The RTF and Whole Building Approaches to Energy Savings
At the January RTF meeting the RTF heard a presentation from RTF Manager/Chair Jennifer Light and Faith DeBolt of SBW Consulting, showcasing the results of a scoping exercise on the potential role of the RTF with regards to whole building energy savings efforts. Previously, the RTF membership had indicated a need for increased consideration and discussion of commercial whole building performance and strategic energy management programs. This resulted in the RTF contracting with SBW Consulting to conduct stakeholder interviews, a literature review, and a gap analysis, to determine what role the RTF might play in this area that would be helpful to the region. Ultimately, based on the findings from this process, the RTF staff recommended that the RTF engage in the upcoming BPA M&V Protocol Update, conduct a deeper dive on already existing national guidance, and couple that piece with a meta-analysis to determine the size of the issue around guidance gaps. All of this work then would lead to refining the RTF Guidelines and/or developing protocol documents for specific measures.
Guidelines Updates Approved
Since 2010, RTF analysis has been conducted in accordance with a set of formally approved Operative Guidelines. These guidelines dictate the course of RTF decision making and have evolved over the years as new topics and questions have come under RTF consideration. In January, RTF staff brought forward a series of recommended updates and changes to these guidelines, developed through discussion with the Guidelines Subcommittee. Members of this subcommittee generally have a strong grasp on historical context around the RTF and the process through which its work products are developed.
The RTF voted to approve the changes recommended by staff, which included a myriad of adjustments for clarity, as well as the removal of outdated concepts and language. A complete record of these changes can be found in the January meeting materials. Currently, a third-party technical editor is reviewing the newest guidelines edition, with an expected completion date in early Q2 of 2018.
RBSA High-Level Results
In March, representatives from NEEA attended the RTF meeting to present the findings of the latest Residential Building Stock Assessment (RBSA). The presentation offered to the RTF focused on the characteristics of existing single-family homes in the northwest. The data collected in this effort is extensive, and invaluable to the future work of the RTF. Preliminary results show an increased proliferation of LED lighting from the previous RBSA, as well as an increase of installed cooling equipment in the region. In the coming months RTF staff will be working to dig into this data to determine how it will affect the RTF’s measure portfolio, and inform a better understanding of the Northwest’s existing housing stock.
New Meeting Format Starts Strong
The first quarter of 2018 marked the first foray of the RTF into a new meeting format. For the year, the RTF will be holding six two-day meetings, taking place every-other month. The January RTF Meeting was held from Tuesday, January 30, to Wednesday, January 31. The March meeting spanned Tuesday, March 27, to Wednesday, March 28. Regular two-hour check-in webinars will be held in off months to keep RTF members appraised of the progress the Contract Analyst Team is making on next month’s items. The first call of this type was held February 22. Thus far, the RTF has approved of the new meeting format.
The RTF relies on its subcommittees to review and provide oversight or guidance on projects, provide feedback to the RTF on specific issues, and help develop and update sector-specific measure savings assumptions. The following subcommittees convened during the first quarter of 2018.
Connected Thermostats: This subcommittee was convened once in March of 2018 to discuss the development of a new measure for commercial connected thermostats. The resulting measure was approved by the RTF at the March 2018 meeting.
Guidelines: The RTF Guidelines Subcommittee meets on a need basis to discuss updates and additions to the RTF’s Operative Guidelines, which dictate the course of RTF decision making. In the first quarter of 2018, the subcommittee met once to review staff recommended changes to the Guidelines and get subcommittee agreement on what changes to bring forward at the January RTF meeting, and those changes to be tabled for a future round of discussion.
Implementers Group: The Implementers Group meets every month after the monthly RTF meeting to discuss the outcome of the RTF meeting, upcoming RTF meeting topics, and other topics that affect program implementers in the region.
