RTF Quarterly Newsletter: Quarter No. 54 October - December 2023

The RTF wrapped up 2023 with a busy fourth quarter. The body updated three unit energy savings (UES) measures and adopted one new UES. The RTF also considered new measure proposals, eventually agreeing to allocate resources to further consider two.

Have additional questions or want to explore other ways to stay connected? Check out the various areas of our website, which is updated frequently, or reach out to Laura Thomas, RTF Manager.

New Measure Highlights

Commercial Package Terminal Heat Pumps

At the November meeting, the RTF expanded its portfolio of unit energy savings measures to add Commercial Packaged Terminal Heat Pumps (PTHP). This new Planning measure is focused on replacing packaged terminal air conditioners with PTHP in lodging or residential care. The savings for this measure are derived using the RTF’s Commercial Building Simulation Models and adjustments based on available data. The measure has an accompanying Research Strategy focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the market and regional sales, as well as the independent billing analyses, the latter which aligns with the Research Strategy for the RTF’s Multifamily PTHP measure. The Commercial PTHP has a combined regional saving potential of 5.8 aMW with the majority from the lodging sector. The RTF approved this measure as presented with an expansion to the baseline and set the sunset date to March 31, 2027.

New Measure Proposals

The RTF accepts proposals for potential new measure on the website throughout the year, RTF staff and CATs bring these to the RTF for consideration on allocating resources to further explore the potential to develop a measure, standard protocol, or other resources. At the November meeting, the RTF reviewed four proposed measures: cool roofs, all-in-one clothes washer heat pump dryers, linear fluorescent buybacks, and hydronic additives. Based on the initial scoping and recommendations by the contract analysts, the RTF decided to allocate resources to further explore all-in-one washer dryers and linear fluorescent buybacks, but as these align with existing RTF measures that they would be considered when those measures are next reviewed by the RTF.

Existing Measure Highlights

Advanced Rooftop Controls

The RTF approved updates to the Advanced Rooftop Controls UES measure in October. This Planning measure is for the installation and control of a variable frequency drive to an existing commercial rooftop unit with a cooling capacity ≥5 tons. The RTF approved minor updates, which were focused on the load shape and costs based on some additional regional data. The research strategy objectives focus on collecting data from additional sites and understanding the change in outdoor airflow and fan operation. The RTF approved the update, and the sunset date was set to March 2027.

Variable Speed Drives

The Variable Speed Drives is a Planning UES measure that the RTF made minor updates to in October. This measure is for installing a variable speed motor control on a fan or pump where it is not already required by code. The accompanying research strategy objectives include collecting additional data on the market within the region and characterization of the operations of efficient VSDs. After extending the sunset date early in the year, the RTF approved updates to this measure. The Measure is set to sunset in October 2026.

Circulator Pumps

The RTF approved updates to the Circulator Pumps UES, which has a regional potential of 17 aMW in commercial facilities and 36 aMW in residential buildings. Updates include changing values based on several parameters including DOE Technical Support Documents and Life-cycle Cost analysis, and NEEA market research. The RTF made no changes to the Savings methodology, Measure identifiers, or the Research Strategy. The measure remained in the Planning category and the sunset date was set to December 2026.

Air Source Heat Pumps

As a step forward in the proposed path towards updating the RTF’s entire heat pump measure suite, the body examined Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) for Single Family and Manufactured Homes measures. This upcoming work will allow time to address regional savings shortcomings and align with regional concerns and market trends. After moving the status of both measures to Under Review, the RTF approved a sunset extension to September 2024.

Subcommittee Roundup

The Commercial HVAC Subcommittee met in October to discuss Package Terminal Heat Pumps in Lodging and Residential Care. The subcommittee reviewed modeling inputs and outputs, looked at assumptions, limitations, and uncertainty of the analysis. They also examined proposed savings values.

The REEDR Calibration Subcommittee gathered in November to continue their review of a set of EnergyPlus models calibrated to circuit-level metering data from the Home Energy Metering Study (HEMS). The Subcommittee agreed on calibrating for major or obvious problems and leaving micro adjustments undone.

November also saw a joint meeting of the Implementers Group and Small and Rural Subcommittee to discuss air source heat pumps and regional utility programs. The purpose was to discover what subcommittee members like and dislike about their heat pump programs. Members also discussed the future of these programs. The subcommittees also heard Contract Analysts’ thoughts about a “no electric resistance” heat pump measure option.

The Small and Rural Utility Subcommittee met in December to talk about recent and upcoming RTF meeting topics. They also reviewed results of the Contract Analyst Team’s look into heat pumps for spas as a potential measure. The group provided feedback on the value of these subcommittee meetings and provided feedback on future measures that might support the group.

Upcoming at the RTF

In the first quarter the RTF will be advancing and considering the following:

  • Residential Refrigerators and Freezers
  • Residential Central Air Conditions
  • Commercial EnergyPlus Model Alignment
  • Efficient Electric Vehicle Market Characterization
  • Commercial Connected Thermostats
  • Residential Refrigerators and Freezers
  • Update on Lessons Learned from HEMS Analysis

Approved Measure Updates

  • Adopted the updates to the Advanced Rooftop Control UES measures as presented, kept the Category as Planning, kept the Status as Active, and set the Sunset date to October 31, 2026.
  • Adopted the updates to the Variable Speed Drives UES measures as presented, kept the Category as Planning, kept Status as Active, and set the Sunset date to October 31, 2026.
  • Allocated resources to further explore: Heat Pump Combination Washer Dryers and Linear Fluorescent Buyback Program. Did not allocate resources to Cool Roofs or Hydronic Additives.
  • Adopted the Commercial Package Terminal Heat Pumps UES as presented and Developed a retrofit baseline version for future presentation, set the Status to Active, set the Category to Planning, and set the Sunset date to March 31, 2027.
  • Approved updates to the Circulator Pumps UES measure as presented, kept the Category at Planning, kept the Status at Active, and set the Sunset date to December 31, 2026.
  • Extended the Sunset date to September 30, 2024 for Single Family and Manufactured Homes Air Source Heat Pump Conversions and Upgrades UES measures and changed the full measure status to "Under Review."