RTF July and August 2019 Meeting Recap

  • August 31, 2019

The summer’s coming to a close with July and August’s RTF Meetings quickly passing us by. The last two months have been packed with the SEEM calibration effort, and a few other work items squeezed in as well.  Members took time away from their summer fun to dig in to the many phases of SEEM calibration, Air Source Heat Pumps, Long Term Measure Interaction and more. On top of that, in July the RTF turned 20, which was celebrated with stories of the good old days, promise for the future, and lots of cake. If you missed July or August’s meetings, here’s what was covered.

As has quickly become a recurring theme at the RTF, much of the two meetings were devoted to SEEM calibration. However, this summer hopefully marks the beginning of the end, with the contract analysts actually starting to present calibration results for the RTF to approve.  In July, the analysts brought proposed calibration results for Phase I of single family homes and Phase II results followed in August. Phase I is a calibration for homes with regular energy patterns and no off-grid fuels that is working to understand how SEEM energy estimates (SEEM.kWh) relate to real world space heating energy.  This calibration analysis is focused on understanding the relationship between SEEM.kWh and VBDD.kWh. Phase II, brought before the group in August, is an adjustment for off-grid fuels and irregular energy patterns.  Phase II analysis estimates the differences in electric heating energy associated with the presence of gas and/or off-grid fuels, is also estimates how annualized electric kWh differs between homes that have ‘good’ VBDD fits and those that have ‘poor’ VBDD fits, and lastly it estimates incidence of gas, off-grid fuels and poor VBDD fits for program-eligible homes to calculate average net adjustments. In the coming months, as the calibration continues to wind down, CATs will bring manufactured home calibration results to the RTF for approval, which they previewed in August. The CAT is also transitioning towards updating measures that rely on SEEM for estimating savings. Up first is single family weatherization.           

Outside of SEEM, the RTF managed to get a few other things done as well. In July the RTF was treated to an overview of air source heat pumps in the Northwest over the last 20 years by resident expert Bob Davis. His presentation covered a lot of ground, but the broad takeaway was, that in a world of beneficial electrification, there is still promise from heat pumps. Though he cautioned that details, especially sizing and ducts, are very important and that reliable QC remains a potential pitfall. July wrapped up with the approval of updates to two small saver UES measures, Floating Head Pressure Controls and Grocery Strip Curtains.

In August topics stayed tangentially related to SEEM with an engaging presentation on long-term measure interaction. The idea behind measure interaction is that the savings of some measures can depend on the presence or absence of other measures. The focus of this August presentation was on the specific interaction between HVAC savings and weatherization. In the case of measure interaction, the order in which measures are installed relative to other measures is important and for HVAC and weatherization measures this order is unclear. In the past the RTF has utilized a number of means for getting at this likely order and calculating the savings while appropriately accounting for this interaction. This presentation's aim was to reexamine those solutions and ensure that the most effective method was being used and consistently applied. Also in August the RTF fit in extending the sunset dates for the Potato/Onion Shed VFD Retrofit UES and the Multifamily New Construction (MT and ID) measure.

The September RTF meeting holds the next chapter in the SEEM Calibration saga which you wont want to miss!