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Quality Installation Program

Lower your electric bill, improve the air quality.
More efficiency means more savings. With our Quality Installation Program, you can lower your electric bill, improve the air quality in your home, and make sure your A/C is in top working order.

Did you know that 70% of air-conditioned homes have A/C units that exceed the home's cooling needs? A unit too large for your home costs more to run and uses more electricity. Plus, incorrect sizing or installation puts undue stress on components and shortens equipment life.

Simply replacing your old system may not save as much energy as you expected. That's why SCE offers our Quality Installation Program. When it's time for a new A/C system, this program makes sure your new air conditioner is sized properly for your home, and ensures its installation follows guidelines set by ENERGY STAR® - saving you the most energy and money.

Effective November 1st 2012 the following incentive rates will take effect for all jobs sold on or after 11/1/12. All QI jobs with a sales document dated 11/1/12 or after will be processed at these new rates.

Additionally Man-D incentive will no longer be available for jobs sold after 11/1/12.

Rebate Guidelines

    Use these charts as guidelines when you talk with your participating contractor.

    Let an approved ENERGY STAR® A/C Quality installer handle the job and get up to $2000 back.
    Incentive rate structure effective 11/1/12.

How It Works

In order to qualify for the older (currently existing) rates or Man-D incentives, the following three criteria must be met, otherwise the incentive will be processed at the new (lower) rates without the Man-D incentive:
  1. Sales Document must be dated on or before 10/31/12.
  2. The job must be created in the DMS by 11/9/12.
  3. Unit installed by 12/1/12 (commissioning date from the Commissioning Report)

What will qualify after 11/1/12
  • Split System - Gas/Electric - 16 seer or higher
  • Split System - Heat Pump - 14 seer or higher
  • Package Unit - Gas/Electric - 14 seer or higher
  • Package Unit - Heat Pump - 14 seer or higher

A/C Quality Installation

    An improper installation costs more in the long run - using more electricity, running up your bill, and making your Air Conditioning (A/C) work harder, which can shorten equipment life. You can lose as much as 30% of the cooling efficiency you're paying for.

Quality Installation Guide

    The ANSI/ACCA 5 QI-2007: HVAC Quality Installation Specification is an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved standard that describes the necessary steps a contractor must take to ensure a quality installation.

    Quality Installation focuses on how well the equipment is selected and installed. ENERGY STAR®has adopted the ACCA Quality Installation Specification as the basic guideline for its program, so your contractor's familiarity with it helps assure you of quality work.

    The QI Specification was developed by a broad coalition of industry experts, including contractors, original equipment manufacturers, utilities and industry associations. The core areas include:
    • Equipment aspects such as building heat gain/loss load calculations, equipment capacity selection and matched components (indoor and outdoor)
    • Installation aspects such as airflow, refrigeration charge and electrical requirements
    • Duct distribution aspects such as duct leakage and air balance
    • Documentation aspects such as proper system documentation and owner education.

    The QI Specification ensures that sound industry practices were used during the design and installation of the air conditioning system, meaning that your equipment operates efficiently and helps save you money as long as you use it, assuming proper maintenance. In order to maintain optimal operation throughout the life of the equipment, proper maintenance and servicing should be conducted as recommended by the installing contractor.

SCE/ACCA Market Conditions & Consumer Considerations

A significant market opportunity for improving the quality of HVAC equipment installations and service involves raising the awareness of consumers and building owners / operators about the benefits provided by professional contractors following industry-recognized quality installation practices (e.g., correct equipment selection, installation, and commissioning). Building owners / operators and residential consumers need to be informed of the links between comfort, humidity levels, utility bills, and indoor air quality with a proper HVAC system design and installation. Once aware, consumers will better understand the value of a high performance standard from their HVAC contractor. This understanding will also help position consumers and building owners / operators to consider the complete value-to-cost equation, not merely the "first price," when making HVAC equipment purchasing decisions. Customers who select contractors that promote high performance HVAC equipment - and their proper installation ?enjoy enhanced comfort, reduced energy usage, improved occupant productivity, and enhanced occupant safety.

Of the 7.1 million unitary shipments reported by the Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) for 2006, approximately 60% were for replacements. Many of these installations were the result of equipment failures during peak periods (i.e., winter for furnaces and summer for air conditioners). During times of unanticipated equipment failures, consumers often demand service attention that cannot be fully met by normal contractor staffing levels. This issue is compounded by a shortage of qualified technicians, especially experienced during seasonal crunch times. Furthermore, consumers generally tend to request only the level of comfort and efficiency delivered by their previous system. Given that consumers want the heating or cooling to be restored, and that contractors feel pressure to replace the equipment quickly, technicians have an incentive to focus more on the turn-around time of the jobs rather than on the quality of the jobs. Exacerbating this situation is the fact that few consumers plan for such emergencies. This results in a financial crisis in which the "first cost" of equipment is considered more important than full "life-cycle costs." The building owner's/operator's failure to link comfort and operating costs with substandard design and installation can be tied to the industry's general lack of performance in raising awareness. The market currently provides no signal to the contractor or the building owner / operator that system performance is poor until the system fails.

Due to poor understanding by building owners / operators of the value that professional contractors and quality installations offer, there is a consumer market for an unlicensed, or poorly trained, or otherwise unqualified individual or business to install HVAC systems. Unlicensed, unskilled, unscrupulous, or no caring contractors are inclined to cut corners and to offer prices and performance promises that are difficult for professional, qualified contractors to match. Uninformed consumers are left to experience the inevitable inconveniences and expenses of a poorly designed and poorly functioning HVAC system. Manufacturers experience higher warranty costs, and utilities face escalating demand for power. Additionally, many of these under-qualified/non-professional contractors will often provide valueless warranties, have little or no insurance, and create poor perceptions of the industry in the consumer's eyes.

Industry Need

There is a need to establish a raised bar to improve the core competencies of contractors to ensure that quality installations ensue. This is beneficial not only as a process improvement for contracting businesses, but, more importantly, for fulfilling the needs of building owners/operators in quality installations - comfortable, healthy, safe, energy-efficient indoor environments. Yet, until now, across the broad spectrum of the industry (manufacturers, distributors, contractors, user groups, customers, utilities, environmental groups, associations/professional societies, governmental agencies, etc.), there has been no universally accepted definition of a quality contractor or a quality installation.

HVAC QI Specification

Full observance of the quality installation elements may increase the initial "cost" to the residential or commercial building owner/operator. However, the increased "value" - resulting from improved energy efficiency, better comfort, enhanced IAQ, improved equipment reliability, longer equipment life, etc. - is expected to far exceed any added upfront price. Additionally, adherence to the elements in this specification provides intangible societal benefits in the form of reduced power grid energy demand that aids in reducing pollution and dependence on foreign oil.
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