Approved Projects

Projects that have been reviewed by the CalNEXT Program team using our review criteria and accepted by the Program Administrator are listed here. Statuses will be updated at least monthly and Final Reports will be linked when available. 

Projects are filterable by Technology Area (based on the TPMs) and Project Type. They are also sortable by any column and searchable by any keyword.

To view all past and current California statewide emerging technology projects and reports, please visit the Emerging Technologies Program Portal or the Emerging Technologies Coordinating Council websites.

Project NameProject NumberTechnology AreaProject TypeStatus
All-Electric Commercial Kitchen Electrical Requirements Study EvaluationThis study identifies the impacts of converting a gas and electric commercial foodservice facility to an all-electric kitchen. Three categories, which represent 82% of foodservice sites in California, were analyzed to estimate the costs to update site electrical infrastructure and the added load to the site and grid.

The analysis found the average connected amp load of the three categories increased between 50% and 79% with an average peak demand increase of 35kW per site at a cost of approximately $1,600 to $7,400 annually for sites that incur demand charges. These increases caused the loads to exceed the existing service capacity in 75% of sites analyzed.

Significant upgrades to the existing electrical systems would be required to meet the added load of electric cooking equipment. The average cost per site was estimated as $40,000 for institutional sites, $123,000 for quick-service and $160,000 for full-service restaurants.
ET22SWE0010Process LoadsTSRComplete
Final Report
Commercial and MF CO2-based Heat Pump Water Heater Market Study and Field DemonstrationAESC proposes a California-focused market study and field demonstration of an all-electric CO2 refrigerant heat pump water heater (HPWH) designed for central systems in commercial and multi-family (MF) buildings. The technology supports electrification strategies, is highly energy efficient, capable of demand response and load shifting through the use of inherent thermal storage, and uses natural CO2 refrigerants with low global warming potential (GWP). It can supply hot water up to 195° F and works in low ambient conditions with a modular design allowing up to 16 units to cover capacities from 135,000 to 2,100,000 Btu/h.  

The technology is commercially available and was introduced by the manufacturer within the past two years in limited markets, including New York, Massachusetts, Washington, Oregon, and Northern California. To date, it has very low market penetration in California with only a handful of new construction projects currently in design. Technology barriers include high up-front costs, lack of product awareness in the design and stakeholder community, and complexities inherent to custom design requirements of large central systems. However, sizing and design barriers are gradually being addressed through tools like Ecotope’s “Ecosizer” This tool can be used for system sizing based on expected loads, building characteristics, and location but is not an energy modeling tool. Thus, it does not correlate with existing regulatory tools like CBECC. However, fundamental research into the performance of these systems in the field is needed to support future updates of CBECC and other building modeling software to accurately integrate central CO2 HPWH products.

The study will build on existing research and non-residential HPWH initiatives with a focus on the California market, policies, rate structures, efficiency programs, demand flexibility programs, and market barriers. The field study will evaluate product performance and impacts on energy, cost, and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of the technology relative to baseline natural gas as well as load flexibility capabilities in the context of CA rates and the new Total System Benefit (TSB) metric for EE programs. The product will be installed, monitored, and analyzed at two participant MF sites.

Based on empirical benefits, study recommendations will focus on targeted strategies for California’s CPUC-funded retrofit and new construction resource programs, the SGIP demand flexibility program, and workforce education and training (WE&T) programs to overcome current barriers and support broad market adoption. For instance, SGIP has a forthcoming load shift incentive offering for water heaters yet no available product has demonstrated that ability. This study will demonstrate real-world central HPWH load shifting capabilities, how they can support the new SGIP goals, and gather information necessary for developing future test and verification protocols.

Recommendations for possible technology improvements to optimize benefits and future design iterations will also be explored. If the field study observes less energy, carbon, and load shift impacts than expected, discussions will focus on why results were below expectations and how they can be improved. Conclusions will focus on items such as cost, installation challenges, energy and capacity performance, customer satisfaction, and load-shifting abilities.
ET22SWE0017Water Heating, Whole BuildingsTSRActive
Market Potential for Heat Pump Assisted Hot Water Systems in Food Service FacilitiesElectrifying the building sector is a critical step toward meeting California’s decarbonization goals. Water heating for food service applications represents 340M therms of gas consumption and thus presents a significant electrification opportunity through the application of heat pump (HP) assistance. For this study the program team conducted a market assessment of the potential for the adoption of heat pump-assisted hot water systems (HPaHWS) in food service facilities. This market assessment evaluated the total reachable market and the market penetration potential for HPaHWS. The program team also addressed the market barriers and opportunities for the adoption of HPaHWS as they currently exist. This study occurred in three phases: Literature search, Interviews, Numerical data collection, and analysis.
ET22SWE0019Water HeatingTDRComplete
Final Report
Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Refrigerant Management Market AssessmentBuilding electrification initiatives are resulting in an explosion of electrified heating and cooling (heat pump) systems being installed in residential and commercial buildings. Electrifying the building sector is a critical step toward meeting California’s decarbonization goals; however, the refrigerants used in heat pumps contain greenhouse gases (GHGs) thousands of times more warming than carbon dioxide and even methane. While keeping refrigerant from leaking into the atmosphere is critical for all heat pump applications, large commercial building systems often require extensive field-installed piping and significant refrigerant charge (amount)- a combination that creates high emissions potential. As these heat pumps, increasingly referred to as variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems, replace fossil-fuel powered equipment in both new and existing buildings, the potential GHG impact of refrigerant leaks needs to be understood and cost-effective mitigation strategies must be incorporated into building electrification initiatives. In addition to the direct global warming impact of refrigerant leaking into the atmosphere, studies have shown that heat pump systems operating with insufficient refrigerant also consume more energy, contributing to higher electric bills and power generation emissions. This market assessment will provide clarity on the anticipated market adoption of VRF systems, the lifetime GHG emissions potential of those systems if no action is taken, and the mitigation strategies that can be implemented to maximize the environmental, economic, and social benefits of commercial heat pumps. Additionally, the project will build upon and complement the current Commercial VRF Fuel Substitution measure development activity also being performed by Energy Solutions, by bringing in new market study activities including stakeholder engagement and a deeper focus on new system installations. The measure development project is focused on the measured package/work paper for VRFs using newer energy models. It is reevaluating the measure as a prescriptive offering for retrofits or gut rehab/major renovations. With this VRF Refrigerant Management market study, we will review past research and lessons learned to maximize the benefits of the adoption of VRFs by getting ahead of potentially negative issues associated with leaks and/or improper installation and maintenance.
Residential Multi-Function Heat Pumps: Product SearchResidential Multi-Function Heat Pumps (MFHP) are a new product category that uses one efficient outdoor compressor and heat exchanger coil to provide space cooling, space heating, and domestic hot water heating. Air-to-air versions of MFHP use refrigerant to provide heating and cooling services and have the potential to eliminate the need for electric resistance backup heaters. Eliminating electric resistance keeps the maximum power consumption lower and can avoid the need for electrical service breaker panel upgrades in many residential buildings, reducing cost and speeding up installation times compared to the typical separate space conditioning heat pump and standalone heat pump water heater products. This technical market characterization project surveyed manufacturers to identify commercially available MFHP products. The Villara AquaThermAire will be commercially available in California in Q1 2023, Panasonic offers the Aquarea EcoFleX in Europe, and other manufacturers have interest in offering MFHP products in the future.
ET22SWE0021Whole Buildings TDRComplete
Final Report
Residential Housing Characteristics StudyThis California Low-Income Residential Housing Characteristics Study project proposes to address the lack of complete data on housing structures in disadvantaged communities (DAC) and Hard-to-Reach (HTR) single-family residential housing. While high-level data such as the number of homes in DACs and other key demographic and market information (housing age, access to broadband, etc.) can be pulled from census and other research, data on the baseline physical conditions of DAC and HTR homes is lacking (i.e., structural integrity, electrical panel, and wire capacity, and code adherence). This data is foundational to being able to both size the total available market for emerging technologies and develop effective, properly budgeted program pathways to serve and transform these communities. The results will help facilitate the deployment of emerging technologies including heat pump water heaters, heat pump HVAC, smart plug loads, efficient appliances including induction stove-tops, home networking equipment, and other decarbonization measures.

The project will leverage past studies and piggyback on existing IOU programs and contractor networks serving CA IOU DAC and HTR communities to perform targeted incremental housing condition data collection. For example, the San Joaquin Valley Disadvantaged Communities Pilot has provided initial data on home readiness for electrification and identified some initial costs needed to ready homes for electrification. The study will also use contractors to conduct in-home survey assessments and identify a home that is ready for electrification and will estimate costs for those homes that require upgrades and or retrofits to allow electrification. We estimate the number of Single Family Homes in California where occupants are low-income to be 3.5 M. We plan to create a survey for in-depth contractor assessments.

