SMUD Home Performance Program
Welcome to the SMUD Home Performance Program. The HPP enables homeowners to earn rebates of up to $5,000 when a participating contractor performs a whole-house energy retrofit on the customer’s home.
SMUD’s program was developed to help the state reduce energy use, help homeowners reduce their energy bills and increase the comfort of their homes, and help California generate green jobs. Contractors and homeowners who take part in the HPP take a different approach to improve the comfort, health, safety, durability, and energy efficiency of a home than a “regular” contractor. Home performance contractors analyze a house “as a system.” They use specialized equipment to gather data inside the house, which enables them to examine how each facet of a home’s performance (e.g., HVAC, insulation, air infiltration, and windows) affects a home’s living conditions. The contractor then analyzes the data as a system to determine how improvements to each separate facet can be integrated so that they work together optimally. Home performance contractors know how to make a home’s individual features that affect the living space become a “whole” that works better than the sum of its parts.
Home performance contractors are specially trained to implement Building Performance Institute (BPI) standards. This training increases their knowledge, maximizes a home’s performance, and ensures the home’s comfort and safety. BPI is a nationally recognized independent nonprofit organization that promotes home comfort, health, safety, durability, and energy efficiency. Its experts develop and promote national standards to standardize home improvements based on building science and examining the house as a system, rather than by combining individual facets of a house that do not work in harmony. BPI also is an educational, testing, certifying, and accreditation organization that determines whether contractors are qualified to work in the whole house home performance industry. In addition, BPI develops and implements quality assurance programs to ensure that whole house contractors’ work adheres to BPI standards. Information about BPI, and the steps necessary to become a BPI certified professional can be found at www.bpi.org. In addition, there is a calendar listing of available BPI training courses at www.cbpca.org.
Home performance contractors analyze a customer’s energy bills, look for uneven temperatures in the house, drafts, moisture, mold, mildew, poor indoor air quality, and premature deterioration of building materials. A contractor who is not experienced in building science treats one problem at a time (e.g., installing a larger air conditioner) without recognizing the multiple reasons for the larger-scale problems. But a well-trained home performance contractor performs a comprehensive whole-home assessment to find all the problems, and then prioritizes integrated systems improvements improve living conditions throughout the home.
SMUD requires all of its HPP Participating Contractors to provide excellent customer service for their clients, which requires contractors to explain the HPP process and retrofit project clearly, manage their clients’ expectations, and be in regular contact with their clients.
Note: SMUD reserves the right to change the HPP without notice. Please continue to read all e-mails, newsletters, any other notices you receive from SMUD or the Program Administrator, and please attend contractor meetings. It is the responsibility of each Participating Contractor to remain up to date on any subsequent changes. The information provided above is current and takes effect immediately. Any future changes supersede this notice.