Home Efficiency Forum 2017 Recap


Listed below are the available resources from each session presented at Home Efficiency Forum 2017.

    • Zero Energy, Zero Premium: Best Practices for Any Price Bracket

      This session will present findings from the Net Zero Energy Coalition’s 2015 and 2016 inventories of residential zero-energy projects, including growth trends and drivers for zero net energy, as well as best practices identified by leading North American ZNE practitioners. Ann Edminster will describe processes pioneered and refined in demonstration projects sponsored by Pacific Gas & Electric Company. We’ll also discuss opportunities for affordable ZNE identified by Earth Advantage for Pacific Northwest climates.

      Mini-Solution Summit: Group Problem Solving

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      Mini-Solution Summit Handout

      Join us as we take a break from the day to day and dream a little.  In this session we will utilize an interactive, fast paced approach to solving complex problems. We’ll present a replicatable, yet always surprising approach to addressing challenges – which can apply directly to the construction and Rating industries. Using this process we’ll paint an ideal vision for the future and identify steps to transform the vision into reality.  

      Working with DHPs and other Variable Capacity Heat Pumps

      This course will review considerations for all "variable everything" heat pumps, including central standard systems, short-run ducted mini splits and the “traditional” DHP. We’ve overhauled and updated previous courses on designing, sizing, selecting and installing HVAC systems in general to focus on variable capacity heat pump products as they cross into high demand for both new construction and existing homes. Attendees will get key insights that are unique to variable capacity heat pumps and different climate zones in the Northwest.

      Residential New Construction Market Update

      Curious to hear what options and trends are emerging in the residential world today? Around the region? The nation? Participate in an interactive discussion with Dan Wildenhaus and featuring residential experts, YOU, in the audience, who will interact with Dan on the current state of programs in the residential energy efficiency market. 

      Net Zero from Two Views

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      Net Zero from Two Views Presentation

      First, we’ll look at a case study project for Greenstone Homes in the Northwest that epitomizes the concept of partnership in delivery of energy efficiency. This project brought many stakeholders, such as the Rater, Mitsubishi, and Lifebreath together during the home-building process to achieve success. The presenters will showcase the home design, specifics and planned evaluation. 

      Second, NW Natural retained the Gas Technology Institute to perform a study comparing two identical homes using the USDOE’s common definition for Zero Energy Buildings in 2016. The study’s main objectives were to present market-appropriate building packages comparing first costs, operating costs, energy use, and CO2emissions for mixed-fuel and all-electric designs.

      Where's WALDO? (Winning Assets that Lead to Dependable Outcomes)

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      Where's WALDO? Presentation

      This session will cover a number of Rater challenges, such as lack of specification, lack of supporting evidence and confusion over connection to code, then demonstrate what Northwest and national folks have available to help you do your job. 

      The Pulse of Multifamily

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      The Pulse of Multifamily Presentation

      Multifamily buildings offer remarkable opportunities, but the market is difficult to break into due to complexities in the market structure, energy code policy, and split incentives. This panel session will begin by sharing the findings of a multifamily market assessment conducted by NEEA. It will explore the barriers encountered while serving the multifamily market, along with regional opportunities to address these obstacles in the Northwest through collaboration efforts with key stakeholders. 

      Mythbusting Water Heating Opportunities

      Heat pump water heaters or tankless gas units? What the heck are these CO2 water heating units? Do I need structured plumbing layouts if I have WaterSense® fixtures? The water heating landscape is ever evolving, with new products and tools to help us quantify benefits. The problem is that we all have preconceived notions about what does and does not make a large difference. This session will address common misconceptions about heat pump water heaters, on-demand recirculation systems, routine maintenance, plumbing design, and more.

      Connected Thermostats: Smart and Sensible or Dumb and Dumber

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      Connected Thermostats Presenetation

      Connected thermostats are the spear of the smart home invasion. Are they more than just another app? Do they save energy? Do they work with all systems? Can Raters and programs use the data stream for quality control purposes? These and other questions will be explored in this give and take session where names will be named.

      Selling the Value of Verification Services

      We will define the benefits of third-party verification services from a builder’s perspective and agree on a list of typical builder profiles. We’ll explore ways to communicate value to builders with various priorities. Participants will leave with up to three value propositions for builders highlighting how their services create value.

      Energy Codes Update

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      Energy Codes Update Presentation

      As an architect of the new homes performance path and contributor to above-code program development for BetterBuiltNW, Energy Trust of Oregon’s EPS, and utilities throughout the region, Thomas Anreise will discuss the impacts of recent code changes, challenges and opportunities for both Raters and programs, and ideas in play for future code updates. 
      Join us for this exciting session and share your thoughts on creating effective codes and above code programs in the years ahead!

      Distributed Energy Resources

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      Distributed Energy Resources Presentation

      The construction industry has long focused on energy efficiency and renewables as a way to differentiate buildings, reduce operating expenses and provide a number of non-energy benefits to consumers. However, due to a variety of source energy and site usage trends, the need to shift loads and flatten load curves has become a real and pressing issue for utilities and municipalities. Enter the duck curve. 

      This session will look at how the imbalance between renewable production and peak demand may impact utility program design, incentives and product offerings where the benefits are primarily for the utility instead of the homeowners. We’ll look around the region at opportunities with solar PV, solar water heat, demand response programs, home batteries and electric vehicles.

      Behind the Construction Trailer: Builder Panel

      This panel will engage builders on the motivations, tips for success and future considerations for building energy efficient and green. Our experts will share how a commitment to better building is a key part of their business. 

      Connecting Quality and Profitability

      What does an extra trip to the job-site cost a contractor? How much does a failed inspection cost a program? What are the true impacts – financial or otherwise – of a customer complaint? Working in small groups, we’ll explore the effects of common defects or inefficiencies experienced by contractors, builders, program implementers and funders in the context of contractor profitability, program cost-effectiveness and customer loyalty. 

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