This information, analyzed in combination with other data, will be used to inform the scope and nature of barriers to serving DAC and HTR communities with Emerging Technologies efforts and to develop programmatic strategies for helping California achieve its decarbonisation and equity goals.
ET22SWE0022HVAC, Plug Loads & Appliances, Water HeatingTSRActive
Occupancy-based Thermostats for Commercial OfficesA field demonstration of occupancy-based control (OBC) for thermostats with remote occupancy sensors was conducted at two offices in San Diego County to evaluate the savings potential of the technology. In this field test, programmable thermostats were replaced with thermostats with OBC, an emerging technology consisting of a smart thermostat and wirelessly connected PIR occupancy sensors. The technology can decide whether to turn on/off a single-zone HVAC unit by gathering occupancy information from occupancy sensors placed in each individual space in its zone. The offices were separated into a control group with existing programmable thermostats and a treatment group with emerging technology. The energy consumptions of single-zone HVAC units in each group were monitored from September 2022 to November 2022.The study found that the occupancy-based thermostat the treatment group consumed less energy and expected to save 15% to 34% annually.
Final Report
Next Generation Refrigeration Analysis Tool Proof of ConceptThe proposed project is to develop an energy modeling framework based on OpenStudio, EnergyPlus, and ancillary analysis tools that solves previously identified shortcomings of existing grocery refrigeration analysis tools. A modeling “framework” is defined as all software packages, files, and scripts necessary to run the defined analysis within a given set of parameters. OpenStudio is designed specifically for software integration and this work forms the first step towards the development of a software analysis tool to address previously identified gaps. Additionally, VEIC will perform sensitivity analysis and validation on the OpenStudio modeling framework to ensure it appropriately represents the target project population. This proposed project would support the recommendations identified in the SCE Report – June 2021 –  ET18SCE7080 Next-Generation, Low-GWP Refrigeration Systems: Tool Assessment and Market Impacts. This report characterized refrigerant options for grocery/supermarkets in California and how to phase out Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants to be replaced by those with a lower Global-Warming Potential (GWP). It identifies potential energy modeling platforms as they apply to refrigerant upgrades in grocery stores and supermarkets and provides the advantages and shortcomings of those modeling tools. This project would be the first step to advance the market’s ability to easily model low-GWP refrigerant systems in commercial applications in support of utility programs by proposing a validation study to improve and adapt OpenStudio tools to specifically serve CA and low-GWP refrigeration systems. The validation study would prove the concept and build the underlying assumptions and automation capabilities that could then form the backbone of a refrigeration tool for CA. Ultimately, if the tool proceeds to development in a subsequent project, the intent would be to develop an easy-to-use tool for grocery stores of all sizes, including independent grocers that tend to serve DAC/HTR communities.
ET22SWE0025Process LoadsTSRActive
Advanced Multifamily EV Load Management SystemThis project will test GoPowerEV, a new electric vehicle (EV) charging solution designed to provide access to charging in existing multifamily buildings with limited electrical capacity. GoPowerEV’s combination of power-sharing capabilities, built-in load shifting, scalability, and affordable turnkey subscription model is unique in the market and provides an ideal charging solution for existing multifamily properties, including hard-to-reach (HTR) customers and disadvantaged communities (DACs) where affordability and ease-of-use is essential. This project will deploy GoPowerEV in at least four multifamily sites to test the ability of the technology to maximize EV charging access while meeting driver charging needs.
This emerging technology directly supports the high-priority electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) TPM technology family and will deliver significant energy savings. The baseline scenario for EV charging is full-power unmanaged 240V Level 2 charging – this is typically the standard in building codes and in IOU EVSE programs. A baseline Level 2 charger typically requires a dedicated 40A circuit and delivers power up to 7.68 kW (Level 2 can range from 3kW to 19kW of AC output and the actual power delivery depends on the vehicle being charged, but 7.68 kW is a common size). In this baseline scenario, unmanaged L2 chargers provide power to EVs when they first plug in. Per the DOE, the vast majority of aggregate EV demand is driven by home charging and a typical unmanaged EV charging load curve results in a peak in the late afternoon and early evening. At a multifamily site, providing even ten units with L2 EV charging would require 400 amps of capacity and add 76.8 kW peak load to the customer’s bill and local distribution system. GoPowerEV provides the following energy benefits over a Level 2 baseline installation:
– Energy savings: Each GoPowerEV base includes three ports, replacing multiple separate Level 2 EVSE units from another manufacturer and thereby reducing standby power from inactive units.
– Demand savings: GoPowerEV both flattens the EV charging load curve and shifts demand to off-peak hours. Average vehicle dwell time at multifamily buildings is typically in excess of 12 hours, but the average charging window is far less. In fact, the average daily vehicle miles traveled (VMT) for Californians is under 40 miles – this amount of range can be delivered by a L2 charger in under two hours and a Level 1 charger in just over seven hours. GoPowerEV’s Level 1 ports deliver the same amount of range over the course of a single dwell period but cut the peak demand by 4x. GoPowerEV also shifts the charging window to off-peak hours such that the kWh consumption and kW demand occurs after the 4-9pm peak period. At just one relatively small multifamily site with six chargers (the minimum proposed for this pilot), that would provide a demand savings of over 46 kW.
– Lower system costs: GoPowerEV’s use of circuit-sharing and panel-sharing technology reduces the capacity needs on site and demand impacts on the grid, lowering both behind-the-meter installation costs and service upgrades and local distribution system improvements. This allows GoPowerEV to provide the same consumer benefits as the L2 baseline (kWh to support daily driving needs) with far less cost to the electric distribution system and ratepayers.
GoPowerEV’s customer base is primarily existing multifamily buildings, which are underserved by much of the EVSE market. Full-power networked Level 2 or Level 3 solutions, typically use too much power to provide more than a handful of ports at a multifamily site without requiring significant (and expensive) infrastructure upgrades. Energy Solutions has conducted a pilot for Peninsula Clean Energy deploying Level 1 “smart outlet” products, and while they are dramatically more cost-effective than traditional Level 2 solutions more direct competitors still do not leverage the panel-sharing or circuit-sharing capabilities of GoPowerEV. Energy Solutions has evaluated the market for automated load management system (ALMS) EVSE, both for PCE and independently, and while some solutions offer circuit-sharing, panel-sharing, or networked power management, GoPowerEV is the only product to combine all of these features. This has the potential to maximize the access to EV charging within a constrained electrical environment like a multifamily building.
GoPowerEV has begun initial conversations with SCE to raise awareness of its product capabilities and discuss inclusion in SCE’s larger EVSE programs including Multifamily Charge Ready. However, GoPowerEV is not on the approved vendor list and there is no current timeline for its inclusion. Moreover, there are zero Level 1 products currently approved for SCE’s light-duty EVSE rebates, and SCE’s Multifamily Turn-Key Installation Program requires Level 2 products. As a “smart outlet” providing both Level 1 and Level 2 capabilities, GoPowerEV is very different from the products SCE and other IOUs have traditionally included in rebate programs. This CalNEXT pilot provides an ideal opportunity to demonstrate the ability of GoPowerEV and similar products to meet multifamily EV driver needs. This will provide valuable information that the market and IOUs can use if they choose to help determine how to best address EV charging access in multifamily properties.
ET22SWE0026Plug Loads & AppliancesTDRActive
Greenhouse Lighting ControlsThis project continued a study begun for PG&E to evaluate the potential of adaptive lighting controls in greenhouses. The tasks were to gather more user experience from the grower, estimate energy savings potential, record the grower’s observations on crop yield and quality, and conduct outreach to other growers and industry stakeholders. The Project Team could not collect field data as hoped, so it created a model to estimate savings potential based on typical photoperiod, daily light integral (DLI), and glazing transmittance parameters. Working with industry experts, the Project Team estimated 9% and 11% potential annual energy savings for cannabis and tomatoes, respectively. As a next step, the Project Team recommended that CalNEXT facilitate pilot projects by industry actors to study how effectively the technology could be incentivized through Normalized Metered Energy Consumption (NMEC) projects.
Final Report
Packaged Central CO2 Heat Pump Water Heater Multifamily DemonstrationAESC and ASK Energy propose a California-focused field demonstration and market assessment of a packaged, modular, all-electric CO2 centralized heat pump water heater with load shift capabilities designed for commercial and multi-family buildings. The proposed technology supports electrification strategies, load shifting, energy efficiency goals, and uses natural CO2 refrigerants with low global warming potential. Of particular interest is the packaged product’s potential for reducing equipment and design costs, specialized knowledge requirements, project timelines, and implementation complexity over equivalent custom, site-built products. A fully plug-and-play system eliminates the custom engineering and on-site construction, demonstrating what would be an invaluable industry transition. The onboard load shifting controls are also a novel addition in comparison to existing centralized heat pump water heater products and studies.

The skid-mounted, packaged product comprises multiple heat pump water heaters in series, storage and swing tanks, backup electric resistance elements, recirculation pumping, and all necessary controls and connection points. A primary and optional secondary skid can each serve up to 50 residential occupants with domestic hot water up to 160 °F and operate in ambient conditions down to -14 °F. The product supplies hot water for domestic use and currently does not have any design features for hydronic heating or exhaust capture for space cooling load offset, but could be of interest in future study. The product is well-suited to both retrofit and new construction applications although care needs to be given to electrical supply capacity, weight bearing structures, and other details which may be more costly in retrofit conditions. This is a brand new, first-of-its-kind product and has no to-date market adoption in California or otherwise.

The new packaged solution is being installed at the first two sites in the California Bay Area in early 2023, both of which will be monitored and evaluated for this study. Two new construction, multifamily buildings in San Francisco have already been selected and product production is underway. Currently, no M&V, performance assessment, or load shifting testing is planned or funded. The proposed study will add these important research features to the planned project, leveraging the planned installation for emerging technology research purposes. Monitoring instrumentation will be installed at the product level (at the HPWH rather than at residences or end-uses) at all relevant points including input power, ambient conditions, and hot/return/make-up water temperatures and flows. This M&V will allow for assessment of the system performance, load patterns, energy usage, and other key features necessary for informing market actors and programmatic design. All M&V data used in the analysis will be after HPWH commissioning and current project timelines suggest that commissioning will be completed before M&V instrumentation installation.

Since this is a new construction project, baseline energy usage will be calculated based on the observed load profiles and assumed code or representative baseline alterative (most likely central gas-fired). All project costs, including necessary electric service and panel upgrades, will be documented for evaluation of cost-effectiveness. Load shifting controls and abilities will also be tested either via manual tests or with load shift signals from the local utility. Whole building energy and demand will also be collected from utility metering to provide context to load shift capabilities and magnitudes. Monitoring data will be collected at intervals of 15-minutes or less and analyzed at the smallest interval necessary for accurate regression and energy cost analyses. Results will be presented for both raw, small intervals and consolidated at larger intervals for ease of visualization.

Although the technology will be studied in situ at new construction buildings, many of the findings will be extrapolated to existing building retrofit applications. Retrofit applications are critical since they comprise the vast majority of the market opportunity. Since load profiles are very consistent and predictable in the multifamily sector, energy, demand, and GHG savings can be determined for retrofit situations, assuming a code or market-representative baseline condition. Costs and feasibility differences between new construction and existing buildings will be evaluated, but since the product is a factory-built, packaged solution, similar cost-effectiveness and feasibility is expected. Other influential differences between new construction and retrofit applications and their impacts on cost-effectiveness, performance, or programs will be evaluated.

The study will build on existing research and initiatives for HPWH for the non-residential market, with a focus on the California market, policies, rate structures, efficiency and demand flexibility programs, and market barriers, and opportunities. The field study will evaluate product performance and energy, cost, and GHG impacts of the technology relative to baseline natural gas water heaters at one or two non-residential sites, as well as load flexibility capabilities in the context of CA rates, new SGIP offerings, and the new Total System Benefit (TSB) metric for EE programs. The market evaluation will build upon past research particularly by focusing on the packaged aspects of the product in comparison to custom site-built CO2 central heat pump water heaters. Study recommendations will focus on strategies for retrofit and new construction resource programs, workforce education and training programs, and how packaged solutions can address market barriers and challenges associated with current available CHPWH solutions.
ET22SWE0028Water Heating, Whole BuildingsTSRActive
Solar Assisted HVAC Market StudyA market evaluation study of solar-assisted heat pumps (SA-HP) was performed to understand configurations, commercially available products, and market size for applications in the heating mode, since previous research has shown inconclusive heating mode energy savings. Primary and secondary research was performed in this study. The three categories of direct expansion (DX) SA-HP, indirect expansion (IX) SA-HP, and hybrid SA-HP, were identified and explored for use in space heating applications. The more basic DX SA-HP systems cost less than the more complex IX DA-HP systems but have lower solar heat gains and resulting system benefit. California climate zone weather data was analyzed, and it was determined climate zone 16 would have the highest potential benefit for SA-HP. This study found there is limited commercial availability, which was noted a barrier for mass adoption, in addition to contractor training related to SA-HP systems and applications, and existing roof conditions.
Final Report
Wastewater Treatment SB1383 Compliance CharacterizationCalifornia’s approximately 500 wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) within the IOU territories offer utilities significant untapped potential for process-based energy savings and load optimization related to both existing operations and planned expansions and capital investments. One key driver of near-term capital investments is related to California’s SB1383 Landfill Diversion legislation compliance. As of 2025, in an effort to limit short-lived climate pollutants, wastewater treatment plants in California will be prohibited from trucking biosolid sludge to dumps in regional landfills. With a pending compliance deadline, impacted plants are currently considering the costs and benefits of various compliance solutions, which can include investment in onsite biosolids management technologies and strategies, complete plant redesigns required to achieve targeted levels of sludge moisture content and treatment, and regional collaborative concepts. Each of these compliance solutions comes with significant energy, cost, carbon and non-energy implications and trade-offs that are not well understood by plants, especially understaffed small, medium and rural agencies, and those in disadvantaged communities.

Certain promising emerging technologies for SB1383 compliance appear to offer significant energy and carbon reduction benefits over more typical strategies but have near zero market penetration and would benefit from further study. However, an up-to-date baseline characterization of compliance strategies is required in order to properly size the market, understand baseline strategies under consideration for various types of WWTP, and to enable future savings claims for new ET measures that support compliance.

AESC proposes to perform a characterization of the various SB1383 compliance solutions under consideration or in planning by California’s WWT plants of various sizes and operational characteristics. AESC will work with industry partners and solutions providers to classify compliance strategies by plant size, treatment type, and other key drivers/limitations, and characterize each in terms of relative energy consumption, DR and load management potential and fit, biogas generation/cogeneration impacts, carbon impacts, trucking/transportation impacts, and other co-benefits (creation of beneficial byproducts, etc).

