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Look out, trainers- Carrier has a new certification program called Energy Experts. Still finding out what they're teaching, but it looks like a faction apart from BPI and RESNET.

You know your house isn't as comfortable as it should be. You know your energy bills could be lower. But what you don't know is where to turn for help. There are a lot of companies out there who may be knowledgeable in...

http://www.myhomeenergyexperts.com/

Carrier Energy Experts are different ...All the way around.
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Comments

  • David ButlerDavid Butler Posts: 3,889
    If you only have a hammer...
  • To participate, you have to be a Carrier dealer who has in their employ either RESNET Class I or BPI certified staff.
  • Energy Auditing by Carrier - I wonder if they will ever recommend air sealing and additional insulation?
  • Corbett and David,

    Its a legit program with some teeth. As Jolene has said, particpating contractors must have acheived BPI BA and EP, or RESNET.

    Comfort Institute is providing the business implementation, lead generation and sales training for the Carrier HVAC dealers getting involved with the Energy Experts program. We are also providing ongoing guidance to the program to ensure it really helps those HVAC dealers who "get it" to make the HPC curve. Most we are training are already doing advanced duct diagnostics and renovation and most are already above average on CO and comustion safety. Addressing the envelope and advanced building science is the last big step for them.

    David, to address your concern that the program could be just about selling metal boxes, in the class I just finished in Indianapolis 100% already do duct renovation and replacement. 50% are already doing air sealing, insulation and crawlspaces IN HOUSE and 25% aggressively sell it and sub it to a good trade ally. The remainder were newbies still feeling their way on th eenvelope But we get their undivided attention for about 10 days so the true HP vision and message has a chance to sink in! :-)

    I trained the first HVAC contractor on home performance in 1986 (we didn't call it HP back then). Carrier is the first manufacturer to formally state that a good HVAC contractor should make the transition to full Home Performance. It's been a long time comIng ... but Carrier deserves some serious recognition for making this bold move. Without more buy in from (the better) HVAC contractors, HP will never truly succeed.

    Although Carrier is fully aware of the . competitive advantages this will give their dealers who choose to step up in terms of Carrier equipment sales, I can say that all the senior Carrier management I have worked with are sincerely commited to making the program consistent with the consensus about what HPC is all about - going into each home with an open mind about what is right.

    Feel free to ask any more specifics on the program.
  • Yet another player. This Carrier 360 looks identicle to Energy Upgrade California's test in energy audit that must be performed by a BPI Analyst. They likely have their own software. I believe we should move to a standard detailed audit using one approved software nationwide. Training for and performing the audit would be more consistent and we avoid spending a lot of time learning many different softwares. I doubt that California will ever align itself with other states on a nationwide uniform program. Living and working in Ca. I must work with what is required here.
  • David ButlerDavid Butler Posts: 3,889
    Brendan, my snipe was the result of years of experience with manufacturers not taking design seriously. Their trainers and field techs should be the best in the business, but that's rarely the case. The distribution channels are responsible for a significant amount of training, yet few distributors and reps I've had contact with know the first thing about design. I hold the mfrs responsible for that. So pardon my skepticism.

    In the "old days" Carrier was head and shoulders above the other majors in terms of training and support. But along the way, the market changed and the new guys (and gals) coming into the business, at all levels of the industry, lost their way.

    But based on your report (thank you), I'm encouraged. If Carrier can make this translate to more $ for their dealers, distributors and corporate, then other manufacturers will surely follow.
  • Just another group jumping on the band wagon.
    Legit - has teeth! LOL...
    Check out the website
    http://www.myhomeenergyexperts.com/about.php

    Fundamental #1:
    Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Systems (HVAC)

    Fundamental #2:
    Air Filtration / Distribution

    Fundamental #3:
    Your Home Envelope.

    Yup - first thing anyone should do is address the Heating system first and addressing a homes systems.......

