure was updated to reflect the new Federal Standard for general purpose lamps. The new standard resulted in a short lifetime for the inefficient screw-in lamps and therefore deactivation in one-year was recommended. At the September meeting, the RTF approved the deactivation of direct install screw-in and MR pin-based lamp applications. This removal reflects the regional success of energy efficiency programs to transform the residential lighting market for this technology. In addition, minor updates were made to the measure's costs, market share, and ENERGY STAR® qualified products list. This measure continues to include integral LED fixtures, which represent an important part of the cost-effective potential in the 2021 Power Plan.

Efficient Portable Electric Spas

In September, the RTF adopted a new unit energy savings measure for Efficient Portable Electric Spas (standard hot tubs that are not site built). This measure has the potential to save the region approximately 50 average megawatts. It uses the ANSI and DOE test methods to define the most efficient spas based on the standby demand. The efficiency of spas can be improved through better insulation in the cabinet or cover, increased air tightness of the cover, and improved filtering controls or pumping. The Efficient Portable Electric Spas measure is a cost-effective, planning measure and the research objectives are focused on understanding the average standby demand of the market and usage patterns. The RTF approved this measure as presented, with a sunset date of September 2027.

New Federal Metrics for Residentially Sized HVAC

The RTF currently maintains nine unit energy savings measures for residentially-sized HVAC equipment most of which are set to be considered in the next year. Since these measures were last considered by the RTF there have been significant shifts in the market, including the adoption of new metrics by the US Department of Energy's Federal Test Procedures, shifts in the technology, and new tax credits. Given the continued strong interest in this technology in the region and the extent of federal changes, staff proposed the adoption of a crosswalk to the new metrics to allow additional time to consider the necessary updates needed for the RTF measures. The application of a crosswalk to the existing measures adds new performance metrics (HSPF2 or SEER2) requirements to enable equipment only tested to the new procedures to remain. The crosswalk allows for a temporary solution for all HVAC equipment meeting certain energy efficiency criteria to be eligible in programs using the RTF measures over the next year. In the meantime, the RTF is working to determine the future path for RTF heat pump measures.

2024 Planning

The RTF began preparing for 2024 in the third quarter, which will be the third and final year of this members class. In 2024, the RTF will continue to convene monthly in a series of remote and in-person meetings. We look forward to seeing many of you around the table at our central office in Portland in the coming year. The RTF will continue to provide remote access options for those not able to attend the meeting in person and will continue to be diligent about equal engagement to those participating virtually and in person. 

The proposed 2024 RTF work plan and business plan were reviewed and approved by both the RTF and RTF Policy Advisory Committee with recommendation to the Council for approval. The Council approved the 2024 work plan for adoption at the October 11-12 Council meeting. The work plan continues the work established in the five-year funding agreements of the 2020-2024 RTF Business Plan and expands the work using funds not spent in previous years of the current plan cycle. In 2024, the RTF will review 32 existing measures and 8 new measures, perform a scan for new potential electric measures, advance the 2021 Power Plan directives regarding valuation, and consider enhancements to existing residential and commercial modeling tools. 

Upcoming at the RTF

In the fourth quarter, the RTF will be advancing and considering the following:

  • Advanced Rooftop Controls UES
  • Variable Speed Drives UES
  • New Measure: Packaged Terminal Heat Pumps for Lodging and Residential Care
  • New Measure Proposals
  • Circulator Pumps UES
  • New Measure: Central Heat Pump Water Heaters
  • Air Source Heat Pumps Upgrades and Conversions for Manufactured Homes and Single Family UES
  • REEDR Calibration Results

Subcommittee Roundup

The Implementers Group and Small and Rural Utilities Subcommittees convened in July for an educational session to learn about the changes occurring to the air source heat pump market to prepare for upcoming RTF discussion around updates to the existing measures.

The Residential Lighting Subcommittee convened in August to provide feedback about the potential removal of screw-in lamps from the measure, market technology mix, and LED lamped vs integral fixtures. The Subcommittee generally supported the removal of screw-in lamps from the measure since data show there was no reason to adjust assumptions for market shares or assumed fixture savings.

The Small and Rural Utilities Subcommittee convened in August for its quarterly meeting to discuss recent and upcoming RTF meeting topics, provide insights into the Efficient Spas measure, review the market activity for air source heat pumps, and share plans for the second half of the year.

The REEDR Calibration Subcommittee convened in August to review a set of EnergyPlus models calibrated to circuit-level metering data from the Home Energy Metering Study (HEMS). The Subcommittee supported the RTF Contract Analyst's recommendation to remove the final tasks planned for this calibration in lieu of spending more time on task 2 based on the findings to date.

 The Non-residential Lighting Subcommittee convened in August to discuss the Non-residential Lighting Code Compliant Standard Protocol, specifically reviewing possible updates to the current practice baseline lighting power densities (LPDs). 

The Research and Evaluation Subcommittee convened in September to discuss the proposed research for a new planning measure for portable electric spas. 

Approved Measure Updates