Based on the results, a survey and sampling plan will be developed to deploy to a cross section of California’s plants to assess baseline compliance strategies being contemplated by plants. These baseline findings will serve to prioritize technology focus areas, highest priority emerging technologies, establish savings and market size potential, and inform future measure and workpaper savings estimates and claims. A secondary project deliverable will be a decision support tool matrix/and or model that classifies energy and non-energy implications related to various compliance pathway choices. This can be used by utility account representatives, WWTP, design firms, cities, regional collaboratives and consultants in the near term as an aid to help agencies understand energy and non -energy implications of compliance pathways. The matrix will be organized by size and treatment typology, and will include targeted information for rural, hard-to-reach agencies that can be distributed through specific identified project partner networks that work in California’s most remote and rural regions.
ET22SWE0031Process LoadsTSRActive
Low-Income Multifamily Housing Characteristics StudyWith nearly a third of California’s low-income households living in large (5+ unit) multifamily housing, electrifying and deploying advanced electric technologies to this portion of the housing stock is critical to reaching the state’s goals for equitable climate action. Formulating policies and programs tailored to this segment’s specific housing characteristics is critical to achieving speed and scale in building electrification, yet there is a gap in statewide data on the characteristics of low-income multifamily housing. This project proposes to conduct a Low-Income Multifamily Housing Characteristics Study by analyzing Census data (e.g., American Housing Survey (AHS), American Community Survey (ACS)) and other public data sources (e.g., Low-Income Energy Affordability (LEAD) Tool, Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS)), gathering input from existing electrification and solar programs, and targeted direct data collection to fill this gap. In addition to more general market characterization, the study will address factors known to be key barriers to electrification in multifamily housing, such as the need for electrical system upgrades (e.g., wiring, circuit panels, service lines), space constraints, and existing water distribution system issues. The study will address both subsidized and “naturally occurring” affordable housing.
ET22SWE0033HVAC, Water Heating, Whole BuildingsTSRActive
Hybrid Heat Pump and Indirect Evaporative Cooling Packaged Unit (Hybrid RTU)Indirect evaporative cooling can provide cooling at much higher efficiency in California climates compared to the vapor compression cooling systems currently used in most buildings. In the past, these indirect evaporative cooling systems have been add-ons to roof top packaged units, have required mechanical system designers to be familiar with the systems to correctly design and size the equipment, have required additional controls design, and were more cost-effective only for larger systems. This Hybrid Heat Pump and Indirect Evaporative Cooling Packaged Unit is a single piece of equipment packaged retrofit for typical roof top packaged units in the most common size ranges for small commercial buildings with simple installation and no custom design work required for sizing or controls. This Hybrid RTU equipment is designed to have similar weight and size as typical high efficiency RTU equipment reducing barriers to adoption. This project will laboratory test the production-ready prototype version and produce performance curves that can be used to model and estimate energy savings across many different climates and building types. This technology is not yet commercially available, it is in the advanced prototype stage and getting ready to be mass produced by a large manufacturer. The heat pump is sized to meet the heating requirements for the packaged unit rated capacity and has the typical electric resistance heaters for defrost and to provide supplemental heat if outdoor temperatures are extremely low.
Multifamily In-Unit Heat PumpVEIC proposes to conduct a market study to assess the market opportunity and technology performance of variable speed, high-efficiency in-unit/window heat pumps in multifamily buildings for use for direct replacement of inefficient window and packaged terminal air conditioning (PTAC) units for California multifamily buildings. Additional design options including low-GWP refrigerants, defined in the NY/CEE specifications targeting this opportunity as R-32 and CO2, will also be assessed. The 2021 NY Clean Heat for All Challenge RFP included low GWP refrigerants as an optional criteria – not a requirement – for manufacturer window heat pumps. Our market study would assess the adoption, availability, costs and impact (energy and GWP) of low GWP heat pump models compatible with multifamily in-unit applications.The project will define and quantify the potential opportunity for this technology in California through detailed analysis and building energy modeling as the first step to look for opportunities to bring these new, alternative clean heating and cooling electric technologies into the energy efficiency and demand-side management programs. Baseline and high efficiency measure research will include 120V and 240V supply equipment, as well as in-wall configurations. Throughout this project we will review the growing knowledge about these products by coordinating closely with national and other state-wide initiatives and California programs such as TECH Clean CA, Building Initiative for Low-Emissions Development (BUILD) Program, CA Market Transformation Program, and the EPIC grant program in which the San Francisco based Treau, Inc. received an EPIC grant for their Gradient system development which now is available for pre-order. Additional vendors will include Midea, who along with Treau was selected through the NY Clean Heat for All Challenge, as well as other window and alternative in- wall manufacturers (e.g. Ephoca) identified in the initial project market research.
Residential Water Heater Sizing Measure Package SupportCurrently, incentives for energy efficient water heater retrofits require a like-for-like replacement. However, anecdotal evidence exists that contractors upsize heat pump water heater (HPWH) replacements relative to existing gas water heaters. This projects’ results can add to current statewide water heating measure offerings by enabling incentives for non-like-for-like size replacements.

TRC utilized data from existing fuel substitution workpaper development with prototype buildings and various water heater sizes to update the (CPUC-approved) DEER Water Heater Calculator V 5.1 across the California (CA) climate zones establishing like-for-like baselines for savings claims.

A survey of current practice found: 1) most contractors upsize tanks when replacing a gas or electric resistance water heater with a HPWH, 2) a HPWH replacement required circuit breaker upgrades in approximately half their projects but rarely an electrical panel upgrade, and 3) the most common type of HPWH retrofit is from a natural gas water heater to a HPWH.
ET22SWE0036Water HeatingTSRComplete
Final Report
Aerosol Sealing of Existing Attics and CrawlspacesThis project will evaluate new applications of aerosol sealing, a product used to seal buildings primiarily in new construction, to sealing in existing homes. Previous studies have shown that half of the leakage in new California homes occurs through the attic so addressing leakage at the attic floor has a significant potential to reduce total envelope leakage. A recently completed demonstration as part of a DOE Building America project showed very encouraging results when applying an aerosol sealing technology to an existing attic. Three apartments were sealed by an average of 55% when the aerosol sealing technology was deployed from the attic space. Only the attic floor is sealed allowing the attic to remain ventilated and avoiding any potential issues with condensation that occur in a fully sealed attic. This was compared to two other sealing approaches including traditional manual sealing with foam and an elastomeric sealant which achieved 14% and 26% reductions, respectively. In the past, utilization of aerosol envelope sealing was limited to new construction or major retrofit situations. A key advantage of applying the aerosol from the attic is that there is not noticeable deposition of sealant on surfaces inside the home so surface protection requirements are minimal. In the three applications performed, no prep to interior surfaces was performed, reducing the time and cost for sealing and opening up the market to sealing occupied homes. While the tenants do need to leave the home for a couple of hours during the aerosol injection, the process is much less invasive than other retrofit applications of aerosol sealing and is not harmful to occupants. This project will demonstrate the cost and performance of an attic upgrade that includes upgrading existing insulation combined with aerosol-sealing of the attic-to-home leakage in residential building types typically found in disadvantaged communities. The previous study demonstrating this technique was limited to three apartments and this study is needed to demonstrate in single family homes and evaluate performance across more sites.
ET22SWE0037Whole Buildings TDRActive
ASHRAE Guidline 36 Open Source Supervisory Control Technology Development and DemonstrationThis project is an open source supervisory control technology development and demonstration of ASHRAE Guideline 36 (G36), ASHRAE 2021.

The promise of G36 is that the standardization of the sequence of operations (SOO) allows manufacturers to program and centrally test the control logic and then distribute to installers. This approach reduces cost and the risk of errors inherent in the current practice. Designers can specify G36 rather than write their own SOO. Installers can draw from a library of G36 control logic options rather than program their own logic. G36 can minimize functional testing, as the logic will be pre-programmed at the factory.

Two buildings have been selected for the study that have supervisory control hardware and software platforms in place. These platforms utilize Control Description Language (CDL) for documenting and implementing control logic. The Brick schema is an open-source effort to standardize descriptions of physical and logical assets in buildings and the relationships between them. CDL and the Brick schema together enable the testing and implementation of ASHRAE G36 standardized sequences of operations. To execute the project plan, we will establish a baseline of HVAC system performance and energy consumption, implement the new control sequences, and then perform measurement and verification to document the expected savings.

Although ASHRAE Guideline 36 was recently released, it has been in development for a number of years. This project builds on ongoing efforts to document the positive impact that implementing G36 can have on existing and new commercial buildings in CA. We have recruited a major contributor to ASHRAE Guideline 36 (Taylor Engineers) as well as leading Brick schema researchers (University of California, Berkeley ‘s Center for the Built Environment) to serve on the project team.
High Efficiency Dehumidification System Field StudyThe High Efficiency Dehumidification System (HEDS) technology of interest is a new and patented technology developed in Southern California with energy savings potential for air handlers with chilled water cooling and hot water reheat. The technology was first developed to address dehumidification issues but has evolved to include and leverage energy efficiency benefits. The technology reduces loads on both the chiller and reheat water source by expanding dehumidification and reheat coils, lowering chilled water flows, and utilizing dehumidification coil outlet flow for reheat purposes. This saves energy over the typical baselined design that has separate dedicated, higher flow chilled water and hot water coils.

The technology supports decarbonization and electrification by eliminating the natural gas consumption common in hot water reheat systems (an important component of dehumidification) while also reducing energy consumption at the chiller. The dehumidification aspects also make the technology a good candidate for providing superior protection against COVID and other airborne viruses. The technology is commercially available and most applicable to buildings with humidity concerns such as hospitals, commercial kitchens, museums, and prisons. However, it can be installed at any facility with single duct system with reheat that is often applied in large commercial buildings, public sector facilities, high schools, and universities.
Field Study of HVAC Cost Optimized Supply Air Temperature Reset (CORE)Variable air volume (VAV) HVAC systems dominate the commercial building market but have widely varying performance, with a well-documented performance gap between best-practice and typical operation. Two recent studies by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the California Energy Commission (CEC) reported a wide variation in energy performance for various typical supply air temperature (SAT) reset strategies (4-15% variation in HVAC energy). Existing SAT reset strategies have three inherent deficiencies that explain the lack of market uptake and sub-optimal real world energy performance: (1) they include simplifications and assumptions about SAT and total HVAC energy cost, (2) they require tuning of key parameters whose optimal values differ for every building and vary over the life of the building, and (3) there is no easy way to determine what those optimal settings are and whether tuning is improving savings or not. CORE (Cost Optimized Reset), a new cost-responsive supply air temperature reset open-source solution for multi-zone variable air volume systems, addresses these problems. This solution applies to the majority of the time that a building is occupied. In a VAV reheat system (the focus of this study), the air handler provides cooling most of the time, with zones providing heating where-needed. The open-source SAT reset solution developed by this research team could be deployed through two different paths: 1) the traditional path of a native building automation system (BAS) and 2) a third-party solution such as a microcontroller or a cloud based solution that integrates with an existing BAS. CORE dynamically estimates the energy cost of operating an air handling unit at its current supply air temperature setpoint, as well as slightly higher and lower setpoints. It does this using existing instrumentation commonplace in these systems. Using this information, along with the current approximate cost of electricity, chilled water, and hot water, we can dynamically estimate the cost of fan, cooling, and reheat energy at each setpoint. The algorithm then chooses the lowest cost operating point every 5 minutes, continually moving in the direction of least cost while adjusting to the changes occurring dynamically within the building, while ensuring that comfort conditions are maintained. CORE offers greater value over existing solutions because: (a) it uses existing sensors and hardware typically installed in modern VAV systems, (b) in contrast to far more complex model predictive control solutions, it is simple enough to be implemented either within the existing building automation system’s logic, or in an independent controller, and (c) it adjusts automatically to operational or weather-related changes in the building over time to directly minimize energy cost. CORE offers benefit to building owners, building operators (who will see improved occupant comfort and will spend less time and money troubleshooting), BAS manufacturers, third-party vendors, and other stakeholders. In this project, the research team will implement CORE at multiple test sites and determine energy savings.
Standardized HVAC Sequence of Operations Savings CalculatorOne of the greatest underutilized opportunities for energy savings in buildings through retrofits and retro-commissioning is optimized HVAC system sequence of operations (SOO). A recent EPIC Best In Class research project funded by the California Energy Commission showed that implementation of standardized SOO in building automation systems (BAS) represents significant, cost-effective energy savings opportunities compared to typical practice and ensures long-term optimized performance and persistence of energy savings. Field implementation results in six nonresidential building types yielded 12-60 % HVAC energy savings.

Standardized and optimized control sequences for HVAC systems have been developed and published by ASHRAE. Field validation of these control sequences in new construction and during major control upgrades confirms that significant and cost-effective energy savings outcomes are possible compared to typical practice. However, this work also revealed a variety of compatibility barriers when applied to existing control system hardware and the SOO have not been validated across a full range of physical conditions and building types.

Utility program services and incentives play a crucial part in driving the market adoption of standardized HVAC SOO. While today a standardized HVAC SOO retrofit may be able to receive an incentive under a custom program, prescriptive programs are easier for the implementer (and the applicant) because savings algorithms and data inputs are pre-approved and the process is streamlined. Before an energy conservation measure can be introduced to a prescriptive incentive program, the baseline assumptions, calculation methodology, equipment useful life, incremental costs, and other measure attributes must be well established and typically published in a Technical Reference Manual (TRM) or technology workpaper. These protocols then serve as the basis for many aspects of program design, including the establishment of program eligibility criteria, incentive levels, measure cost-effectiveness pre-screening, and program reporting, among others. This process ensures that prescriptive programs are aligned with the requirements set by state regulators, and they utilize a set of pre-approved, standardized measurement and verification (M&V) approaches for claiming savings.

