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Advocacy Update July 2020

Even in times of the pandemic and lockdowns, policy work continues. The bulk of state energy policy is focusing on greenhouse gas reduction efforts. 

SB 1477

Work continues on the design and roll-out of two new incentive programs, BUILD and TECH. The BUILD program focuses on low emission technologies for new construction. It supports a variety of solutions, including battery storage, solar thermal. The TECH program promotes the adoption of low emission heating solutions, which means heat pumps for space and water heating. TECH will rely on midstream incentives by distributors to encourage heat pump adoption. SB 1477 has $200M in funding to support these programs over the next four years.  

SGIP

The Self Generation Incentive Program includes $44M in rebates for heat pump water heaters. One of the interesting aspects of this program is the water heaters must be grid-enabled, which means a third party can control them for demand response. In simple terms, this means using the water heaters level out the loads on the electrical grid. The best way to do this is to store energy when surplus clean energy is available. Increasing the tank temperature allows the water heaters to absorb surplus energy (hot water), which can be used later in the day, or first thing in the morning. Energy storage with water heaters is an inexpensive and proven solution. 

Title 24, JA 13

In July, the California Energy Commission adopted a new set of qualifications for grid-enabled heat pump water heaters. The Standards referred to as – Title 24, JA 13 (joint appendices 13), defines minimum performance requirements and control capabilities. The first step to adoption is creating a standard set of criteria that products must meet when connected to the grid.  JA 13 defines specific features such as thermostatic mixing valves, controls that allow for time-of-use rate profiles, and demand response protocols. JA 13 will help manufactures and builders provide products that meet T-24 energy code and integrate with the electrical distribution grid.

New rebate offers

NorCal – BayREN has new rebates advancing residential electrification. Their program includes a whole-home approach for retrofits and heat pump water heaters for residential and multifamily projects. If you are a contractor or homeowner in the Bay Area, you should check the BayREN website for more details.

SoCal – So Cal Edison has two new rebate programs for heat pump water heaters. The first is a $1,000 rebate for new construction projects. The second is an instant rebate with select distributors. SCE has partnered with Lowes and bought down the cost of heat pump water heaters (HPWH). The discount is a credit towards the purchase, no paperwork required.  The offer means you can now visit a Lowes store and purchase a qualified heat pump water heater for $199! (vs. the retail price of $1,200). SCE is currently in conversation with Home Depot about offering HPWHs at a similar price point. Visit the SECs website for more details. Want to speak to an SCE representative directly? Call (626) 302-0699, or email ruby.r.yepez@sce.com.

Charley Cormany
Executive Director

Advocacy Update June 2020