Sustainability, Support, and Success – Helping Academic Minds Reach Their Goals

The US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a competition between 13 collegiate teams competing in 10 different categories to determine who has built the most sustainable home.

The contest itself evaluates the homes in the following categories:
– Cost-Effective Design
– Innovation Balanced with Market Potential
– Water & Energy Efficiency
– Energy Production and Time-of-Use Energy
– Communications Strategies.

Logicians Volunteer Their Time to Support Each Team’s Vision

EnergyLogic’s plans analyst, Peter Oberhammer, was tasked with creating SketchUp models of all of the homes. “The importance of the SketchUps is that they produce the shell area calculation which is essentially the square footage of all the exterior walls, envelope floor, and ceilings.  Not all of the plans had flat ceilings, so vaults and clerestories had to be accounted for in the shell area calculations as well,” says Peter.

On October 2nd and 3rd, three of EnergyLogic’s energy raters volunteered their time to perform blower door tests on each home. These tests were part of the scoring matrics in the competition. To get these numbers, raters Neal Girard, Matthew Anthony, and Zach DeWolfe divided the blower door results by the square feet of the shell area to get a CFM/Sq Ft Shell Area result.

October 10, 2017, 61st and Pena Station Denver, Colorado, the University of Maryland team’s house called “reACT” emphasizes water reuse and home gardening with Native Americans in mind as the school has ties with the St. Croix Chippewa band of the Ojibwe tribe located in Wisconsin. Interior: (Dennis Schroeder/US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Each rater was drawn to a different team’s story. Neal Girard was “so excited that [he] got the opportunity to work closely with most of the teams at this year’s Solar Decathlon.” Neal appreciated the University of Maryland’s “illusion of space with their horseshoe-shaped house surrounding their greenhouse.”

Rater Matthew Anthony had this to say about working with the teams:

“I enjoyed working with the Alabama and Missouri teams – this was the first year that infiltration was a point category, so there were several learning opportunities for most of the teams. For example, with the Alabama team we were able to identify substantial leakage coming from the safe room that was using a new and developmental material. With the Missouri team, we eliminated the ducts from the blower door to illustrate the impacts of ducts outside the building envelope. As always, it was a pleasure to see a lot of the concepts we learn about in concept being applied to real homes – what a great group of folks all around!”

October 3, 2017, the Swiss École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, School of Engineering and Architecture Fribourg, Geneva University of Art and Design and University of Fribourg team presents their “NeighborHub” house, designed to be multi-purpose, at 61st and Pena Station, Denver, Colorado. Exterior: (Dennis Schroeder/US Department of Energy Solar Decathlon)

Zach DeWolfe, who worked closely with the winning team, stated, “My most memorable time spent at the Solar Decathlon was with the Swiss team. I got to work with them on converting their plans from the metric system and went over some areas to address air leakage prior to testing the home. It ended up being one of the tightest homes I’ve tested as a rater.”

The Swiss team took the first place prize, winning $300,000, while Maryland came in second and UC Berkeley/U of Denver came in third.

Click here to view all 13 team’s standings in the 2017 Solar Decathlon!

New Home Builder Rebates are increasing, in a good way!

New rebate structure update and highlights of the Xcel Energy ENERGY STAR® New Homes Program 2016 accomplishments.

Total year-end program results from 2016:

  • 5,300 total completed houses
  • 145,835 net Dekatherms and 4,957,801 net kilowatt-hours in energy savings
  • $3,361,890 in builder rebates and energy rater administrative fees
  • 1,800 earned the $100 ENERGY STAR rebate

Program and Rebate Changes for 2017/18, effective for homes submitted after March 1st:

  • Homes will qualify for rebates based on the percent improvement better than the local adopted IECC code
  • Rebate levels are increased for homes built in jurisdictions where IECC 2012 and newer codes are enforced
  • The $10 ENERGY STAR dishwasher rebate is discontinued and the clothes washer rebate is reduced from $50 to $30
  • The High Efficiency Lighting rebate is unchanged for homes built in jurisdictions where IECC 2009 and older codes are enforced
  • For homes built in jurisdictions where IECC 2012 and newer codes are enforced, a $10 rebate is available if 100% of lighting is CFL or LED fixtures and/or bulbs
Percent Better Than Local Code Improvement Builder Rebate – IECC 2009 and older Builder Rebate – IECC 2012 and newer
10.0 – 14.999% $200 $250
15.0 – 19.999% $350 $400
20.0 – 24.999% $500 $600
25.0 – 29.999% $650 $900
30.0 – 34.999% $800 $1,300
35.0 – 39.999% $1,000 $2,000
40% and higher $1,400 $2,550

 

Appliance/Lamp Builder Rebate – IECC 2009 & older Builder Rebate – IECC 2012 & newer
Refrigerator $10 $10
Clothes Washer $30 $30
Lighting Efficiency (CFL or LED) $20 (20+ qualifying bulbs) $10 (100% qualifying bulbs)
ENERGY STAR®, Xcel Gas & Electric $100 $100

Tracy Larson

 

Who to Contact:

Tracy Larson
Logistics/Customer Support Supervisor

Email Tracy
970-556-6491

Claiming the $2,000 Federal Tax Credit for 2016

EnergyLogic assesses compliance with the Federal tax credit for every home that we inspect. In addition, we provide a tax credit compliance report that is signed for every home that is tested.208-9x463-2artboard-1800x1200

Over the past several years EnergyLogic has had to reissue these tax credit documents due to software updates that have also changed the physical look and content of the document.  Due to the need to reissue the reports, we were able to issue new passing tax credit certificates and lump them together for your convenience. The reports were typically sent in an email at the beginning of the year or a builder login was issued directing you to pull these reports from our DASH data system.