Retrofitting existing HVAC system controls to a standardized SOO has great potential for energy savings in buildings. However, it is difficult and therefore costly to accurately estimate the energy savings of the control retrofits. Therefore, energy savings and an incentive-estimating tool is needed that can quickly assess the value of a potential retrofit before embarking on project design will reduce barriers to identifying promising retrofit sites.

This project will establish energy savings estimates through simulation of a standardized HVAC SOO covering a variety of existing conditions in a variety of building types in California. First, we will use simulations to determine the control optimization measures with the most potential impact on energy savings. Second, we will develop an energy savings calculator to estimate energy savings using site-specific conditions and parameters. Third, we will develop supporting materials required for the development of a TRM/workpaper.
Lab Evaluation of Integrated Controls for Commercial BuildingsThe laboratory evaluation of a commercial, whole-building, integrated control system project aims to achieve whole-building energy and demand reduction, load flexibility, improved occupant comfort, and reductions in control system installation costs by integrating control of multiple building systems via a building automation system (BAS). The proposed project plans to assess the performance of a fully retrofitted University owned building equipped with an off-the-shelf, programmable BAS capable of integrating and controlling a wide-range of addressable subsystems including a networked lighting system, thermostats, window shades, plug-load receptacles, electric water heaters, and operable casement windows. The BAS relies on environmental sensors that monitor indoor illuminance, temperature, carbon dioxide, particulate mass of multiple pollutants, air quality index and relative humidity to make appropriate control decisions for each connected subsystem. The BAS sequence of operations (SOP), which governs the overall building control algorithm, is designed to reduce energy use through real-time environmental monitoring combined with environmentally dependent and forecasted energy management strategies such as occupancy-based setbacks for HVAC systems and HVAC load shifting using nightly precooling enabled by the actuated windows.

For this project, the research team will be using an existing building on UC Davis campus called The Barn (home to the Institute for the Environment or IE (or Institute for the Environment). This building is already equipped with an extensive BAS including networked lighting, HVAC, ventilation and shading systems. The evaluation area within the office space consists of 12 private offices and 1 shared work space with a total of 2,000 sqft of floor space. The proposed project will expand the building’s existing BAS control scope to include plug loads and water heating by installing controlled receptacles and an addressable, electric water heater. These additions aligns with California’s electrification goals and recent updates to the state’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards requirements.
ET22SWE0044Whole Buildings TSRActive
Compressed Air End-Use Air ManagementA new energy-saving product called an air management system (AMS) has been developed as a drop-in replacement for compressed air filter-regulator-lubricator (FRL) assemblies. The AMS saves energy by reducing pressure to large pneumatic end-uses during idling and cutting off air supply during extended downtime. This saves energy by eliminating leak loads in complicated machinery that are otherwise unlikely to be addressed. Therefore, the product may be well-suited to production facilities with large, custom pneumatic end-uses that have intermittent usage such as food processing, packaging, paper products, and pharmaceutical industries. The product also has inherent air data collection capabilities that can be integrated into monitoring software or cloud services to improve overall plant management and compressed air system optimization.

The project will independently test the AMS at one or two sites to measure the impacts, cost-effectiveness, user acceptance, and installation feasibility of the product. Full M&V adhering to IPMVP protocols of the compressed air supply equipment and impacted end-uses will provide data for energy, demand, and cost savings analysis. Monitoring will establish baseline and post-intervention periods for a comprehensive evaluation of the product and statewide extrapolation to other conditions.

The findings will help address market barriers to the product, allow for manufacturer improvements, and determine best use cases. It will also provide valuable data for possible future development of controls products that integrate end-use data into compressor room controls. The product has large potential for utility benefits and programs in both new construction and retrofit applications in the difficult-to-address compressed air market base of the industrial sector. The study will evaluate per-unit savings as well as statewide potential, market conditions, and program recommendations for the encouragement of market adoption.
ET22SWE0045Process Loads, Whole Buildings TSRActive
Restaurant Field MonitoringThis field demonstration project in a full service restaurant involves pre-retrofit energy monitoring of existing domestic hot water systems, the installation of single-pass air-source heat pumps (HPs) and other efficiency measures, and post-monitoring of optimized systems. Hot water is primarily used for sanitation purposes in commercial kitchens. A 2013 study (CEC-500-2013-050) by Fisher-Nickel Inc. estimated gas-load for domestic hot water (DHW) in foodservice at 340 million therms per year across 85,500 facilities. This project intends to demonstrate the energy savings potential from shifting the primary hot water energy load from the existing gas-fired or electric resistance heaters to high-efficiency HPs. Load flexibility measures via controls will be utilized to operate only at off-peak periods between 9pm to 4pm to minimize restaurant operating cost and maximize grid benefits to California. Any potential operating cost increase from switching from primary gas heating to electric in a restaurant will be offset with sensible efficiency measures on the distribution system (e.g., addition of master mixing valves) and end-use equipment (e.g. heat recovery dishmachine). If possible, we will try to perform additional testing to isolate the energy savings impact of heat-recovery dish machine and the master mixing valve.

This proposed HP retrofit ‘add-on’ project will, by design, keep the existing water heater in place to serve a much lower heat load and serve as a backup, so as not to trigger health department review. Positioning this project as a retrofit add-on versus replacement or new build application has other benefits as well, since it removes a lot of risk associated with design, operation, maintenance, and operating cost. The HP and storage tank do not have to be sized to meet the winter design day load and handle the high variability in daily hot water use in this segment. This mitigates the space requirements and electrical panel capacity issues that are common in existing buildings.
ET22SWE0046Water HeatingTSRActive
Master Mixing Valve Field StudyThe California Plumbing and Energy Codes do not mandate master mixing valves (MMV) for temperature control of domestic hot water (DHW) recirculation systems. Prior lab or field studies has not investigated the energy savings potential of MMV in recirculation systems. While some applications such as large multifamily buildings, elder care facilities and other applications may require the use of mixing valves for health and safety reasons, there are many applications where DHW recirculation systems have been installed without the use of MMV. The study will install high performance MMV, known as electronic or digital master mixing valves (DMMV) that are designed for use with operation of recirculation loops and handle the dynamic nature of variable flow water draws downstream at the point-of-use. They also may have additional monitoring, remote adjustment and other components and controls built in depending on the manufacturer and model. They are much more advanced than the conventional wax type thermostatic mechanical master mixing valve (MMMV) and various other thermostatic/mechanical types available on the market, many of which were not designed or rated for operation of variable water draw distribution systems with recirculation return loop. This project is a field study of DMMV installation in commercial gas-fired and electric HP-based DHW systems that do not have existing MMV. The five sites will include restaurants, supermarkets, cafeterias, office buildings, multifamily buildings, fitness/recreational centers, and laundry.
ET22SWE0047Water Heating TSRActive
Commercial Kitchen Hot Water System Design GuideWater heating for food service applications represents 340M therms of gas consumption in California, and thus presents a significant opportunity for electrification, as well as significant efficiency improvements in retrofits and new construction applications. Public-facing design guides specific to improving hot water heating, delivery, and use in commercial kitchens are critical to restaurant operators, system designers, and other relevant audiences. 

The current reference for design of commercial kitchen hot water systems in CA (Improving Commercial Kitchen Hot Water System Performance, 2010) is undergoing a 2022 revision. In this project, we will develop enhancements to the 2022 guide incorporating several advanced concepts including:

1. Addition of gas or electric HP assist concept and energy efficiency benefits versus conventional gas and electric heaters

2. A comparison of conventional gas and electric designs, compared to an optimized design

3. Electric and gas HP types and energy efficiency benefits

4. Heat pump incorporation considerations (e.g., ducting, noise, space, weight, and extra storage)

5. Single pass electric HP based designs such as the swing tank concept and parallel primary and temperature maintenance systems

6. The concept of heat pump ‘assist’

7. Health department sizing considerations for heat pumps

8. Benefits of master mixing valves (for example: improvements in single-pass reliability when the recirculation return is plumbed to the primary storage tank)

For the proposed project, we will create an enhanced design guide intended for general audiences such as restaurant operators, with an added focus on heat pump (HP) considerations and concepts tailored to these audiences. We will also develop a technical design guide for a designer audience to help guide commercial kitchen designers and DHW system designers toward creating efficient and optimized systems.

The advanced design approaches outlined in the Design Guides produced by this project will reduce the majority of existing gas use for water heating by shifting the primary heating load responsibility to electric air-source commercial heat pumps. Air-source heat pumps operate at system coefficient of performance (COP) near 3 in this application while the existing heater is retained for regulatory requirements, redundancy, and maintaining the loop temperature with recirculation pumps. On-peak versus off-peak usage and demand management across equipment types will both be addressed in the load flexibility section of the design guide.

To supplement these guides, we will develop a slide deck accompanied by audio. To improve reach and language accessibility, both design guides will be translated into Spanish.
ET22SWE0048Water HeatingTSRActive
REA Systems – Market StudyThe proposed project evaluates the current state and anticipated future of Residential Energy and Automation (REA) systems. REA systems are a new category of residential appliances that combine the features of Home Energy Management Systems (HEMS). HEMS energy savings potential have been estimated at 5 – 22% (“Energy Impacts of Smart Homes”. Jen King. 2018 with control of one or more distributed energy resource (DER) hardware such as bi-directional electric vehicle (EV) chargers, photovoltaic (PV) inverters, and stationary battery energy storage (BES) inverters. These new systems have significant potential to advance residential energy efficiency and demand flexibility by providing centralized and integrated control of residential building loads including HVAC, HWH, EVs, PV generation and BES, plus the potential for improved electrical efficiency of the integrated EV charging system. Additional benefits include increased residential load flexibility in the form of complete islanding for single-family homes under normal grid conditions, which can remove significant load from the grid, and discharging of stationary and mobile BES (via bi-directional chargers), which can add significantly more kW to the grid than islanding. In addition, these new systems can make homes more resilient during grid outages by automatically switching loads to local battery storage when the grid is unavailable.

REA systems are currently under development by multiple companies and certain companies are marketing REA technology today. However, commercial products are not yet available through standard distribution and supply channels, which suggests that available products represent engineering samples or late-stage prototypes. Regardless, with multiple REA systems entering the California marketplace, a clear understanding of their performance, capabilities, and energy and grid impacts is needed.

To address these needs, this project will complete a market characterization based on the products available either commercially or as prototypes including a market survey, literature review, and preliminary energy modeling/analysis to quantify benefits by climate zone and system type. The market survey will identify existing REA companies and emerging products that claim features or functions related to the control of residential loads, EV charging hardware, PV and BES. The market characterization will also identify the number of Californians who are ideal technology early adopters based on factors such as ownership and access to existing residential solar generation, BES, and EVs; access to available utility tariffs and incentive programs; historic carbon intensity of available electricity sources and their relative use by different communities; and duration and frequency of grid service and outage events including public safety power shutoffs (PSPS). The project scope also includes a thorough review of the existing research on home energy and DER management and control. This will identify existing and anticipated areas of product development and existing challenges, as well as research addressing supply-side programs and needs, which will enable widespread growth of REA technology in California and abroad.

Following the market survey and literature review, preliminary energy modeling and analysis will be performed based on the systems and features identified to establish an appropriate residential baseline(s) and calculate energy, demand and GHG benefits compared to existing practice. Analyses will also determine if residential DERs can be integrated with existing HEMS to enable these benefits without the need to purchase a complete, new REA package, which could bolster technology uptake by hard-to-reach (HTR) and disadvantaged community (DAC) consumers.

This proposed project is one piece of a multi-phase project proposal to understand, evaluate, and support REA technology. Currently, this project is complemented by a parallel laboratory evaluation proposal of available REA systems currently going through CalNEXT review, which will provide the necessary test data to refine outcomes produced by this market study. The two projects will be executed by the same CalNEXT partner and have been intentionally planned to avoid redundancy in scope and wasted cost.
ET22SWE0049Whole Buildings TDRActive
Tech Evaluation of Air-to-Water Heat PumpsHome space heating, space cooling, and domestic hot water heating loads can be served efficiently by contemporary air-to-water heat pump technology. Higher operating efficiencies and a shift of loads from peak to non-peak demand periods can be achieved through a shared network of hydronic piping coupled to thermal energy storage. Utilization of water as a thermal energy storage medium enables the use of conventional hydronic space cooling, space heating, and domestic hot water heating equipment for an integrated thermal energy storage system in residential applications.

