AEA West

AEA opened its West Coast office in 2010 and has since helped lead the charge towards a clean, efficient, and equitable zero net carbon multifamily building stock in California.  We are deeply committed to addressing the challenges of climate change by delivering the benefits of energy efficiency and solar to the communities that are most susceptible to climate impacts and have the fewest resources available to them to protect themselves from the consequences.  With a focus on improving the lives of low and moderate income Californians AEA West aims to rapidly scale the delivery of high performance net zero carbon buildings through the effective and efficient delivery of energy programs, cutting edge research and demonstration projects, and educating policy makers, property owners, contractors and the general public.

AEA West is currently involved in implementing whole building multifamily retrofit programs throughout California, most of which serve both low income and market rate properties.  In each of these programs AEA works directly with property owners and design teams to schedule and perform on-site property assessments, develop energy models and savings calculations, produce comprehensive scopes of work, and document all findings and recommendations in detailed energy audit reports.  Additionally, for most of these programs AEA assists owners in accessing financing and/or rebates; develops detailed measure specifications; communicates the findings to property owners, contractors, program administrators and other key stakeholders; assists owners with contractor procurement; reviews and evaluates contractor bids to ensure cost control; and performs on-site interim construction inspections and final post construction verification inspections. 

 

Energy Programs

  • Low Income Weatherization Program for Multifamily (LIWP-MF)
    • California’s Low-Income Weatherization Program for Multifamily Properties (LIWP-MF), administered by the California Department of Community Services and Development, incentivizes rooftop solar PV systems, solar hot water systems and energy efficiency measures for low-income households to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy. As the statewide provider for LIWP-MF, AEA serves as a single point of contact, providing technical assistance to support low-income property owners from scope development through construction completion.  Properties participating in the LIWP-MF program save an average of 44%, facilitated through the high-impact incentives, wide range of eligible measures, and comprehensive technical assistance that the program provides.  Visit the Program Website or contact liwpinfo@aea.us.org for more information on the LIWP-MF program.
  • Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements Program (BAMBE) (ND+RO)
    • Energy Upgrade California’s Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements offers cash rebates and no-cost energy consulting and technical assistance for multifamily properties that undertake energy and water upgrades. The program assists in planning and executing energy saving improvements designed to save 10% or more of a building’s energy usage and provides $750 per unit in rebates to help pay for the upgrade.
    • As the technical assistance provider, AEA serves as a single point of contact, providing technical assistance to support affordable housing, market rate, HOAs, and condominiums through the project process from start to finish. Since 2014 the program has paid over $15 million in rebates for comprehensive whole building energy upgrades on over 320 projects throughout the 9-County Bay Area.
  • Marin Clean Energy Multifamily Energy Savings Program
    • MCE’s Multifamily Energy Savings (MFES) Program provides free technical assistance and rebates to promote energy efficiency projects in multifamily housing. Step by step guidance through the program ranges from opportunity identification to scope development.  MCE’s flexible incentive structure allows for a greater range of participants to engage in MFES. MFES also works in coordination with several partner programs to encourage deep whole building retrofits that promote energy efficiency and healthy indoor environments.
    • MCE Low Income Families and Tenants (LIFT) Program 
    • Solar on Multifamily Homes Program (SOMAH) (SH)
  • SoCalGas Energy Upgrade California Multifamily Program
    • SoCalGas’s Energy Upgrade California Multifamily Program offers cash rebates and no cost energy consultation and assessment to multifamily property owners and managers. The program assists in planning and executing energy saving improvements designed to save 10% or more of a building’s energy usage and provides up to $480 per unit in rebates to help pay for the upgrade.
    • As the technical assistance provider, AEA serves as a single point of contact, providing technical assistance to support affordable housing, market rate, and HOAs through the project process from start to finish.
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Energy and Green Building Consulting

AEA works with owners, developers, architects, and design engineers to help multifamily new construction and major rehabilitation projects meet the energy efficiency and green building goals, both from funders, as well as project team goals. Consulting services for these types of projects can include:

