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SmartHOME Program

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Program Description

The purpose of the BTU SmartHOME Program is to educate customers and encourage energy efficiency improvements that help customers reduce their energy cost and improve the comfort of their home while at the same time reducing BTU’s need to build or purchase additional generation. Any generation reduced has the added benefit of reducing CO2 emissions. According to the EPA, saving 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) is equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions from 79.1 gallons of gasoline consumed or the carbon sequestered by 18.1 tree seedlings grown for 10 years.

Eligibility

The BTU SmartHOME Program is available to any owner of an existing single- or multi-family permanent dwelling within the BTU service territory, which is billed on a residential rate. Mobile homes are not eligible for the rebate. Tenants should contact their landlord about participation in the program. Incentive payments will only be paid to the property owner. Only projects completed within the current fiscal year will be accepted. The fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30 of each year.

Measures

The BTU SmartHOME Program offers incentives to customers adopting any of these three approved energy efficiency measures and meets program guidelines. These measures are intended to improve the building envelope.

  • Insulation
  • Windows
  • Solar Screens
Deemed Energy Savings

All payments to customers are based on pre-determined average kilowatt (kW) savings for each measure that have been approved by the Public Utility Commission of Texas in Project No. 22241.

Inspections

BTU reserves the right to pre- or post-inspect any project installation to ensure that the project meets the program guidelines, with a goal of inspecting a minimum of 25% of all projects. Incentive payment is paid when installation inspections are completed and approved, normally within 30 days of receiving all required documentation. All applicable building codes will be adhered to.

Incentive Rates

The incentive rate for all three measures is based on BTU’s cost for new peaking generation. Incentive payments will be a minimum of 10%, not to exceed 25%, of the total installed cost per customer project. The total annual incentive payment to any one customer cannot exceed 20% of BTU’s annual program budget. This incentive program is subject to the availability of funds and may be terminated at any time without advance notice.

Process
  1. Customer elects to participate in one or more of the three SmartHOME programs and determines the materials or products being considered meet the minimum program standards. Many times this requires meeting with a contractor or contractors to get bids.
  2. Customer completes the BTU SmartHOME Application. Often, the contractor will help complete part of the application.
  3. Customer takes pictures of the project area before any work is done. Pictures must show details so the differences between “before” improvements and “after” improvements are obvious.
  4. Customer selects a contractor to perform the work. As an option, customers may elect to do the work themselves.
  5. Customer has the work done.
  6. Customer takes pictures of the finished area after work is completed, again, showing details.
  7. Customer submits the following:
    • The completed application
    • Before and after pictures
    • All invoices for material and labor directly related to the SmartHOME project
  8. Customers can email all of these items to SmartHOME@btutilities.com. Or you can mail the completed application and supporting materials, or drop it by:
              205 East 28th Street
              Bryan, Texas 77803
  9. Once BTU receives all items in the list above and approves for payment, the incentive payment is calculated and submitted for payment to the customer in the form of a check.
  10. Customer can contact BTU at any time with questions or to request assistance as needed.

Attic Insulation

Measure

Attic insulation savings are per square foot of treated attic area above a conditioned space. Deemed savings tables are based on the current level of attic insulation in the home from R-0 to R-22. The current insulation level of each home will be determined and documented by the insulation installer. Attic insulation must be added only to homes with electric air conditioning to qualify for these deemed savings values.

Installation and Efficiency Standard

An attic insulation level of R-30 is recommended throughout Texas as prescribed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). For example, about 8 inches of blown-in cellulose is the equivalent of R-30. The combined R-values of the existing insulation and the insulation being added will total at least R-30. The R-value of the existing insulation can be no greater than R-22.

Deemed Savings
Attic Insulation Base R-Value kW Savings per sq. ft.
R-0 0.000973
R-1 to R-4 0.000615
R-5 to R-8 0.000297
R-9 to R-14 0.000153
R-15 to R-22 0.000074

These deemed savings assume an improvement to R-30. Incentive payments will be made for improvements that meet R-30 but any improvements above R-30 will not be included in the incentive payment.

Example Calculation

1,500 sq ft of treated area (originally R-6) x 0.000297 kW/sq ft x $900/kW = $401. The typical cost for this would be about $1,500, so the incentive payment would be capped at 25% or $375.

Wall Insulation

Measure

Wall insulation savings are per square foot of treated wall area (gross wall area less window and door area), and are based on R-0 increased to R-13. To qualify for the incentive, there must be no existing wall insulation on an exterior wall. Wall insulation must be added only to homes with electric air conditioning to qualify for these deemed savings values.

Installation and Efficiency Standard

The standard throughout Texas for adding wall insulation to an existing wall cavity is R-13, as prescribed by the DOE and Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) programs.

Deemed Savings

The deemed savings for this measure is 0.0006734 kW per square feet of treated wall area. Incentive payments will be made for improvements that meet R-13 but any improvements above R-13 will not be included in the incentive payment.

Example Calculation

500 sq ft of treated wall area x 0.0006734 kW/sq ft x $900/kW = $303. The typical cost for this would be about $750, so the incentive payment would be capped at 25% or $188.

Energy Star® Windows

Measure

ENERGY STAR® windows savings are per square foot of window, inclusive of frame and sash. Windows must be installed only in homes with electric air conditioning to qualify for these deemed savings values.

Installation and Efficiency Standard

For a window to qualify for these deemed savings, it must meet ENERGY STAR® criteria for the Southern Region as deemed by www.energystar.gov.

Deemed Savings

The deemed savings for this measure is 0.0024 kW per square feet of window.

Example Calculation

60 sq ft of windows (4-3x5s) x 0.0024 kW/sq ft x $900/kW = $130. The typical cost for this would be about $1,600, so the incentive payment would be the 10% minimum or $160.

Solar Screens

Measure

Solar screens must be installed on windows facing predominately east or west and receive significant direct sun exposure. The screens must be installed on windows that attach to an air conditioned part of the home (porches and other non-air conditioned sections do not qualify). Solar screens that block at least 65% of the solar heat gain qualify for deemed savings. Deemed savings are per square foot of window or door opening. Solar screens must be installed only in homes with electric air conditioning to qualify for these deemed savings values.

Installation and Efficiency Standard

To qualify for solar screen deemed savings, windows must be facing predominately east or west and receive significant direct sun exposure. Solar screen material must reduce solar heat gain by at least 65%.

Deemed Savings

The deemed savings for this measure is 0.00159 kW per square feet of window.

Example Calculation

60 sq ft of windows (4-3x5s) x 0.00159 kW/sq ft x $900/kW = $86. The typical cost of this would be about $160, so the incentive payment would be capped at 25% or $40.

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