VEIC proposes to conduct a literature review on integrated thermal energy storage technology and a field study of one manufacturer’s controls and packaged solution for single-family residential buildings for energy efficiency and peak load reduction. The literature review will examine publicly available and manufacturer developed research and data on the system packaging and controls technology, performance models, and previous field testing results of storage systems integrated with heating, cooling, and domestic hot water heating.

The field study will evaluate integrated thermal energy storage systems in at least two single-family homes in California. The systems will comprise of commercially available air-to-water heat pumps, water storage tanks, domestic hot water tanks, hydronic heating/cooling air handlers (i.e. fan coil units), as well as a Stow Energy proprietary control system.

As part of the field study, we propose to perform measurement and verification (M&V), to evaluate the efficiency, load shift potential, and cost-effectiveness of water-based thermal energy storage systems for integrated space heating, space cooling, and domestic hot water heating in single-family, residential buildings in California. The evaluation will quantify the potential whole-building energy efficiency, peak demand reduction, and owner economics of the integrated systems.

The study will assess the appropriateness of such systems for existing and new California single-family homes in terms of cost to owners, cost to utilities, and public benefits. The results of the study can inform utility-sponsored programs for energy efficiency and load shift / load reduction.
ET22SWE0050HVAC, Water Heating TSRActive
Residential Multi-Function Heat Pumps: Heat Exchanger ImprovementHeat pump space conditioning and water heating can greatly reduce energy consumption compared to existing electric resistance or natural gas combustion options. Requirements for electrical service upgrades add cost and installation delays for customers considering heat pumps for space conditioning and or hot water heating. Around half of all homes are expected to require electrical service panel upgrades that cause delays in system installation.

Residential Multi-Function Heat Pumps use one efficient compressor and outdoor heat exchanger coil to provide space cooling, space heating, and domestic hot water heating. These systems offer many energy efficiency benefits. Air-to-air versions of these systems use refrigerant to provide the heating and cooling services and have the potential to eliminate the need for electric resistance backup heaters reducing the maximum power requirements for full size capacity systems so that they can fit on existing air conditioning electrical circuits and eliminate the need for electrical service upgrades reducing cost and speeding up installation. This technology does not need to be undersized to fit on the existing air conditioning electrical circuit.

The air-to-air multi-function heat pump that is closest to being a commercial product is a production-ready prototype with planned sales starting Q4 2022. This near-commercial design uses a hot water tank with both a refrigerant to water and a water-to-water heat exchanger. The UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center (WCEC) has a PG&E-funded emerging technologies project in progress field testing this prototype system. Preliminary results show good energy efficiency performance for typical heat pump mode cooling rejecting heat to outdoors and heating moving thermal energy from outdoors to indoors. Preliminary results show even higher efficiency for the mode using waste heat from space cooling to heat hot water. Preliminary findings also show that the heat exchanger design can likely be improved to further increase energy efficiency and to reduce costs. There are also options for using lower GHG impact refrigerants.

This project will collect specifications and cost data for relevant commercially available heat exchangers, build computer models of the refrigerant to water and water-to-water heat exchangers using different refrigerants to assess the current design, and complete a technoeconomic analysis to recommend improvements that can increase efficiency, reduce cost, and reduce refrigerant GHG impacts. This model, analysis, and recommendations will build on previous research that can inform but does not answer the questions for this application such as indirectly heated hot water storage tanks.

This project will directly prepare for a lab demonstration project to test system performance with improved heat exchanger design as well as field demonstration and performance verification in DAC and HTR customer buildings.
ET22SWE0051Water Heating, Whole BuildingsTDRActive
Swimming Pools as Heat SinksUsing swimming pools as heat sinks for air conditioner waste heat has been estimated to reduce air conditioner energy use in California by 25-30%. There are two primary advantages of rejecting waste heat to an air conditioner instead of ambient air: 1) swimming pool temperatures are colder than ambient air during peak cooling periods, and 2) water is a superior heat transfer medium than air resulting in better heat exchange performance. These both result in lowering compressor head pressures and associated energy use. This process also has the added benefit of providing “free” pool heating which would increase the benefits to consumers and spur market adoption. A retrofit technology has been identified for adapting an existing air conditioner to allow heat rejection to a swimming pool, but no independent evaluation of the technology exists. The technology allows a maximum pool temperature to be set by the user, and will switch between the existing air-source condenser and the water-source condenser depending on the heating needs of the pool. The higher the pool setpoint temperature the more heat that is rejected to the pool versus ambient air and the higher the energy saving potential. This project would perform 2-3 retrofit installations of this technology to evaluate the impact on air conditioner energy use, and develop recommendations for control setpoints that lead to higher energy savings results. The results will be combined with an existing pool thermal model to develop a tool for evaluating potential savings using inputs such as: pool volume, average depth, shading, air conditioner capacity and efficiency, climate zone, and pool temperature setpoint.
ET22SWE0052HVAC, Process Loads TSRActive
PoE Microgrids for Commercial Buildings Lab EvaluationThe majority of building power distribution systems use alternating current (AC). This significantly influences the design of connected, building system components and appliances such as direct current (DC) appliances. With the proliferation of DC devices as standard design elements across many building technology categories, the interest in DC power distribution systems has also increased significantly. Power over Ethernet (PoE) leverages existing Information Technology (IT) infrastructure in the form of power switches, CAT cables and the IP protocol to facilitate communication and power distribution. Many control components across building systems, are being designed with PoE compatibility to save energy on the AC-to-DC conversion, facilitate networking, and reduce installation cost.

The PoE DC Microgrid project will evaluate the electrical efficiency and cybersecurity implications of utilizing a centralized PoE switch as the power and communications hub for multiple building systems in whole-building or floor-level microgrid. The project will first assess the electrical efficiency of a cross section of PoE enabled building control components relative to their traditional AC powered counterparts. PoE-enabled building systems that will be evaluated include: VAVs, security/physical access control systems, thin clients and networking components, lighting, shading and displays. Next, two scaled whole-building or floor-level PoE Microgrids will be designed using commercially available PoE-enabled building systems. The first system will utilize a separate, appropriately sized PoE switch for each building system and the second system will utilize a single, larger PoE switch to aggregate all building systems together. The research team will evaluate the electrical efficiency of each system as compared to each other and a baseline AC system. Finally, the research team will evaluate the cybersecurity measures that each PoE system manufacturer recommends regarding the installation, commissioning and network configuration for both PoE microgrid topologies. The research team will generate cybersecurity best practices for commissioning multiple PoE based building systems with a centralized PoE switch.
ET22SWE0053Whole Buildings TSRActive
Foodservice Refrigeration: High Efficiency Condenser and Evaporator Units Focused Pilot This Focused Pilot project will identify and address the comprehensive set of barriers associated with the purchase and installation of commercial high-efficiency condensing units (HECUs) and high-efficiency evaporator units (HEEUs) used in walk-in coolers and freezers and remote condensing refrigerated cases, most commonly used by food retail customers and restaurants. The Focused Pilot will partner with high-efficiency evaporator and condensing unit manufacturers, distributors, and operators to prepare a comprehensive market characterization study, test two potential midstream incentive program designs, and perform onsite equipment testing and energy simulations to present a series of program implementation recommendations as well as compile all data points needed to prepare a measure package for these measures.
ET22SWE0054Process LoadsFPActive
Performance Evaluation of Advanced HEMSThe proposed project is a laboratory evaluation of advanced home energy management systems (HEMS) that will quantify the electrical efficiency associated with advanced distributed energy resource (DER) management features and assess claims of interoperability across a range of communication protocols. These systems provide one or more of the following features: home energy and demand management; grid services such as event- or price-based load shifting and demand response; interoperability with other home appliances and appliance-specific controls; integration and consolidated management of DERs such as solar photovoltaics (PV) and battery energy storage (BES); and bi-directional, electric vehicle (EV) charging; all-of-which combine to deliver improved residential energy efficiency, load flexibility, and GHG reductions. In addition, these new systems can make homes more resilient during grid outages by automatically switching loads to local battery storage when the grid is unavailable.

Advanced HEMS are currently under development by multiple companies and certain companies are marketing the technology today. Currently available technology is in prototype form and in need of independent testing to validate performance and quantify benefits.  The predominant metrics will include electrical efficiency (%), annual energy saved (kw-Hr), peak load reduction (kW), GHG reductions (focused on SGIP signal), and an estimate enabled load flexibility. Outcomes will also include recommendations for improving the technology to better ensure commercial products provide significant benefits that will justify utility program support and increase market adoption across California.
ET22SWE0055Whole BuildingsTDRActive
Increasing Heat Pump Water Heater DeploymentThe 120V heat pump water heater (HPWH) has the potential to vastly increase customer adoption of heat pump water heaters by reducing installation costs. The 120V units plug directly into existing shared or dedicated circuits at the WH location, eliminating additional electrical wiring and/or electrical panel upgrades, which is one of the most substantial barriers to HPWH installation.

To date, HPWH adoption has been much slower than heat pump HVAC, largely because the plumbing market tends to be more conservative as a whole and is not as used to continuous advances in technology seen in HVAC. Experience by other implementers, such as NEEA and Efficiency Maine, suggests that contractors first-hand home experience with the product significantly increases willingness to recommend that product to customers.

Our project plan to accelerate adoption will install 150-160 HPWH into the homes of plumbing contractors for them to experience the ease of installation and alleviate uncertainty about units not producing enough hot water. Special emphasis will be placed on contractors living in and serving DAC communities where panel upgrades and additional electrical work constitute a significant financial burden and barrier to HPWH adoption.

These 120V units will be installed exclusively in the homes of plumbing contractors and will not receive any further incentives from TECH, although they will be eligible for federal tax credits. TECH will record these installations and they will become part of the TECH dataset and the GHG savings will be claimed (this is negotiable), but no further incentives will be available through TECH. We do not propose to install any units where additional partner incentives may be available (i.e. SMUD/BayREN).

This project is proposed as an augment to TECH’s “Bulk Purchase/Contractor Demo” program which focuses on 240V units. Funds from CalNEXT will be used solely for purchasing 120V HPWH units for delivery through the TECH Bulk Purchase/Contractor Demo program. As part of this project, TECH will educate contractors on training around customer incentives available from TECH, SGIP, EE PLA and other resources to aid in their sales process to their customers. We will coordinate with PLA and SGIP stakeholders (depending on timing of the SGIP award) for input on the project planning.
ET22SWE0056Water HeatingTSRActive
Market Study of Household Electric Infrastructure Upgrade Alternatives for ElectrificationVEIC proposes to conduct a market study which will include a product assessment of technologies which can minimize or completely avoid the need for an electric panel upgrade or other electric infrastructure work associated with residential electrification projects. The study will include an assessment of the smart panel and smart breaker markets, but will focus particular attention on smart circuits, smart switches and smart plugs. These products may be cheaper than the avoided infrastructure work, thus reducing the cost of and encouraging residential electrification of end-use appliances and devices.

Traditionally, when adding new electrical loads in a home, it was assumed at any point this new demand may be turned on at the same time as existing loads, which would overload existing infrastructure. Recently though, with intelligent power management with emerging smart technologies, loads in the home can be prioritized, so that lower priority loads stay off, reducing simultaneous demand to stay within existing infrastructure capacity.

This market study will bring additional knowledge to existing IOU energy efficiency (EE) and beneficial electrification (BE) programs to enable more emerging technology electrification measures including: HVAC systems such as air source heat pumps, water heating measures such as heat pump water heaters, and plug load measures such as heat pump clothes dryers and EV chargers without having to upgrade residential electric infrastructure, such as the electric panel.

This project will compare and contrast a host of emerging technologies which can be used to minimize or avoid this household electric infrastructure work and encourage the adoption of more efficient electric end-use devices. This project will include the components necessary for IOU EE and beneficial electrification (BE) program administrators to develop a simple, public facing reference document to help customers and contractors assess alternative solutions to minimize residential electrification project cost and time. VEIC will review literature and conduct secondary research to inventory research to date on this topic. Stakeholder feedback from IOU BE program administrator will inform emerging technology priorities and the project will build on existing work, especially with smart panel technologies. Once we identify gaps, VEIC will conduct primary research focused on collecting insights from key stakeholders such as electrical and installation contractors, technology providers, manufacturers, utility program managers, residential homeowners, and property managers.
ET22SWE0057HVAC, Plug Loads & Appliances, Whole BuildingsTSRActive
Mobile and Manufactured Housing Market Characterization StudyVEIC proposes to compile and analyze data on the mobile and manufactured housing (MMH) sector to better understand technical and market barriers to electrification. The project team will gather geographical/climate zone data, ownership data, site/building characteristics including age, equipment and appliance baselines, fuel types, existing programs, existing permitting, codes & standards, manufacturer landscape, and contractor network. Additionally, based on findings from the research, VEIC will create energy models that characterize typical existing MMH across California climate zones and develop all electric retrofit measure packages. Where whole home replacement is recommended, VEIC will use the same energy model inputs characterizing new manufactured housing from TRC’s CalNEXT project called “Manufactured Housing Electrification Measure Development Support.” Energy models will be utilized to calculate energy, peak load, utility bill, and greenhouse gas reduction potential and inform electrification decisions that are beneficial to homeowners. Finally, this project will recommend strategies to reach MMH occupants which often reside in hard to reach (HTR) and disadvantaged communities (DAC), a list of technologies needed, a retrofit vs replace decision making tree, and summary of opportunities and barriers in the market to inform existing and future retrofit/replacement programs, in particular, the California Energy Commission Equitable Building Decarbonization Program, the utility comprehensive manufactured homes retrofit programs and the Statewide Residential New Construction Program. The project team will also provide policy and strategy recommendations for cases where energy and cost modeling indicate higher cost burdens due to electrification.
ET23SWE0017HVAC, Water Heating, Whole BuildingsTDRActive
Commercial Windows Market Study and Workpaper DevelopmentThere are currently no deemed savings for high performance windows in commercial buildings in CA. A first step towards assessing the potential for a deemed measure for high performance commercial windows is to understand the market potential for such a measure. A statewide market study will be conducted to develop a deeper understanding of the commercial buildings market for high efficiency window products. Window technology has advanced over the years; however, adoption remains low. The study will include primary research through market interviews and analysis of secondary sources to generate actionable recommendations for increasing the number of high efficiency window projects in California’s IOU territory. In addition, this market study will research savings potential for different climate zones, evaluate new construction and retrofits, and address commercial barriers. 
Stakeholder interviews will include customers, building owners, trade organizations, contractors and manufacturers, engineers and architects, energy efficiency professionals, code enforcement personnel, and local community organizations with the goal of fully understanding how commercial windows are treated within the supply chain. The market study will also seek to understand and explain the interactive effects between windows and other building envelope components from a market/supply chain and energy savings perspective. From those interviews, the project team will provide customer journey and value mapping, market and economic analyses, and develop a report of actionable recommendations for a go-to-market strategy.  
ET23SWE0018Whole BuildingsTSRActive
Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Process Water Recycling Systems for Ag Dairy FarmsThe proposed study will evaluate emerging technologies designed to remove a majority of containments in dairy wastewater efficiently, allowing facilities to expand their reuse of wastewater in other areas such as drip irrigation, drinking water, facility maintenance, etc. The technologies help customers reduce their energy demand from pumping extra amounts of water from a water table, as well as their water demand and greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed Onsite Wastewater Treatment and Process Water Recycling Systems for agriculture dairy farms will demonstrate a Bead Filtration Wastewater Technology (BFWT) System, which has the ability to recycle its own backwash water. Backwashing is controlled by a small air pump that slowly fills the air chamber below the bead bed.

This project is a field demonstration of an efficient primary treatment of process water and onsite recycling/reuse of the treated process water at a dairy farm located in Tulare County geographic area or other appropriate California test sites in 2023 and 2024. Energy Savings are achieved by reducing energy use through more efficient processing techniques and avoided electricity use, which is embedded in the water saved through the treatment process. With the addition of a Bead Filtration Wastewater Technology System, freshwater dilution pumping systems are no longer needed. Embedded energy consists of all energy inputs into a unit of water required for production, treatment, transport, and any other work that would be needed to bring the water to its final end use destination. The goal is to conduct a field demonstration where the effort will document the electric system impacts both upstream and downstream of the point of technology adoption.
ET23SWE0019Process LoadsTSRActive
Emergency Replacement Heat Pump Water Heater Market StudyThis project will assess the decision processes of residential customers and contractors related to emergency water heater replacement (e.g., What priorities drive customer choices? What priorities drive contractor recommendations?) and technical solutions for emergency water heater replacements that best support heat pump water heater installations.  Emergency replacement situations will have two options for replacing hot water heaters:
– a low load, 120V heat pump water heater model or,
– a larger capacity 240V model with the option for the installation of a temporary gas loaner water heater to provide same day hot water service 

The project will assess the tradeoffs of customers’ preference for in-kind replacements, upfront incremental costs, valuation and impact of state and federal incentive, as well as site specific limitations (e.g. location, space, electrical service upgrades, noise, etc.), as part of emergency replacements.

The project will define and quantify the potential opportunity for this emergency replacement strategy in California for significantly scaling heat pump water participation in energy efficiency and demand-side management programs. The project team will review the growing knowledge about customer and contractor barriers, new heat pump water heater technology solutions, as well as coordinate closely with the CalNEXT “Increasing Heat Pump Water Heater Deployment” project (ET22SWE0056), national and other state-wide initiatives and California programs such as TECH Clean California, Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), and the CA Market Transformation Program. The project team will engage Energy Solutions to understand learnings from the Increasing Heat Pump Water Heater Deployment project.  Based on customer, contractor and manufacturer interviews, and installation data, the market study will identify the key barriers, customer and contractor decisions, as well as provide recommendations for boosting acceptance of heat pump water heaters for emergency replacements.  In addition, the project will investigate participating contractor awareness and planned approaches for leveraging SGIP rebates, new federal tax credits and regional specific rebates offered by municipalities, Regional Energy Networks (RENs) and Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) organizations.
ET23SWE0020Water HeatingTSRActive
Residential Electrical Service Upgrade Decision ToolMeeting the state’s climate and clean air goals requires electrification of the existing residential housing stock. Residential electrification is often erroneously assumed to require electrical panel and service upgrades in dwellings that currently have less than 200A of capacity. Under this assumption, a substantial minority (30-40%) of all dwellings in the state of California would require costly and time-consuming panel and service upsizing, representing $25-40 billion dollars of investment. These upgrades will also impose additional stress on the electrical grid, requiring substantial upstream investments by utilities and ratepayers. This represents a major bottleneck to rapid and equitable building electrification. This path poses an especially large burden on the state’s disadvantaged communities and tenants in older single-family and multifamily housing, who are more likely to have inadequate electrical infrastructure.

The proposed project’s goal is to leverage current research and practices to provide a “Residential Service Upgrade Decision Tool,” hereafter referred to as “Tool”, focused on existing residential single-family and multifamily buildings. The Tool is aimed at utilities, homeowners, contractors, regulators, and policy makers, and will include several decision-trees providing guidance on when to upsize electrical panels and service versus alternatives to manage available panel and service capacity to electrify homes. The Tool will provide differentiated information based on the intended audiences. For example, a homeowner will be able to assess the likely need for a panel/service upsizing or alternatives to avoid the same at their individual home. A contractor may use the Tool to view several scenarios for homes they typically service to estimate which of their projects will likely need panel/service upsizing or avoid it. Utility and policy makers will be able to run scenarios allowing them to estimate the potential needs at a statewide, utility specific or locational basis based on input assumptions on home size, location, existing panel capacity and likely electrification upgrades. The Tool will also be differentiated based on whether it is for a single-family home versus a multifamily building. 
ET23SWE0021Whole BuildingsTSRActive
HVAC Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS) Field EvaluationThis project will study a Thermal Energy Storage System (TESS) that utilizes phase change material (PCM) inserted in the supply duct combined with smart controller optimizing for compressor limiting operations during peak demand periods. The TESS is actively managed to get the maximum benefit by cycling the thermal storage media.

Previous lab and field studies have demonstrated TESS’s capability to reduce peak load of a single HVAC unit. With the proposed field demonstration study, TESS will be installed in multiple HVAC units at a single site. The TESS also comes with one, central, controller that will be used to stagger compressor operations from RTU to RTU, to maximize the site-level peak reduction. We believe overall site peak savings related to HVAC operations can be doubled or more with this strategy.

The proposed project will also confirm earlier findings and show further potential for peak reduction through staggered sequencing operation of multiple RTUs. We will select a commercial building with multiple RTUs, preferentially at a site located in a disadvantaged community (DAC).  The project team will install the technology across multiple RTUs and assess the energy and demand savings potential of the TESS. Occupant thermal comfort and satisfaction will also be monitored through temperature sensors and occupant surveys during the study.

The study will evaluate the performance of the TESS and its controls, kW, kWh , and GHG savings. Results will be presented for summer peak period and off-peak periods – focusing on overall daily operation to show peak demand reduction, peak load shift, and energy savings resulting from shifting the compressor operation to cooler morning hours.

Additionally, the study will quantify the demand reduction during demand response events. The controller can adjust the thermostat’s cooling setpoint and compressor limiting strategy according to the event defined by the utilities demand response tariff or demand response program utilizing OpenADR protocol. The manufacturer is currently in process of integrating OpenADR into their thermostat. We plan to conduct DR test during the actual demand response events.
eTRM Heat Pump Baseline Systems AssessmentHeat Pump space conditioning systems are an important technology in the residential sector for both energy efficiency and decarbonization efforts. This project aims to address gaps in current EE Portfolio offerings for Residential Heat Pumps when retrofitting existing buildings with no existing space cooling systems or systems currently not addressed as baseline systems in measure packages. As the state increases electrification efforts, this lack of baseline systems that are ‘heating only’ is a barrier to incentivizing heat pump retrofits.

The California Electronic Technical Reference Manual (eTRM) is the official repository for deemed measures used by Program Administrators (PA) and Program Implementers under the purview of the CPUC. The eTRM has several individual measure packages (formerly workpapers) that address deemed savings for heat pump related technologies and smart thermostats that together form the technical basis for most of the State’s electrification efforts.

This project aims to evaluate how these various measure packages can be streamlined to address variety of baseline systems found in California existing homes and multifamily units. Some of the existing measure packages address situations when there is no cooling, but most of them assume existing air conditioning or heat pump systems, which may not accurately reflect retrofit opportunities. This project will review existing measure packages to identify where there are differences in baseline system assumptions, how those affect savings claims and how they may impact electrification efforts.

The project will also address how any proposed changes to the measure packages will be impacted by the new TSB metric when developing savings compared to a baseline with no cooling system installed.

The primary outcome of this project is a study outlining recommendations for updates to various measure packages related to heat pump space conditioning system upgrades.

Key outcomes:
– Documenting gaps in the current measure packages for residential HP space conditioning systems including: (a) Base case fuels (b) Base case systems (c)Measure case UEF 
– Energy and TSB savings impacts
– Recommendations for updates to existing measure packages.; expectation that eTRM governing bodies (Cal TF TAC and Cal TF Members) can consider for adoption
– Measure support for DAC/HTR customers
Water-Cooled Chillers Market Assessment & Performance EvaluationThe current measure package for Water-Cooled Chillers (WCC) has several shortcomings that have been identified, most notably an unrealistic full-load efficiency (FLE, in kW/ton) requirement to go along with the part-load efficiency (PLE, in IPLV) requirement. Current WCC measures are restrictive in that they require 10% above-code efficiency for both full & part-load ratings, while most equipment is optimized for one or the other metric. Therefore, having accurate technical performance in the existing measure is crucial to seeing any energy savings in this measure. This issue was studied in-depth in 2019 and 2020, culminating in collecting 25 WCC performance maps and efficiency rating pairings (i.e., FLE and PLE scores) for dozens of additional chillers to show where the market is regarding WCC efficiency trends. The data was presented to CPUC which resulted in the less restrictive FLE requirements in E-5152. However, these new policies have not been incorporated into SWHC005 (or a new standalone measure package) yet, which is the main but plans for updating and fixing the measure package have not been completed. The measure package does not accurately reflect performance, particularly at part-load conditions. Not all requirements of CPUC Resolution E-5152 for more accurate modeling have been incorporated into the current measure package. Current WCC measures are restrictive in that they require 10% above-code efficiency for both full & part-load ratings, while most equipment is optimized for one or the other metric, so having accurate technical performance in the existing measure is crucial to seeing any energy savings in this measure.

While our overall goal is to deliver the “new standalone measure package (SWHC005) in the CA eTRM”, the measure package can only be completed and delivered in 2024 after the CPUC has moved their modeling engine from DOE-2 to EnergyPlus, and the transition effort should be completed by the end of 2023. The team will, therefore, undertake a study in 2023 with the following supplementary tasks:
– Investigate whether the data works with the Low-GWP refrigerants by working with manufacturers,
– Collect performance maps for heat recovery chillers this year from manufacturers and/or distributors,
– Ascertain that the previously collected technical performance 2019 WCC data can be modeled in EnergyPlus, and
– Write a measure package plan this year for CPUC consideration and feedback for potential execution in 2024.

This project will leverage previously collected technical performance data, completing an effort begun in 2019, that can be used to update measure package (SWHC005) in the CA eTRM in 2024.
Characteristics of Energy Efficiency Emerging Technologies for WineriesIn recent years, California’s regulatory agencies have placed a greater emphasis on establishing market influence to justify energy efficiency (EE) program incentives. In addition to providing engineering support, estimating savings, verifying performance, and analyzing costs, EE program administrators are asked to evaluate a variety of decision-making scenarios that comply with specific program measure application types.

While wineries and vineyards have been leaders in developing and setting sustainability goals they are often disqualified or discouraged from participating in EE programs for such efforts. Without an improved understanding of the existing market barriers for deploying energy efficient technology in wineries, it is difficult to identify and design new EE programs to more effectively intervene. This study is a market characterization of the California winery energy efficiency and technology ecosystem. Particularly of interest is how new and innovative EE programs, services and incentives can help transform the market for EE technology in the winery market.

Improving EE in wineries can require complex deployment projects often without clearly defined baselines.  Causes and triggers that naturally influence a customer to act include code requirements, industry standard practices, and customer standard practices. The expected outcome of this project is market information to help steer future program designs for wineries toward a greater emphasis on energy efficiency, electrification, decarbonization, water conservation, and total system benefits.
ET23SWE0027Whole Buildings, Process LoadsTDRActive
Market Characterization of Ultra-Low GWP Space Conditioning Heat Pumps for Commercial BuildingsHeat pumps provide significant energy savings and a path for electrification, but they typically use refrigerants with a high global warming potential (GWP), which can degrade the greenhouse gas reductions from energy savings. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has regulations that will require refrigerants in stationary air conditioners in nonresidential buildings to be <750 GWP starting in 2025, and for refrigerants in variable refrigerant flow (VRF) systems to be <750 GWP (low GWP) starting in 2026. While this is great progress compared to traditional refrigerants, there is still potential to decrease GHG emissions and increase energy savings as follows:

There is a considerable difference between a GWP <750 and “ultra-low” refrigerants, defined here as GWP < 150 (ultra-low GWP). These include natural refrigerants, with GWP < 10. However, natural refrigerants can be challenging to adopt due to flammability concerns or technical challenges.  Manufacturers are developing a range of ultra-low GWP synthetic products (<150 GWP), but they are in various stages of development and some pose challenges like flammability concerns or conflicts with CA building code regulations. For commercial building owners trying to “do the right thing” and install space conditioning heat pumps with ultra-low GWP refrigerants, identifying a solution is challenging. In addition, there are some low-GWP products that meet the CARB requirement (<750 GWP) and have efficiency benefits. These should be encouraged compared to refrigerants with a similar GWP but no efficiency benefits.

This project will conduct a market characterization of low GWP space conditioning heat pumps for commercial buildings. The goal is to identify ultra-low GWP products, and low-GWP products with efficiency improvements, which could be incorporated into utility programs now or in the near future. The scope will include interviews with utility program staff to discuss existing or planned programs for low-GWP refrigerants and how to encourage ultra-low GWP refrigerants and refrigerants with efficiency gains; commercial building owners to discuss their interest in installing low GWP space conditioning heat pumps and their challenges; with manufacturers to discuss their products, products in development, costs of different products, and their challenges with product development. The goal includes identifying at least one viable ultra-low GWP solution, and at least one efficient low-GWP solution. The findings will inform utility incentive programs, and a future field demonstration project of one of the identified ultra-low GWP solutions.
Heat Pump Crankcase Heat ManagementHeat Pump space conditioning systems (HP) are a key tool in meeting the state’s GHG goals, however, recent data from field M&V studies has shown significant energy penalty from the incorrect operation of crankcase heaters (CCH), defrost controls and standby power usage – up to 50% of the annual energy use of the HP. This spans both residential Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) systems as well as those installed in commercial applications such as schools. Crankcase heating is installed in ASHP systems to ensure that there is no liquid refrigerant in the compressor, which can cause damage to the compressor. Defrost controls are installed in ASHP systems to thaw outdoor coils that may freeze when outdoor temperatures are low enough to cause frost build-up on the outdoor coils. However, when the ASHP lacks proper controls, these crankcase heat and defrost controls are used too often or too long (or both) than necessary. Some ASHP systems also seem to have a constant base-load power usage (standby power) when they are not actively heating/cooling. These problems result in significant energy penalties.

The California Electronic Technical Reference Manual (eTRM) is the official repository for deemed measures used by Program Administrators (PA) and Program Implementers under the purview of the CPUC. The eTRM has several individual measure packages (formerly workpapers) that address deemed savings for heat pump related technologies. These measure packages currently do not adequately address these energy penalties from incorrect operation of crankcase heaters, defrost controls or phantom base-loads.

This project will review existing datasets, collaborate with other researchers and manufacturers to identify the scope of these issues (whether isolated to certain models or endemic to all ASHP), identify potential fixes to the problem (either software/hardware) and impact on energy and GHG savings from the fixes.

The project team will collaborate with the CA IOU Codes and Standards team that has proposed new code requirements to address this CCH issue for new construction projects. Significant potential is untapped for existing building retrofits, which are the primary focus on this work. The project team will also collaborate with CalTF to document current assumptions in measure packages, existing CPUC dispositions and IOU efforts in this area as well as seek input on the project team’s proposed recommendations for measure package updates.

The end result will be developing a recommendation for updates to existing heat pump measure packages or a new measure for heat pump QA/QM related to CCH, defrost controls and standby power usage.
Manufactured Housing Electrification Measure Development SupportWith rising housing costs in California, the prevalence of affordable manufactured housing has been growing, especially in areas affected by recent wildfires. Many homeowners find manufactured housing to be a means to get them back in a home much faster, and much more affordably. For years, manufactured homes have been excluded from efficiency rebate programs, but with the number of manufactured homes growing every year, there is an increasing need to ensure the units going into the market are efficient all-electric units. The project team will utilize existing DEER prototypes for single-, double-, and triple-wide all-electric manufactured homes meeting the updated HUD code and the new Energy Star 2.1 Certification to model energy consumption and expected energy savings over the HUD baseline across California’s climate zones. This modeling effort will include both standard resistance heating technologies and heat pumps of varying above-code efficiencies and induction cooking technologies. Development of an all-electric manufactured home measure package allows for a more streamlined inclusion of manufactured housing in utility rebate programs. With both the new updated HUD code for manufactured housing (first update since 1993) and the EPA implementation of Energy Star 2.1 for manufactured housing in 2023, development of new manufactured housing measure packages is timely.
ET23SWE0031Whole BuildingsTSRActive
Emerging “Micro” Heat Pumps: Testing and Heating Performance MetricsThe State of California has an ambitious goal to install at least 6 million heat pumps by 2030. To address this need, several novel “micro” heat pumps are emerging in the consumer market that offer the ability to provide space heating and are powered by common household 120V electrical service without the need for a contractor or permit. These products include unique form factors (e.g., aesthetically attractive shapes, configurations, easy installation, etc.)and advanced performance features such as inverter-driven compressors and heating capabilities in cold climates.

“Micro” heat pumps have the potential to replace small gas-fired furnaces or inefficient electric-resistance space heaters commonly used in multifamily settings. This is possible by reducing or eliminating many cost barriers associated with the design, installation, and permitting required for traditional heat pump technologies. These products could eliminate tenant disruptions or displacement and could potentially empower tenants with a solution to reduce their energy bills. While several studies are beginning to examine these units in the field, to date the Project Team is not aware of any efforts to bring research focused on the gap in the heating test performance of these units.

The goal of this project will be to work collaboratively with key stakeholders to develop an interim test method for the heating mode. The Project Team will work with manufacturers, regional efficiency research partners, and relevant organizations working on standards development to converge on an interim test protocol. Following these conversations with key stakeholders, the Project Team will test several heat pumps in a National Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), to obtain performance data and share the test results with key stakeholders. The aim of this work is to lay the technical groundwork that will allow utilities to provide incentives for this rapidly emerging market.
Residential HPWH Market Study and Measure Gap AnalysisThis project will analyze the current CA eTRM measure packages for residential Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWH) based on market and product data to identify gaps and recommend enhancements to the measure offerings. The final report will be delivered to the California Technical Forum and other eTRM stakeholders for consideration of measure package enhancements with the goal of improving HPWH measure options for energy efficiency programs.

The current measure packages for HPWH are based on limited information, necessarily so because market penetration for these products has been well below 1% and so fuller market data has been impossible. Limitations that make certain HPWH replacements ineligible or outside the savings and load shape analysis of the measure package include installations with mixing valves or demand control connectivity, or units where the tank size has been increased to compensate for lower heating power.  

HPWH product offerings from manufacturers have evolved quickly. Recently, 120V products have entered the market, and many more HPWH offerings have become available. Both the California market and available installation data have been undergoing significant changes; new products have captured attention, and the TECH program has funded efforts at promotion, supply chain awareness and training, product cost and use data at scale, as well as an array of new market approaches to HPWH. The market will likely continue to evolve rapidly as the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) takes a significant funding role and adds requirements for CTA-2045 controls.

The market conditions and the TECH data make an analysis of the current measure packages possible and useful with the goal of an eTRM that covers the popular use cases (such as tank size changes) and benefits (such as demand flexibility). This is an evolving energy efficiency program implementation area; CalNEXT’s suggestions for the portfolio should include scenarios where EE portfolio administrators promote comprehensive residential energy efficiency and decarbonization measures including HPWH. 

This project will study current gaps and provide the Cal TF and California IOUs with recommendations for addressing them. Aspects of the HPWH to be considered include base case fuels, measure case uniform energy factor (UEF), base case tank capacity and tank capacity increases, mixing valves, and CTA-2045 controls and their impact on load shapes and demand flexibility. 

The study will start by gathering data from TECH, SGIP, installers, and the supply chain. Available data will be described in a Preliminary Findings Report. Written analyses from the TECH program relevant to the eTRM, such as installation cost issues or impacts to DAC/HTR customers, will be summarized for their impact of EE programs. Data will be analyzed to highlight trends for residential HPWH and identify the importance of installation types that are and are not covered by the current measure packages. These findings will be described in Draft and Final Reports, along with recommendations for the HPWH measure packages and a summary of HPWH data sources. 
ET23SWE0035Water HeatingTSRActive
Industrial Heat Pump Market StudyThis project involves a market characterization study for Industrial Heat Pumps. Industrial Heat pumps are heat pumps that are used in large-scale industrial processes. Standard heat pumps are generally used for residential and small-scale commercial applications. Industrial heat pumps, on the other hand, are typically designed to handle much larger heating loads, temperatures, and pressures and overall more robust to meet the demands of industrial processes. Available studies suggest that industrial heat pumps are an underserved sector mostly due to the critical roles the incumbent technology plays within existing processes. End users are generally hesitant to embrace technology that is less common/mature and ones they are less familiar with. Existing studies indicate that there are significant energy and greenhouse gas savings potential by replacing more common natural gas heating technologies with industrial heat pumps. For example, an ACEEE study notes a savings of up to 32% of source energy. The IEA report suggests a savings of up to 10% of global emissions if fossil fuel boilers were replaced by heat pumps in these applications.

This study will serve to provide additional context as to how this technology can play a role in decarbonization and reducing energy usage within California. The study will include the following: 1) size the potential market of industrial heat pumps in CA, 2) identify the highest benefit applications and locations, 3) identify commercial and pre-commercial technologies and manufacturers, 4) identify technology feasibility including technology and market barriers and opportunities, and 5) recommend utility interventions to support market adoption. 
ET23SWE0036Process LoadsTDRActive
Integrated HVAC RTU Remote Monitoring SystemsMany existing non-residential rooftop package units (RTU) including heat pumps do not have monitoring capabilities where temperature, pressure, and energy are known in real time. This is the typical case found in commercial primary and secondary schools within public school districts. The target market is commercial buildings with building types that use RTUs ranging between 3 tons to 20 tons. RTUs can be smaller or larger in size. However, the 3 to 20 tonnage range is the typical size seen in commercial buildings. For this TSR, the building type targeted will be primary and secondary schools within the Azusa or Chino School Districts.

The Integrated HVAC RTU Remote Monitoring System is the first of its kind and includes factory installed equipment where wiring and sensors are manufactured together with the new roof top package units (RTU) and heat pumps as a packaged solution. The factory installed equipment provides the wiring harness of sensors infrastructure with built in cloud-based monitoring capability that provides real time monitoring and status reporting on temperature, (outside, return and supply air) refrigerant suction and discharge pressure, electric energy, fan speed, economizer, and system status. These are standard data points for system operation status and are the same points of data that are evaluated when a technician puts instrumentation on at the site. The manufacturers for the factory installed monitoring system were identified.  This integrated sensor option has just become available in 2023 and must be ordered with the equipment as a factory installed option.  This makes available diagnostic data available at a fraction of the cost for in field installation of the same sensor points.

Functional Energy Efficiency Measures (EEM) Data Collected: Featured EEM benefits that will be used to estimate energy savings arise when HVAC equipment operates during unoccupied times including start and stop times, detects low refrigerant charge, low airflow, low ambient compressor operations (economizer faults), high condenser temperatures, and recommends timely demand response (DR) or load shifting opportunities, and is also capable of monitoring photovoltaics (PV) delivery, if installed. Upon receiving notice of faults, facility management and engineers (customers) at the applicable customer sites can review the fault diagnostic reports and correct the faults as appropriate. The project team will work closely with the facility management and engineering customers to define and detect appropriate tolerance ranges for applicable parameters monitored to ensure optimal operational conditions while achieving energy savings.

The system is ordered and manufactured at the factory for new RTUs. Because the factory installed equipment wiring harness infrastructure uses a BACNET communication platform, users have the option to adopt either the HVAC manufacturer’s cloud-based monitoring platform or communicate with other off the shelf software as a service (SaaS) cloud-based monitoring platforms using Wi-Fi to communicate alerts to users on computers, tablets, or smartphones. This compatibility flexibility allows users to lower the cost of monitoring communication platforms without concerns of data losses or not receiving important system performance alerts.
Double Duct Packaged Terminal Heat Pump Field DemonstrationThe proposed project is a demonstration of an emerging high efficiency heat pump product for multifamily space conditioning applications. This project will demonstrate the application of Double Ducted Packaged Terminal Heat Pumps (DDPTHP) in a low-income multifamily new construction project in the PG&E service territory in Daly City, CA. The product can enable cost-effective electrification and energy efficient heat pump usage in multifamily buildings and lodging.

The DDPTHP product provides space heating and cooling in a single package for each apartment. This eliminates the on-site handling of refrigerants and refrigerant lines, simplifying and reducing installation costs and harmful refrigerant emissions. The DDPTHP products are installed inside the multifamily unit on a perimeter wall and rely on two 8” duct penetrations through the wall to provide air to the evaporator/condenser coils. This technology is an alternative to the products currently on the market including variable refrigerant flow (VRF), ductless heat pumps, and typical packaged terminal heat pumps (PTHPs).

The field study will monitor a sample of the units in the participating building following International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) guidelines for retrofit isolation with key parameter measurement. Analysis of the representative sample dataset will allow for normalized performance and conclusions for the statewide market. Costs, benefits, and contrasts to a baseline PTHP will be analyzed and quantified. Although the field demonstration will be conducted in a new construction building, recommendations and feasibility for retrofit applications will be discussed. Recommendations for program support, product roadmap, and best applications will be provided based on the study findings.
Wastewater Pump Measure DevelopmentCalifornia eTRM (Electronic Technical Reference Manual) already offers a statewide deemed measure for clean water pumps, providing energy savings values and a path for payment of rebates for pump replacement and improving their efficiency. However, wastewater pumps do not currently have a statewide-deemed measure. Although the chemistry of the fluid is different, both clean water pumps and wastewater pumps have similar viscosity and experience the same efficiency-related challenges. 

Typically, these issues include degradation and deterioration of efficiency due to changing operating conditions, and in general, newer pumps have slightly better efficiency due to better manufacturing techniques. As such, although California currently has a statewide-deemed measure and available rebate for a pump replacement if it serves clean water (eTRM measure SWWP004), the same incentives are not available if the pump serves a sewer system. 

One of the reasons a deemed measure is not available for wastewater pumps is due to the higher variability of a typical pump’s operating hours; whether they are installed in a sewer collection system or in a wastewater treatment plant. The project team proposes a study to come up with the data needed to develop a deemed measure for wastewater pumps. The study will draw upon hundreds of pumps supported by California water treatment plant program-related projects for the wastewater treatment plant operating hours data, and leverage the existing clean water pump measure, SWWP004, for savings calculation methodology since the pumps in use are the same for clean water and wastewater applications.
ET23SWE0039Process LoadsTSRActive
AMI Intelligence Connected Building Energy ModelingVEIC proposes to demonstrate a building simulation modeling tool that links backwards looking data intelligence with forward projecting Open Studio model simulations. The tool would use Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) data and regression methods to identify customer specifics about when and how they use their facility and then populate the what-if scenario building energy modeling simulations with those insights. Output would not only be efficiency measure suggestions, but also energy savings customized to the customer’s specific building situation and build through energy modeling. VEIC plans to demonstrate this technology on grocery stores, K-12 schools, and non-hospital health facilities, but the tool could be applicable to many common building types.

Total quantity of prior usage AMI data necessary would ideally be twelve months; however, the analytical methods will work with significantly less. VEIC needs to do more testing to understand how the confidence with which the tool may make recommendations might adjust based on the depth of the available input information. VEIC will leverage the ASHRAE Guideline 14 to define a confidence metric for the model virtualization.

The tools will rely on a small and simple subset of building specific information as being provided by the user, as well as providing an AMI data file. The details are expected to include size, age, location, function, and some HVAC particulars. The interface will then use these inputs to enter into the automation portion of the workflow where additional site specifics are inferred from regression analytics performed on the AMI meter.  

The efficiencies identified by this automated energy analyst are expected to be in the range of 5 kBtu/sqft/year which may provide a range of 5-20% overall improvement, depending upon the specific customer.

While tool usage won’t directly deliver savings, the customer will realize savings by acting upon the recommendations delivered by the tool.  The scope is to support control-based strategies for energy savings; however, once a model is constructed it would be possible to add in options for additional types of energy efficiency strategies, measures like equipment upgrades and weatherization. The expectation is that the ease of use, customized savings analysis, and persistent presence of the tools becomes a catalyst for users to continually make efficiency enhancements beyond the original suggested control-based strategies.
ET23SWE0040Whole BuildingsTDRActive
Propane Air to Water Heat Pump Market StudyTraditional heat pumps use hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) and/or hydrofluroolefin (HFO) synthetic refrigerants, which are super-potent greenhouse gases. Propane-based AWHPs, on the other hand, are an exciting alternative technology due to propane’s extremely low global warming potential (GWP) value. While manufacturers are transitioning heat pump technologies to use lower GWP refrigerants, this will only reduce refrigerant-based emissions, whereas switching to propane as a refrigerant will essentially eliminate them. Through parallel research efforts, VEIC has already estimated that refrigerants in existing residential homes central and window air conditioning (A/C) units emit over 40 million MTCO2e. Propane-based AWHPs may be the fastest way for California to achieve SB 1383 targeted HFC reductions of 7.5 million MTCO2e.

Propane-based AWHPs have also been shown to have a higher coefficient of performance (COP) compared to other AWHPs, meaning they can deliver more heat output per unit of energy input, resulting in less energy waste and significant cost savings, on top of lower greenhouse gas emissions over time. Additionally, propane-based AWHP can provide domestic hot water heating in addition to space heating and cooling, offering additional decarbonization benefits including thermal storage and controls for future load flexibility.

Outside of the US, propane-based AWHPs are commercially available for both residential and commercial applications and manufacturers have indicated plans to bring this technology to the US. However, a lack of clear regulations and unit ratings by industry bodies makes inclusion in utility incentives difficult.

This purpose of this market study is to help lay the groundwork for program portfolio and customer adoption of propane-based AWHPs by reviewing the current US-based regulatory and market barriers, providing an overview of the potential residential and commercial market size for California, and estimating energy and emissions savings. This study will provide useful insights for policymakers, industry stakeholders, and investors interested in advancing this technology’s potential benefits across California.
Residential High-Performance Windows Measure Package DevelopmentThis project aims to develop a measure package for residential windows. With the recent California Decision 23-04-035 that outlines a path for eliminating gas incentives, windows are considered a “gas exempt” measure due to providing gas savings without incentivizing a gas appliance. The California (CA) Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs) have been asked by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to prioritize gas-exempt measures, such as high-performance windows, and have existing energy efficiency (EE) programs that can utilize a measure package once it is developed. This proposed measure package also plays a large role in supporting equity programs and will include categories specific to equity programs. 

The CA IOUs previously developed a window measure package, but the findings are outdated and inactive. Residential window technology is commercially available and has become more cost-effective over the years. The lower costs provide an opportunity to revive and update the measure with current market data. The measure package will calculate the estimated energy savings associated with high-performance residential windows in both single-family and multifamily applications across CA’s 16 climate zones. The proposed project will also compile all data needed for measure package submission to California Technical Forum (CalTF) including baseline efficiency, measure efficiency, eligibility criteria, measure application type, building types applicable, effective useful life, incremental measure cost, and first-year savings. 
ET23SWE0043Whole BuildingsTSRActive
Benchtop Efficiency Measurements for Residential mesh Networking EquipmentIn recent years networking equipment manufacturers have expanded from their core product lines and have developed and promoted mesh networking systems (MNS) for residential consumers. Currently, 40% of manufacturers’ advertised Integrated access device (IAD) products are MNS. Unlike the previous generation of IADs, MNS are a group of devices from a single manufacturer and are typically purchased as a package that establishes a single integrated Wi-Fi network that can be accessed at multiple points. By having multiple points at which a device can connect, it is easier for consumers to place devices in key locations within the home to ensure proper signal connectivity and reliability, this greatly increases the adaptability of a system over traditional approaches with a single access point. With recommended IAD lifespans being 3-5 years and based on previous product generational adoptions it is estimated that within 5 years MNS would account for 80% of the IAD installed base. Due to this impending turnover it is critical to note that MNS devices’ electrical characteristics are not well defined by manufacturers nor well understood by researchers and may significantly increase IAD energy consumption which was estimated to be 1.5 TWh in 2020 within California alone.  

IADs within the U.S. are mainly regulated by the Voluntary Agreement for Ongoing Improvement to the Energy Efficiency of Small Network Equipment. Providing energy targets and constraints for residential networking equipment. However, this agreement focuses on individual devices and does not have a method of assessing the performance of a group of devices which is a core component of MNS.  

The proposed project aims first to conduct a market assessment of today’s commercially available mesh networking systems. In which the project will identify available options within the U.S., with a particular interest in MNS offered by internet service providers, and identify the system’s advertised functions and capabilities. Additionally, the project will query manufacturers on upcoming MNS products and their overall expected presence in future product offerings. 

Secondly, the project will conduct laboratory evaluations to characterize and compare overall performance in multiple operational states and conditions experienced within residential environments. Since these systems are modular, systems will be evaluated with varying access points to assess flexibility and overall system response based on the reduction or addition of additional mesh devices. Researchers will compare MNS performance to business as usual IADs to identify any additional energy use or savings along with the associated performance benefits. 

Lastly, the project aims to identify the areas where available MNS can improve such as low power mode features or manufacturer recommended node topologies. The project team also anticipates recommending overall approaches to assessing MNS devices and giving input on available opportunities for new regulation or integration into existing standards or voluntary agreements. 

The California Lighting Technology Center is uniquely qualified to assess mesh networking systems due to ongoing efforts assessing traditional small networking equipment including routers, modems, extenders, and optical network terminals within CEC’s ongoing Plug Load Energy Testing to Inform Codes and Standards (PLETICS) project. And have a vast amount of experience assessing networked lighting controls, many of which have utilized mesh network architectures for the last decade. 
ET23SWE0044Plug Loads & AppliancesTDRActive