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Proposed Edits to the Air Source Heat Pump Specifications. Regional Technical Forum August 20, 2013. Background. BPA submitted a proposal to remove the programmatic requirements from the RTF’s Air Source Heat Pump Specifications

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proposed edits to the air source heat pump specifications

Proposed Edits to the Air Source Heat Pump Specifications

Regional Technical Forum

August 20, 2013

  • BPA submitted a proposal to remove the programmatic requirements from the RTF’s Air Source Heat Pump Specifications
    • Applies to the “Commissioning, Controls, and Sizing” UES measures for SF and MH
      • Note: This would “replace” the “PTCS Heat Pump CC&S” UES measure
  • Subcommittee Reviewed the Proposal on July 2nd
    • Consensus on the proposed technical spec language
    • Disagreement on the Approach (removing PTCS)
  • Documents
    • Current ASHP Specification
      • PTCS Service Provider Standards
    • Proposed CC&S Specification
      • Posted to the meeting agenda page.
      • Tracked changes reflect edits based on comments received after subcommittee review/consensus
  • Today: RTF decision on how to proceed
    • Options:
      • Accept/Deny Proposal?
      • Edit Guidelines?
subcommittee opinions of the proposed approach to remove ptcs
Subcommittee Opinions of the Proposed Approach to Remove PTCS

In Favor

  • Removes RTF from making programmatic decisions
    • Not RTF’s role
    • RTF no longer needs to justify the (unsupported with data) link between the program specs and improved savings or delivery rates
      • For example, should the UES be de-rated, and by how much, if QA rate is moved from 10% to 5% to 1% to 0%?
  • Guidelines allow this approach
  • If guidelines are followed to the end, evaluated savings’ reliability should not suffer


  • PTCS requirements (if meaningfully enforced) encourage consistency and quality across the region
  • Risk of low Delivery Rate
    • No required contractor feedback mechanism
    • Could cause the whole program to be non-cost-effective (a.k.a. a waste of money)
  • Risk of overstated energy savings claims
    • “Booked” savings using the UES are always too high (if using contractor claims as the count)
    • Evaluation may not take place, or may be insufficient
      • For example, is a qualified person testing for airflow, sizing, and controls?
what do the guidelines say
What do the Guidelines say?

Evaluation of Proven UES Measures: RTF-Proven Measures

Delivery verification is carried out for a reliable random sample. For the sample, information is obtained; either from documentation or direct inspection, needed to match the verified units to the measure specifications (see the Roadmap). This allows a UES value to be associated with each delivered unit that is consistent with the latest version of RTF-approved values prior to the program delivery period. Savings for the units delivered during a program period can then be computed as the sum of the delivered count multiplied by the respective UES value for each measure.

staff proposal option 1
Staff Proposal: Option 1
  • Accept the proposal to remove program requirements.
  • Edit the Guidelines:
    • Require Proven UES measures to summarize the salient points of an evaluation.
      • For example, in this case:

“Evaluation must estimate a delivery rate specific to this UES measure by, at minimum, performing on-site inspection to verify sizing and on-site testing to verify airflow, auxiliary heat control, minimum temperature split, and external static pressure meet the measure specification.”

  • Caution to Programs
    • Remember, UES savings only apply to measures that meet or exceed the technical specification.
      • If savings are booked for all contractor-claimed “measure installations”, booked savings will be overstated. Instead,
        • Assume an ex-ante delivery rate factor and apply to each claim;
        • Use program data (contractor testing reports? program inspections?) to omit claims that don’t meet the specification; or
        • Expect booked savings to be adjusted downward after evaluation results are in.
    • The low delivery rate risk is high.
      • Might want to think ahead of time about how to evaluate jobs that don’t meet the UES specification to avoid assigning them 0 kWh savings.
staff proposal option 2
Staff Proposal: Option 2
  • Denythe proposal to remove program requirements.
  • RTF continues to include program requirements in the measure specification.
  • Add a “technical compliance rate” factor to the UES estimate.
    • Provisional Research Plan would specify determining the technical compliance rate through on-site inspection and performance testing.
    • Any time the measure specification is edited, the measure would go to Provisional status until the technical compliance rate for that measure specification is reliably determined.
  • Program specification roles are clearly defined as follows:
    • Programs’ Role: Decide on all program details and decisions.
      • There would be no RTF debate/decision on what the programs require.
        • For example, whether the required QA inspection rate is 10% or 2% or 0%.
    • RTF’s Role: Decide what program details rise to the level of being in the measure specification.
      • The Question: Is the program detail in question expected to affect the compliance rate?
        • The subcommittee would review each of the existing program specifications with this question in mind and come back to the RTF with a proposed measure specification.
        • Staff’s Opinion:
          • The 3rd party onsite inspections and requirement to fix errors found is the only existing program detail that should be a part of the measure specification.
          • The following examples of current PTCS program specifications would not appreciably affect compliance rate and should not be included in the measure specification: Number of days of training received by Contractor; Experience of Trainer; Testing Requirements; and Content of the Contractor Reporting Form.

Staff Option 2


  • Reliable UES estimate.
  • Allows programs to do what they want and test alternatives.
  • Allows the RTF to base its decisions on data, rather than guesses.
  • “Booked” savings are reliable.
  • Less risk of unexpected low evaluated savings
  • Maintains quality and consistency in Region’s HVAC installation practices


  • More complicated measure specification = more time developing, editing, and approving, also causes barriers to implementation.
    • Difficult to decide whether a program detail would affect the technical compliance rate, so more “complete” specifications are likely.
    • Programs likely to want to make tweaks along the way, so provisional status may often be the case.
    • Could lead to multiple iterations of measure specifications, depending on similarities of utilities’ programs.

Staff Option 1


  • Reliable UES estimate.
  • Allows programs to do what they want and test alternatives.
  • Allows the RTF to base its decisions on data, rather than guesses.
  • Simplest measure specification and UES estimate = less time for RTF.


  • Compliant unit count cannot be determined until after completion of evaluation.
  • Risk of “unexpected” low evaluated savings.
  • “I _______ move that the RTF accept Option __ for dealing with the Air Source Heat Pump Commissioning, Controls, and Sizing UES measure specification, with the following modifications, _________.”