News & Updates

March 18, 2019

Life Safety Comment Update - March 2019

The SWS administrators conduct a periodic review of comments submitted to the SWS to identify comments that have a direct impact on life safety. These comments are considered through an expedited review process to ensure the life safety issue is mitigated as soon as possible. A life safety comment was identified during the most recent comment review period which triggered the life safety process. The specification and comment are as follows:

Title2.0201.2.c CO CO Carbon monoxide detection and warning equipment
Specification

CO CO Carbon monoxide detection or warning equipment will be installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms in accordance with ASHRAE ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, www.ashrae.org 62.2 and authority having local jurisdiction

Installation will be accomplished by a licensed electrician when required by local code.

CommentThe current text in this specification conflicts with 2.0301.2, which points to ASHRAE ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, www.ashrae.org 62.2 and IRC IRC International Residential Code requirements.

 

ASHRAE ASHRAE American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, www.ashrae.org points to NFPA NFPA National Fire Protection Association, www.nfpa.org 720, which requires CO CO Carbon monoxide detection equipment be installed on all occupied floors, which is the most stringent of the standards pointed to. The SWS Executive Committee reviewed the comment above and proposed the following recommendation: •

  • 2.0201.2c completely removed from the SWS as it is not related to adding combustion air and is dictating measures to be installed.

The SWS was updated on March 7, 2019, to address the above comment. Users are encouraged to either submit a comment through the SWS site or submit messages through the Contact Us link.

December 19, 2018

2018 SWS Redline Comment Deadline: January 25

The Standard Work Specifications (SWS) was updated to SWS Version 2017 (SWS v.2017) in September 2017. This was the first major update to the SWS and reflects all adjudication efforts since its launch in 2014. The next content update to the SWS is SWS v.2020. In the interim however, the SWS will continue adjudication of submitted comments annually via a published redline document. The 2019 SWS Redline will capture user-submitted feedback and edits received prior to January 25 and be displayed as “proposed changes” in the SWS. The redline documents are integral to maintaining the SWS and capturing users input.All new comments must be received by Friday, Jan. 25, 2019 to be reviewed for the 2019 SWS Redline. All comments submitted after this date will be reviewed during the SWS v.2020 maintenance procedure.More information on the comment adjudication process can be found on the SWS Maintenance page.
May 18, 2018

Revised Energy Auditor and Quality Control Inspector Certifications

Through industry best practices, the Energy Auditor (EA) and Quality Control Inspector (QCI) certifications have gone through an extensive revi­sion process. It is recommended that certification schemes be updated every 5–7 years, and the current certifications schemes for these two professions were last developed/updated in 2011/12. Through reviewing the QCI and the EA Job Task Analyses ( JTA JTA Job task analysis ) side by side, the certification scheme committee subject matter experts, assisted by professional psychometricians, determined that there was a great deal of overlap. It was jointly decided to retain EA as the main certification and reduce QCI to just those tasks and skills that were not already represented in the EA JTA JTA Job task analysis . The result is that the EA remains a full-scope, ANSI ANSI American National Standards Institute, www.ansi.org -accredited certification and the QCI becomes a micro-credential.The exams will be updated and improved as part of the overall update of the JTAs and certification scheme. Pilots of these updated exams will be available at participating Building Performance Institute ( BPI BPI Building Performance Institute, www.bpi.org ) test centers throughout the country from August through the end of September 2018.Subsidy for pilot exam takers: To encourage weatherization staff to take part in this critical part of the process, DOE will be offering to subsidize the exam fees of those currently employed by WAP WAP DOE Weatherization Assistance Program by paying 100% of written exam fees for the first 100 test takers of each the EA and QCI written exams and paying 50% of the field exam fees for the first 100 people to take the EA pilot field test. Eligibility for the subsidies will be included in the application process. Continuing Education Units (CEU) cannot be applied for recertification during the pilot exam period.Once enough qualified applicants have taken the pilot exams, there will be an “interim” period when only the 2011 EA and QCI exams are available. This interim period is used to analyze the results of the pilot exams to determine if they are adequately measuring competency. It is scheduled to take place from October 2018 to March 2019. It is during this period that pilot test takers will learn their results and successful candidates will be awarded the new credential(s). Those that fail the pilot exam can attempt the 2011 exams during the interim period. As of March 2019, the updated EA and QCI exams and certifications schemes will be available, and the EA and QCI schemes and exams developed in 2011-2012 will be retired.What this means for current QCIs: Most questions should be answered in the Frequently Asked Questions which is on the last page of the GHEP brochure located in the link below. Some key points for current QCIs:
  • You will need to maintain your QCI certification to continue working as a final inspector or technical monitor in WAP WAP DOE Weatherization Assistance Program
  • Continue acquiring Continuing Education Units (CEUs) as available
  • If your current certification is set to expire between now and February 2019, consider taking part in the pilot phase. BPI BPI Building Performance Institute, www.bpi.org will extend current certification periods to allow participation in the pilot phase
  • Review the EA prerequisites in the GHEP brochure located in the link below. If you do not already meet the prerequisites required for EA, work to attain those trainings or other skills needed
More information can be found here:
April 5, 2018

