Past Projects

California Energy Commission Appliance Market Surveys

The purpose of this survey was to assess the extent of compliance with the Appliance Efficiency Regulations. The information for this report was collected for a list of appliances provided by the California Energy Commission along with additional survey items identified during the execution of the contract.  Benningfield Group performed catalog, field and internet surveys to obtain data on the regulated appliances that are being offered for sale in the state of California. The appliances surveyed were found at retail and wholesale stores, internet sites and in catalogs. Surveyors collected data and cross-referenced it with the Energy Commission Appliance Database (Database) to assess the frequency of compliance with Title 20 Appliance Efficiency certification requirements. If a particular model was listed in the Database, it was considered to be compliant. If it was not listed, it was non-compliant. Our analysts surveyed 57 stores, conducted 128 catalog and internet surveys and collected data on a total of 3,065 appliance models. Of the 3,065 items surveyed, 1,753 (57%) of them were not in the Database.

SMUD Energy Assistance Program Rate

This program involved evaluating the impact of SMUD’s EAPR Weatherization Program. The program bundled a tiered set of energy efficiency and generation measures for low-income residences, coupled with energy education, to achieve core EAPR objectives. These objectives included improving sustainability and integrity of the EAPR low-income program, increasing program offerings that align with participants’ lifestyles to address energy usage and their feeling of control, and strengthening the safety net for Sacramento’s underserved population through strategic partnerships to positively impact customers in a more holistic manner. Benningfield Group was the subcontractor to Opinion Dynamics and provided on-site verification of measures that were installed in 2016-2017.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) – New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP)

PG&E’s NSHP program was a part of the California Solar Initiative, a comprehensive statewide solar program that provided support and financial incentives to encourage residential builders to build new, energy efficient solar homes. The Certified Energy Plans Examiner credentialed staff at Benningfield Group completed plan check reviews of program applications for multifamily buildings and reported the results, including whether each application was accepted, rejected or suspended.

Southern California Edison Statewide Utility Compliance Improvement Efforts – Certified Energy Analyst (CEA) Exam Development and Deployment

The purpose of the CEA Exam project was to provide a pathway to improved skills, knowledge, and performance for those who create models, predict energy use under code constraints, and document compliance with the energy code. CEA certification signifies that a consultant has the knowledge necessary to accurately apply the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards and the commitment to providing quality service to their clients by driving overall compliance with California’s Energy Code. Benningfield Group assisted the California Association of Building Energy Consultants (CABEC) in revamping their CEA certification exam by coordinating a team of subject matter experts, educational designers, psychometricians and stakeholders to develop and maintain a pool of multiple choice and modeling exam questions that were extensively tested for performance and technical accuracy. Benningfield Group also led the team that administered the exams, including selecting test sites, analyzing exam results, monitoring overall exam and individual item performance, and updating test items as necessary. The new exam was tailored to the specific roles and required knowledge and experience of energy consultants who help the building industry meet and exceed the California Building Energy Efficiency Standards.

Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) – On-Demand Efficiency for Campus Housing (ODECH) Program

This no-cost program for campus housing customers in the SoCalGas service territory installed demand controllers to regulate the recirculation pumps on central water heating systems. It reduced pump operating times from 24 hours a day to as little as six hours a day, and still provided the same hot water experience to the building occupants. The ODECH program installed controllers to over 6,500 dwelling units in eight campuses, saving over 137,500 therms, throughout the SoCalGas territory. Administered by Benningfield Group and our participating vendors, the benefits of the program included the reduction in use of natural gas, electricity, and water usage, as well as wear & tear on equipment. This program has the potential to produce an annual savings of 10-30 percent on the cost of natural gas used for water heating.