    This isn't a Home Performance no matter how they spin it.
    Clueless or just corporate marketing- time will tell.
  • Thanks for clarification, Brendan, and it's good to require a BPI/HERS certified pro. Incidentally, the diagnostics that each 'Energy Expert' offers can vary, it says so on the website, so diagnostics may not actually be used at all, if I'm reading that correctly.
  • http://www.myhomeenergyexperts.com/carrier360.php

    I believe that diagnostics are most definitely being used. What it says is: Actual tests, equipment and analyses performed may vary depending on dealer and geographic location. What I take from that is that if you live in south Florida, you may not get a combustion test because you have no combustion appliances. Am I wrong, Brendan?
  • Here is a video from Carrier on what they offer.

    http://www.myhomeenergyexperts.com/?gob ... _176975979
  • I'd have more faith in this if Carrier required more than just having someone on their staff who is BPI or Resnet certified. The dealer should also be required to show that he either has staff & resources to provide air sealing & insulation, or be part of a Resnet "Energy Smart Team". Too many contractors are just getting someone on their staff certfied as a means to get into programs, but they don't make any changes as to how they do business.
  • If the home performance industry is going to be relevant to climate and energy challenges, we need to figure out how to dramatically scale up our operations while at the same time continuously improving the quality and efficiency of what we do. I would encourage people on this list to be open to the idea of partnering more closely with major equipment/material manufacturers, who have marketing, R & D, and management capacities that most of us could only dream of. There is the potential for a big win-win here.
  • It's great to see a legitimate, for-profit entity joining the ranks of HPC. The HPC industry will not thrive (or likely survive) with the thousands of non-profit, governmental subsidy folks and consultants in charge. That business model has proven to be the most inefficient use of public funding in the history of America. The next challenge is how to compete with those who don't care to make money and are funded by the "free money."

    The tangible dislike for the HVAC folks by the new experts is amusing when you consider the non-profits rushed in to help redistribute the ARRA money to themselves so fast, they forgot to make energy-saving improvements along the way.

    If Carrier or any other business can make energy-saving improvements to homes in America without handouts from the government and without creating new layers of parasite organizations, is that not a good thing?
  • David, it all comes down to what they do with it in the real world; if they actually do make energy saving improvements, then great! If they just use it as another sales tool to continue with business as usual, then it'a bad thing.
  • This glass is half FULL (of beer)! I've seen Carrier's training manuel and have talked with contractors who have gone through this class (via Brendan Reid) and THERE IS HOPE for our industry! Without serious investment by OEMs - and their acknowledgement that HP should be in their toolbox - I'm afraid all our HP efforts would slowly die on the gov't/utility vine.... Hat's off to Carrier... Now for other OEMs - and not only in the HVAC aren to step up and invest.
  • Its fascinating to watch ; this courtship ritual between HVAC contracting and Building Science . Reminds me of the joke ; How do porcupines mate ?
  • Carefully??
  • Ah , yes . And with mutual respect, I would suppose.
  • I also have attended the first level of training for the Carrier 360 program. I work for a Carrier Hall of Fame dealer, and have been a Class I Energy rater since 2006. The energy rater side of me goes to this type of training with the same skepticism many of you share. But it only took about 30 minutes of the class to shut the skeptic in me up.

    The first level of training was somewhat of an overview of the program and expectations of the dealers, along with a Home Performance 101 type training. Much of the training was right in line with RESNET principles. They discussed, with picture examples, envelope issues such as unsealed air pathways, missing or improperly installed insulation. They explained negative/positive pressure causes and problems: both on a whole house level as well as room by room. They discussed undersized and undersealed ductwork.

    Many of the concerns you voiced in this thread were covered in the training. For example, they discussed how dealers will need to partner with reputable insulation companies if they do not handle insulation in house. We discussed duct sealing and Aeroseal (which, by the way, was once owned and endorsed by Carrier). They stressed the importance of getting the whole company involved and trained, from customer service to technicians to management. In fact, the owner of the company MUST attend the first level of training before being accepted into the program...even if the owner does no testing or verifying themselves.

    I don't see this program as a gimmick to "move boxes" as we say in the HVAC industry. There are a lot less expensive ways to invest if that is your goal --without sending employees to RESNET/BPI training, without purchasing blower doors and duct blasters and thermal image cameras. I see this program as the HVAC industry securing a place in the Performance industry so we do not get squeezed out of it. Just my two cents....
  • Thanks Jolene, that information put a smile on my face. I nice to hear it from someone in the trenches not from the suits and ties of the corporate world.
  • OK, So I had lunch today with the US president of the largest worldwide HP company(8500 retrofits/week), Pres and VP sales of large HVAC distributor, and the HVAC's leading sales trainer.

