RTF Quarterly Newsletter: Quarter No. 34, October – December 2018

  • January 11, 2019

As always, the final quarter of the year was a busy one for the RTF. This quarter hosted a productive November RTF meeting, approving updates to lighting and other measures to the region and convened a number of important subcommittee meetings to support those updates.  Between October and December the RTF prepared for the new year, implementing a new meeting schedule, selecting new membership, hiring new staff and approving a new workplan for 2019. This newsletter will describe these efforts and more. You can find a full review of RTF decisions and news posted on the site throughout the quarter.  

Ready for 2019

New Year, New RTF

The RTF is excited to start the year welcoming the new RTF members for 2019 through 2021. Also joining the RTF this quarter are two new team members Annika Roberts and Paul Sklar. Annika was hired by the Council as the new RTF Assistant in November. Paul Sklar, a former RTF voting member and planning engineer at the Energy Trust, was selected to join the Contract Analyst Team for 2019. In a final update coming for the new year, after trying something new in 2018, the RTF has decided to return to its original meeting format, of one meeting once a month. The first meeting will be held January 23, 2019.

2019 Work Plan Approved

In October, the Council voted unanimously to approve a new RTF Work Plan and Business Plan for the coming year. Every year the RTF develops its Work Plan through a stakeholder involved process that draws on public comment and input from organizations involved regularly in the work of the RTF, as well as the RTF's voting membership and Policy Advisory Committee (PAC). This new Work Plan and Business Plan will help guide the work of the RTF in 2019. In addition to the core work performed by the RTF, the work plan approved this quarter for 2019 allocates a small portion of its budget to develop savings estimates for a handful of demand response technologies. This effort is primarily an investigation into the role the RTF could play in supporting the region’s demand response planning work, and success in this area will inform if this work continues in subsequent years. The RTF’s 2019 Work Plan is available on its website here.

New and Noteworthy

Lighting Updates    

In November, the RTF approved updates to both residential and non-residential lighting measures.  Updates to the Residential Lighting UES included updating current practice baseline using sales data, shelf surveys, and price analysis provided by NEEA, updating QPL analysis to account for an ENERGY STAR specification update and new qualifying lamps, revising lighting competition groups for TLEDs, and incorporating RBSA II data regarding lamp fixture locations in homes. The sunset date for this measure was set to December 31, 2019. The Non-Residential Mid-Stream Lighting UES updates are primarily data revisions. Updates to fixture efficacy, lamp lifetimes, market shares, lamp costs, etc. have been incorporated and the sunset date was set to November 30, 2019. More thorough discussions of these lighting measure updates can be found on the individual measure pages linked above.      

Climate Zones Analysis and Mapping

The RTF has been discussing the identification of specific climate stations that best represent a climate zone. This supports any RTF modeling of savings via SEEM or EnergyPlus. This process resulted in updating the methodology to selecting a single climate station to represent an entire climate zone for modeling (rather than a mix of stations). An important consideration in the methodology was the inclusion of elevation in combination with horizontal distance when identifying the most representative location. The final proposed methodology will be presented for approval in the upcoming quarter.

Commercial Glazing Systems UES Measure

At the November meeting, the RTF adopted a brand-new measure: Commercial Secondary Glazing Systems UES. The current measure applies to medium (20k-60k square feet) and large (>60k square feet) office buildings with either electric or gas re-heat VAV systems. The RTF plans to expand the SGS measure to other building and HVAC types sometime in 2019. The SGS measure was set at Planning by the RTF, as the simulation models are largely uncalibrated to real world data, and the sunset date was set to November 30, 2019. Also at the November meeting, the RTF adopted a research strategy to address these remaining uncertainties in SGS energy savings. 

SEEM Calibration Updates

With the release of RBSA II, the RTF has been in the process of updating its calibration of SEEM. In November, Adam Hadley presented on his work to date mapping RBSA homes to SEEM inputs. Adam noted that some sites were being lost in the analysis because some of the u-values were not making sense and there was no accounting of storm windows. The contract analyst team will be working through those questions in the coming months to try and include more sites. This work is expected to wrap up in the first quarter of 2019.   

Subcommittee Roundup

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 fourth quarter of 2018.

Research and Evaluation Subcommittee: 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 Q4 of 2018, the subcommittee met to discuss a research strategy for the Commercial Secondary Glazing Systems UES that was adopted at the following RTF meeting.

Market Analysis Subcommittee: 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 three times in the fourth quarter of 2018. They met twice, once in November and again in December, to discuss residential HVAC market modeling. The subcommittee convened again in December to discuss NEEA data on Refrigerator and Freezer sales. 

Implementers Group: The Implementers Group meets after each RTF meeting to discuss the outcome of the RTF meeting, upcoming RTF meeting topics, and other topics that affect program implementers in the region.

Operations: The RTF Operations subcommittee meets before each RTF meeting to review and discuss the RTF meeting agendas, decisions, and contracts. 

Non-Residential Lighting Subcommittee: This subcommittee convened to discuss proposed updates to the Non-Residential Mid-Stream Lighting UES measure.  These were adopted at the following RTF meeting.          

Residential Lighting Subcommittee: The Residential Lighting UES was set to sunset in January, so the subcommittee met to discuss proposed updates to the measures.  Key updates included market data and RBSA updates, along with the application of lighting competition groups as appropriate. This discussion led to the adoption of these updates at the following RTF meeting     

Small and Rural Utilities Subcommittee: The Small/Rural Subcommittee maintains a dedicated function within the RTF to support the specific needs of small and rural utilities. This subcommittee met once in Q4 of 2018 to discuss the applicability of recently adopted measures to small and rural utilities and some new measure scoping for hot tub/spa measures.

Approved Measure Changes

In addition to the items highlighted above, the fourth quarter of 2018 the RTF voted to approve the following changes to UES measures and Standard Protocols: