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August 2013 WAP Wire


Policy Updates

Client upload information

Service Providers are required to upload client documentation files and sometimes updated WA client export files for the purpose of providing client file information to State Monitors prior to a monitoring visit. Both fiscal and field monitors may request that files be uploaded to the Commerce FTP website. This is a reminder to upload client documentation files in the same way that monthly WA client export file uploads are completed, but these files should be uploaded to the “clientdocs” folder on the FTP site. Updated WA client export files requested by monitors should be uploaded to the “monthly” folder.

We have found that very large files (often due to high-resolution photos or scanned documents) may not be accepted by our FTP site or that Service Providers’ systems may time out while uploading large files. In those cases, client documentation files may need to be split into smaller files to upload successfully. If that is not possible, Commerce can send you instructions on how to use a free downloadable software program that should allow you to upload very large files to the FTP site. However, contact your office’s IT person before seeking Commerce help. The IT person may be able to help you use another FTP program to upload very large files, with proper login information provided by Commerce.

HRV and ERV repairs and replacements

Service Providers must obtain permission to repair or replace HRVs and ERVs before work begins. Situations where work is completed on these systems before receiving approval continue to be discovered. Work completed on HRVs and ERVs without prior approval may be disallowed.

In many cases, auditors are intending for these balanced ventilation products to be used to meet ASHRAE 62.2 requirements. Also in many cases, HRVs and ERVs are already providing adequate ventilation to meet the ASHRAE standard at the time of the audit. If they are providing adequate ventilation at the audit and at final inspection, they likely do not need work completed on them.

One important justification for receiving permission to repair or install HRVs and ERVs is that, in many instances, the distribution system relies on the forced air system. If the HRV or ERV is installed using the forced air furnace to distribute the air, it may not supply adequate ventilation unless the furnace fan is running. This means that for potentially many hours of a day, particularly in swing seasons, adequate ventilation is not being provided. One option is to provide a recycler system that turns on the distribution fan for a certain part of each hour.

Testing exhaust fans

This is a reminder that all exhaust fans (including kitchen range fans) must be tested at the audit and final inspection in order to be in compliance with the ASHRAE 62.2 Standard.  If the auditor’s exhaust fan flow meter does not fit over the kitchen range fan, there are two options to test the fan:

  1. Make a box that will fit over the kitchen exhaust fan and cut an opening of a known area (preferably the same size hole as your exhaust fan flow meter) in the box. Measure the pressure difference going through the opening using your pressure gauge. Consult the tables on your exhaust fan flow meter to determine the amount of air in cubic feet per minute that the fan is moving.
  2. Test the exhaust fan following the protocol outlined in your blower door manual.

Program Notes

Service Providers don’t have to buy from state approved vendors

We recently received a call from a Service Provider who reported that a vendor had contacted their organization and claimed that it must purchase refrigerators from the vendor because it was on the State Approved Vendors list. Not so.

The link here explains the advantage to vendors of being on the Approved Vendors List, but it does not require Service Providers to buy exclusively from vendors on that list. If you have questions, contact your fiscal or field monitor.

Evaluating an ECM upgrade on forced air furnaces

The goal of the Weatherization Program is to save as much energy as possible for low income clients. Installing an electronically commutated motor (ECM) in a new or existing furnace has great potential to lower the client’s electric bill.  This measure must be considered on all primary furnaces in dwellings that are weatherized. When an ECM motor is installed it must be a separate measure provided it achieves an SIR of 1.0 or higher when the audit is run. The instructions for evaluating an ECM upgrade in the WA software can be found at the link below.

If an ECM upgrade does not achieve a SIR of 1.0 or higher as its own measure and the furnace is being replaced, auditors should then include the cost of the ECM upgrade in the cost of the new furnace when the audit is run. If a furnace including the ECM gets an SIR of 1.0 or higher, install an ECM motor with the furnace.

Follow these instructions to evaluate an ECM in the WA software:

http://mn.gov/commerce/energy/images/WAP-User-Def-Measure-ECM.pdf