Market Analysis: This subcommittee was created to discuss ongoing market analysis being conducted in the region, as well as to provide review of said research. The RTF’s Market Analysis Subcommittee met once in the first quarter of 2018 to discuss the development of Bonneville’s Outdoor Lighting Stock Assessment.
Non-Res Lighting: The RTF Contract Analyst Team turned to the expert this subcommittee in the first quarter of 2018 for assistance in developing standard protocols for Non-Residential Lighting Retrofits and Non-Residential Code-Compliant buildings. Both standard protocols were approved by the RTF at their January meeting.
Operations: The RTF Operations subcommittee meets monthly to review and discuss the RTF meeting agendas, decisions, and contracts.
Research and Evaluation: The Research and Evaluation Subcommittee convenes on a need basis to discuss the development of RTF Research Strategies and the framing and utility of ongoing research in the region. In Q1 of 2018, the subcommittee met once in March to discuss two developing research strategies for the Agricultural Irrigation Hardware UES and the Commercial Connected Thermostats UES.
Approved Measure Changes
In addition to the items highlighted above, the first quarter of 2018 the RTF voted to approve the following changes to UES measures and Standard Protocols:
- Approve the updates to the Non-Residential Lighting Retrofits Standard Protocol and set the sunset date to January 31, 2019
- Approve the Code-Compliant Non-Residential Lighting Standard Protocol and set the sunset date to September 30, 2020
- Adopt the updates for the existing Residential Heat Pump Water Heater measure applications. Change the Category to Proven. Keep the Status at Active. Change the Sunset Date to January 31, 2021.
- Adopt the new Residential Heat Pump Water Heater UES measure applications for "Any Vintage/Any Install Location". Update the Research Strategy. Set the Category to Planning. Set the Status at Active. Set the Sunset Date to January 31, 2021.
- Adopt the Thermostatically Controlled Outlet for Pump House Heaters UES and set the Category to Small Saver. Set the Status to Active. Set the Sunset Date to January 31, 2023.
- Adopt the Thermostatically Controlled Stock Tank De-icer UES and set the Category to Small Saver. Set the Status to Active. Set the sunset date to January 31, 2023.
- Adopt the revised changes to the RTF Guidelines, and direct staff to conduct an editorial review of the Guidelines as described.
- Deactivate the ENERGY STAR Oregon UES Measure.
- Deactivate the Built Green Washington UES Measure.
- Adopt the updates for the Ductless Heat Pump for Single Family New Construction UES measure. Keep the Category at Planning. Change the Status to Active. Change the Sunset Date to January 31, 2021.
- Adopt the revised costs and savings as presented for the Residential New Construction Montana House and Idaho UES measure. Set the sunset date to April 30, 2021. Keep the Status at Active. For the non-ASHP heating systems keep the Category at Proven. For ASHP heating systems keep the Category at Planning.
- Approve the Commercial Connected Thermostats UES measure. Do not approve measure with device-only verification. Set status to Active. Set category to Planning. Set sunset date to March 31, 2021.
- Extend the sunset date for the Walk-In Evaporator Fan ECM Motor Controllers to May 31, 2018.
- Extend the sunset date for the Commercial Smart Plug Power Strips UES to September 30, 2018.
- Extend the sunset date for the Ductless Heat Pump for Forced Air Furnace SF and MH UES to November 30, 2018.
- Approve the updated to the Irrigation Hardware UES measure. Break it into two measures: Irrigation Hardware Maintenance and Irrigation Hardware Upgrades. Change category from Small Saver to Planning. Keep status as Active. Set sunset to March 31, 2021. Remove requirement that all units are replaced at once. Approve the associated Research Strategy as presented with modification to add flow rate to the Irrigation Hardware Upgrades and add understanding of maintenance practices to the Irrigation Hardware Maintenance.
- Adopt the updates to the Energy Free Stock Watering Tanks UES as presented. Keep the Category at Small Saver. Keep the Status at Active. Set the sunset date to March 31, 2023.