Now Accepting Applications for SWS Maintenance Committees

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is currently seeking enthusiastic industry practitioners who are interested in discussing, evaluating, and voting on proposed changes/updates to the Standard Work Specifications (SWS) for single-family, multifamily, and manufactured housing energy upgrades.Individuals who are interested in serving on the SWS maintenance committees are invited to submit their credentials via an online application. The appointed SWS maintenance committees meets annually over a webinar conference call to discuss content changes and maintenance to the SWS site. Committee members will be asked to adjudicate comments for at least three-adjudication cycles culminating in an in-person meeting, typically held in conjunction with the Home Performance Coalition (HPC) conference. The application will be open until Friday, April 13, at 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.
March 21, 2018

Sign up for SWS and Home Energy Professional Certificate Updates

Recently, the Standard Work Specifications and the Home Energy Professional Certificates have undergone updates and changes. To stay updated on these changes, sign up for our newsletter for our project updates. Click on "Sign up for project updates" and enter your email address.
March 8, 2018

Comment Deadline for 2018 Redline

The SWS were recently updated to SWS Version 2017 (SWS v.2017). This is the first major update to the SWS and reflects all adjudication efforts since its launch in 2014. The next content update to the SWS is SWS v.2020. In the interim however, the SWS will continue adjudication of submitted comments received prior to April 13, using a redline document. The 2018 SWS Redline will capture user-submitted feedback and edits and be displayed as “proposed changes” in the SWS. The redline documents are integral to maintaining the SWS and capturing users input.All new comments must be received by Friday, April 13, 2018, to be reviewed for the 2018 SWS Redline.All comments submitted after this date will be reviewed in next year’s redline document.More information on the comment adjudication process can be found on the SWS Maintenance page.
December 19, 2017

Call for Applications: Retrofit Installer and Crew Leader Practitioners and Experts

On behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is seeking volunteers to participate on the Guidelines for Home Energy Professionals (HEP) Retrofit Installer (RIT) and Crew Leader (CL) Job Task Analysis (JTA) and Scheme Committee for the continuation of these certification programs. NREL is interested in single-family home performance professionals who have the experience and vision to help define and promote a national certification for the current workforce.

If you are interested in being considered for this effort, please apply online. The deadline is Jan. 26, 2018.

Since 2010, NREL and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) have worked to develop foundational workforce resources through the HEP project to support a high-quality weatherization and home performance industry. NREL has developed the Standard Work Specifications and the advanced HEP Certification schemes for four single-family residential building energy professionals and the required JTAs, in accordance with the International Standards Organization (ISO) 17024 standard for personnel certifications.

The application process is for one committee: Crew Leader. It is assumed that a Crew Leader performs, or is able to perform, all the tasks of a Retrofit Installer in addition to Crew Leader-specific tasks such as tracking inventory and scheduling the work scope. This committee will serve two functions. First, it will review the JTA-validation process and revise the existing RIT and CL JTA’s, developed in 2011. Second, it will maintain the scheme components in the continuing effort to ensure the scheme aligns with current industry best practices specific to the RIT and CL job classification.

If you are interested in being considered for this effort, please apply online. The deadline is Jan. 26, 2018.