    The biz plan boils down to a dating service for porcupines!

    pj
  • This is a solid program and appears to have buy-in from corp HQ down into the trenches and the folks closest to the cash register (dealers who touch the consumer everyday). It does not appear to be like so many of the top down ivory tower initiatives dreamed up in corp conference rooms by non-practitioners who don't know what a P&L is/means or what the consumer will embrace (a rarity). From my observations, Carrier is doing things the right way with experienced partners and they know this is a marathon -- not a sprint, and that there will be discovery, learning, adaptation, refinement along the way. This tells me there is a bit of humility (another rarity) and awareness that the brutally efficient market (the dealers) will be a constant gut-check on what's working/not in the service offering so that it can evolve.

    There is a lot of wreckage on the road of folks who've jumped into HP or HP-Lite. My perception is the team/partners assembled here won't be amongst that wreckage.

    Welcome to the marathon Carrier!
  • Has the rating/auditing industry been sold out to the AC industry?
  • I helped advise on the video that was produced for the Energy Experts/360 program. I was on site during the filming showing the actors how to operate the equipment to at least look like they knew what they were doing.

    During that day of shooting and in subsequent conversations I expressed my concern that Carrier would loose interest in the project because if the HVAC contractors did they job with evaluations, a customer could improve their comfort without buying a "box". I was told that corporate from top down was in favor of this program because in the long run, the customer would eventually need a new box and Carrier wants the customer to think of Carrier when they need them. So far so good from corporate. Waiting for the dealers to get past the "corporate program of the year" mentality.

    The house in which we shot the video was a perfect example of how the house could be made more comfortable and save energy without a new box. It convinced the home owner and several of the actors to have the work done on their homes. Unfortunately even in Indianapolis, home of Carrier, there was not a dealer at the time who knew how to diagnose a house.

    This is the right thing to do. We'll see how long the long term is.
  • Frank,
    I would visit with Williams Comfort if you are looking for a capable dealer in Indy, they are also the largest Carrier Dealer in the state. If you need an intro, let me know.

    Larry,
    Should we not consider that the HVAC business should own the HP customer. These are real companies, each touching thousands of service customers, not former Berkeley students, writing blogs, living with their parents, under bridges, doing 6 hr science project audits, and sealing two houses a year. Do you really want a boutique industry of "True Believers" or are we trying to solve problems? Carrier will legitimize this Business, Brendan will help keep them on track. Can't the purists, find a good HVAC company(s) and help them bring HP into their wheelhouse like(in your area) Aire Rite in Fort Worth has done with tremendous success.
    good luck,

    P
  • p j, love your last post. I've always said the way to Home Performance and energy efficiency is through the HVAC companies. I will hope for the best, but I find it doubtful that they will legitimize this business. They still havn't legitimized their own business-HVAC. Assuming one could, what do you think an audit of all the installs every Carrier dealer did for the last 5 years would disclose? What percentage of those install audits would disclose oversized a/c's on undersized & improperly designed ductwork? How many change out sales from "cracked heat exchangers" that were perfectly fine? Fast forward into Home Performance, how many "blow & go" insulation jobs are going to do down without even a nod toward air sealing? I'm not being negative, just realistic. Without a "boutique of 'True Believers'" contractors will continue to be contractors and will continue with "business as usual". Putting a system in place that tracks results, like Ted Kidd advocates, is the only way to ensure success for Home Performance, and yes, the tracking program could be run by the members of "The Boutique".
  • Here in So Cal I work with many HVAC contractors as a HERS rater. I have asked some who use Carrier products if they have heard about this 360 program. They have not. I have tried to interest them in Energy Upgrade Ca. but they do not seem to think it is worth all the stuff it takes to get through a total home performance job. I will keep trying but they need necessary incentive.
  • PJ - The video was taken about a year ago. It was the Carrier people that said that no one in Indianapolis was doing Home Performance. This was also prior to the launch of the Energy Experts program.

    I would say that most HVAC companies are "capable" but they don't want to do air sealing, duct sealing, crawl spaces, insulation, attics, etc. Most still think that if the homeowner is not comfortable that it "must" be the system and don't consider the house. How many HVAC contractors pay attention to the house leakage value in Manual J? Most will just put in normal or leaky without thinking that it has a huge impact on sizing.

    If most HVAC contractors were doing this we wouldn't be having this conversation.
  • Bless You Frank,

    You are absolutely correct. Unfortunately I will probably burn in hell for teaching thousands of HVAC companies to do just that. Without extensive testing all the inputs to a load "Calculation" on an existing house are just guesses.I am now trying to repent
    as my appointment with St. Peter is eminent.

    There is no difference between just guessing the size or guessing/gaming the inputs that make the load come out to what you wanted anyway. This is called conformation bias by the statisticians.

    A Load calc has zero value other than performance art if you do not know the inputs, and you don't. That is why 10 contractors will give you 11 different loads and all go to their grave telling you their load is correct. Even if you are perfect, your answer tells you a number that will occur about 4 seconds a year, when in reality loads change every second. Back when Fred Flintstone was around, they found out the by putting more or less wood on the fire they could modulate heat to outside conditions to be comfortable.
    We have dumbed it down these calcs from our cave man ancestors and now just figure worst case, like designing a car with an on off switch for a gas pedal. This procedure is simple,stupid and has held the industry back from advancing modulating systems.

    I wish math class was like this when I went to school, every answer is correct!

    So all the trainers simply teach the contractors what values to manipulate, Like infiltration, duct loss, and design temps, none of them known, to quickly back into the load they want, or what the inspector, or utility guy wants to see. A perfect load calc would look at inventory and size to what is in stock. Any contractor can give you a load for any size equipment on any house.

    What a business!

    Best of Luck,

    pj
  • David ButlerDavid Butler Posts: 3,889
    PJ, I have audited more load calcs than I care to admit and I agree that most are incorrect. I also agree that trainers often set the tone. And I don't doubt for a minute that contractors tend to game the models, even if subconsciously. But none of this justifies your position that load calcs have zero value.

    The sorts of errors I typically see are the result of careless takeoffs and not taking the time to chase down window and envelope properties. Even the guys/gals who try to do a good job tend to "make do" with whatever the builder gives them (we all know residential plans never include everything we need to model the home). When working up a quote, I can understand why a contractor wouldn't take time to chase down all the specs. The problem is, very few revisit their model after they get the contract.

    At least in new construction, the diligent designer can indeed "know" the correct inputs with the exception of duct leakage and infiltration. And in programs that require testing (2012 IECC requires for all new homes), designers who pay attention to the results can estimate duct leakage for his own crew (great for QC), and even predict blower door results (CFM50) for their regular builders. The approach I take is to convince builders to establish duct leakage and infiltration targets and hold the appropriate subs responsible for meeting those targets.

    The load calculation procedure is not intended to be an exact science. But if designers would take care to do accurate take-offs and update the model once window and insulation specs are final, the variation among 10 models would be relatively small. The problem is not when the load (or equipment) is a half ton heavy. In high performance homes we're seeing egregiously oversized equipment. Doing a careful load calc is the only way to rectify that problem in new construction. (In existing homes, cycle timing is a better way to determine the design load, whenever feasible).

    Your point that a perfectly executed load calc is only accurate at design conditions is ridiculous. That's true by definition. I think you would agree that the equipment must be able to handle the design load. If you install modulating equipment, you still need to know the design load, no? Otherwise, how do you avoid undersizing?

    Keep in mind that all modulating equipment has a limited range of operation. For example, Carrier has a new variable capacity heat pump (GreenSpeed). As it turns out, the 3 ton model is the only size that comes close to the 60% reduction claimed in the marketing. The 2-ton model only has a 33% range top-to-bottom. When you oversize, you're losing part or all of that range, no? Also, since multi-stage and modulating compressors only come in 4 sizes rather than 7, the round-up factor steals part of the range on many homes, even if you size to the load.

    Bottom line, modulating equipment doesn't eliminate the need to determine the design load, at least not if you want your customer to enjoy the comfort and efficiency benefits touted by these systems.