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February 2013 WAP Wire


Policy Spotlight


Modeling existing conditions from the audit in the Weatherization Assistant Software

Each section of the home must still be modeled separately in the WA software.  This includes four exterior walls and attics.  Finished attics must have each section modeled individually including: Collar Beam, Knee walls, Slants, and Outer Ceiling Joists.

When an attic has uneven insulation present at the audit there are two ways to model the attic in order to achieve the SIR:  

1. The attic should be modeled as two separate attics with two different levels of insulation.  Example: a 200 square foot attic has 100 square feet with five inches of existing fiberglass and 100 square feet with nine inches of existing fiberglass insulation.  Two separate attics are modeled each being 100 square feet in area and one with 5 inches of insulation and the other with nine inches of insulation.  You may only achieve an SIR of 1.0 to insulate the attic with five inches of insulation existing and that is all the work you should do.  Remember that you must model the existing conditions of the home and let the software run the SIR calculation to determine the work.
2. The second option is to model the same attic above as having an average level of insulation in the attic.  In this case, you would model an attic with 200 square feet of area that has seven inches of existing fiberglass insulation.  Again, keep in mind that you may not achieve an SIR when modeling the attic this way because the insulation levels are too high to achieve any savings.
In each of the instances described above auditors must use the comment section in the WA Software to thoroughly document why the attic is modeled this way.  If you have questions, please contact your monitor before completing work on the dwelling.

Please remember that pictures must be taken of the existing areas where work is proposed to document the existing conditions. Auditors should take a picture of their tape measure in the insulation to show the depth of the existing insulation. Auditors may not model the entire attic at the lowest level of insulation present. All work must be evaluated using the conditions present at the time of the audit.

Policy Updates


Modeling Light Bulbs

There seems to be confusion regarding modeling of light bulbs. The following is from an email sent to coordinators on April 10, 2012. Please read carefully and direct any questions to your field monitor.

“DOE is very clear that all measures must be evaluated for replacement. This includes baseload items like light bulbs. Therefore all light bulbs must be modeled in WA and evaluated for replacement. If the SIR is 1.0 or greater the light bulbs must be replaced.

If the light bulbs are not allowed to be replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions (an example would be if the manufacturer does not allow the bulb to be installed inside a globe), then the fixture still must be modeled in WA with a comment as to why they are not being evaluated for replacement.”

If the light bulbs are to be replaced using CIP funds, but CIP funds do not cover all of the light bulbs needed, you must use DOE funds to complete the installation of new light bulbs if they achieve an SIR of 1.0 or greater. 

Program Updates


New Equipment Manuals

Manuals for all new equipment, including furnaces and water heaters, must be left in close proximity to the new equipment. Inspectors must review basic information about the new equipment with the homeowner and show the homeowners where the manual has been placed. 

When new furnaces are installed, it is helpful to the client if the filter size is also noted on or near the furnace. 

Itemized Costs with Energy Savings

The Minnesota Department of Commerce would like to remind all service providers that only two itemized costs with energy savings are approved for use in the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP).  The approved itemized costs are: 1) ECM Motor Replacement and 2) Horizontal Attic Access.  No other itemized costs may have energy savings associated with the measure unless it has received prior approval from Commerce. Once an item is approved, Commerce will make the information available to all Service Providers.

The information regarding the approved energy savings for an itemized cost can be found in the appendix of the WAP Policy Manual.

Training


Administrative Training's

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has entered into an agreement with Fond du Lac Community College to present three separate administrative training's for weatherization workers. They are Project Management, Program Management, and Client Education. Training will be offered as soon as March. All auditors and inspectors are required to attend both the Project Management and the Client Education training's. Coordinators are required to attend the Program Management and the Project Management trainings. Everyone is encouraged to attend as many training sessions as possible.

More information will follow when course dates and locations have been set.