For 2016 homes, EnergyLogic will not need to re-run tax credit certificates or make any adjustments to the certificates you have already received. Therefore, builders will not be receiving an email containing all passing tax credits. EnergyLogic has already emailed all final report packets to you at the time the home has been rated and certified. Within those final report packets, you will find the tax credit certificate. It clearly states on the tax credit certificate if the home passes or not.  In addition, the tax certificate is signed only for the homes that pass.

Link to Sample Tax Credit Report

Builder Login for EnergyLogic’s DASH database
You can also access these final report packets using your builder login to EnergyLogic’s DASH database. Contact Tracy Larson at tracy@nrglogic.com if you need directions, username and password for the DASH builder login.  Tracy will be sending you a spreadsheet in the next few weeks that lists all homes that qualified for the tax credit which will narrow down the list of packets you’ll need to locate and make your search easier.

Link to document on how to search and locate tax credit documents packets in DASH

The Federal tax credit expired on January 1st, 2017.  As in the past, Energylogic will continue to issue tax credit certificates for all homes that we inspect. We will do this because historically every time the tax credit has expired it has been re-authorized and made effective retroactively to the date it expired.  For example, on January 1st, 2015 the tax credit expired. In December of 2015. the tax credit was re-authorized to be effective from January 1st, 2015 through December 31st, 2016.  The only way we can be sure that your homes will be able to get the credit if the tax credit is re-authorized is to keep track of whether they pass or not at the time of the final inspection.  We strongly recommend that your office file the tax credit certificates for those homes that pass and are signed off on, so you are prepared to file for your credit if and when re-authorization occurs.

At this time, because nobody knows if re-authorization will occur, EnergyLogic does not recommend changing your building specification to optimize for the tax credit.

Additional information regarding the rebate structure and requirements is located on our website.

Robby Schwarz

 

Who to Contact:

Robby Schwarz
Principal, Director of Builder Relations

Email Robby
720-838-0677

EnergyLogic is excited to announce the promotion of Rusty Buick, Director of Sales

Rusty has been with EnergyLogic for three and a half years, during which time he held the position of Field Services Manager, proving himself to be a committed company advocate focused on improving the processes and communication EnergyLogic provides to our current builder partners.

As Director of Sales, Rusty will be cultivating new client relationships. He will also support our builders in their pursuit of high-quality, durable and energy efficient homes by helping them manage changes in code compliance and program requirements and offering EnergyLogic’s full suite of services for high-performance homes.

Rusty’s field experience with EnergyLogic, paired with his prior background as a custom home builder gives him an overall understanding of how to deliver the best products and services for our partners. We look forward to growing our current and future clients with his direction and efforts.

We asked Rusty a few key questions to help you get to know him a bit more:

  • What are some of the common design mistakes or misconceptions builders should watch out for?

Builders need to be aware that while the improvement of the building envelope and the tightness of new homes is a good thing, they need to also understand how this good thing affects the rest of the house. They need to design for and install systems that work with this higher-quality building envelope.

  • What do you like to do in your free time?

Trail run, bike, enjoy the outdoors.  I spend a lot of time watching my son play hockey…but less now that he can drive!

Please join us in welcoming Rusty Buick as our Director of Sales, and congratulate him on his new position!

 

2017 Colorado Chapter of the ICC Educational Institute March 6-10, 2017

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The Colorado Chapter of the International Code Council will be hosting the 32nd Annual Colorado Educational Institute the week of March 6, 2017, once again at the newly renovated Marriott Denver Tech Center. 

The Educational Institute will again offer 13 full-week course paths with instruction by some of the best instructors in the country.  Class offerings will include a number of new classes as well as updated versions of their most popular classes, all based on the 2015 International Codes and the 2014 National Electrical Code.  Registration costs will remain at $400 for the week or $90 a day, including lunch.

The Colorado Chapter is an Approved Preferred Provider for ICC Continuing Education.  Classes will also be eligible for continuing education Learning Units as required by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and designed to meet the continuing education requirements for Professional Development Units required by the State of Colorado Electrical Board (DORA).

Again, the Colorado Educational Institute will be held March 6-10, 2017, at the Marriott DTC, 4900 S Syracuse Street, Denver, CO.  Room rates at the Marriott will be $139/night.

https://coloradochaptericc.org/education/education-institute/

Robby Schwarz

Who to Contact:

Robby Schwarz
Principal, Director of Builder Relations

Email Robby
720-838-0677