  • TCAC Sustainable Building Methods
  • Title 24 – CA Energy Code
  • GreenPoint Rated (New & Existing Multifamily)
  • LEED for Homes
  • HERS testing and verification, including but not limited to
    • Quality Insulation Installation
    • Air barrier inspection and air leakage testing
    • Duct leakage verification
    • Solar PV verification
  • Electrification and Advanced Energy Systems

Research and Development

Research and Demonstration Projects:  Since 1994 AEA has been involved in a variety of research and demonstration projects, primarily with funding support from the California Energy Commission, U.S. Department of Energy, New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), and NYS Division of Housing & Community Renewal and others.  Current projects in CA include:

  • EPC–15-097: Achieving Zero Net Energy in Multifamily Buildings.  AEA is currently partnered with Build It Green, Stone Energy Associates, Redwood Energy, and LBNL in the CEC-funded research study entitled Achieving Zero Net Energy in Multifamily Buildings, EPIC 15-097, which aims to demonstrate the technical and economic potential for optimized ZNE construction practices in new multifamily buildings through four demonstration projects.  The project will inform best practices as well as codes and standards and will communicate lessons learned to the multifamily design and construction community in a way that facilitates broader adoption of ZNE practices with reduced performance risk.  AEA leads the measurement and verification component of the project and is responsible for monitoring equipment installations, data retrieval, cleaning, and analysis associated with the HVAC and water heating-related mechanical systems.  Project Announcement
  • EPC–15-308: Integrating Smart Ceiling Fans and Communicating Thermostats to Provide Energy-Efficiency Comfort.  This project seeks to develop optimal ways to integrate commercially available “smart” ceiling fans and thermostats now on the market, and to evaluate how they impact energy use and comfort in multi-family residential and small commercial buildings. The CEC funded project team is led by UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment (CBE), and includes TRC, AEA, and Big Ass Solutions (BAS). 

A new generation of smart, internet-enabled building products offer opportunities to improve comfort while at the same time reducing customers’ energy use and utility costs. However a challenge remains in how to describe the benefits they offer, and support the adoption of such integrated solutions by customers. The Berkeley-led project will gain insights into these questions through a series of laboratory tests and field demonstrations, using BAS ceiling fans with “SenseME” controls that respond to the environment and occupants’ preferences, integrated with communicating and learning thermostats. The demonstration sites will include dwelling units, common areas, and fitness facilities, in historically under-served low-income multifamily housing in California. A series of complimentary laboratory studies will conducted to create a new standardized method for testing and rating fans for energy and comfort performance, helping manufacturers to refine their offerings, and customers to make informed choices.  Project Page

  • EPC–17-304: Mass Deployment Model for ZNE Retrofits:  In partnership with Prospect Silicon Valley, Rocky Mountain Institute, the UC Davis Energy Efficiency Center, David Baker Architects, Integral Group, Stone Energy Associates, San Francisco Department of the Environment, and the California Housing Partnership, AEA was recently awarded a CEC EPIC research and demonstration grant that will demonstrate the design and rapid delivery of affordable Integrated ZNE Retrofit Packages with a business model to drive scale.  AEA will serve as the Principal Investigator and will oversee the design, installation, and verification of all four advanced technology demonstration projects.  The program targets a 50% cost reduction on the installed measures that will deliver 50% reduction in energy use through standardization of the retrofit solution, combined with a market facilitation platform that aggregates demand and empowers it to negotiate with and inspire innovation amongst suppliers.  The program includes an innovative performance assurance mechanism that expands the availability of affordable financing for deeper efficiency savings, unlocking the potential for rapid adoption in the market.  The project will be demonstrated in disadvantaged communities across various climate zones and will ensure they benefit long-term by transforming the building stock most relevant to this community – multifamily residential buildings. The program will unlock the market to innovate productized and mass manufactured “Integrated ZNE Retrofit Packages” to transform the State’s over 420,000 low-income housing units, and ultimately the 13.5 million single-family and multifamily housing units in California. The project will precipitate roughly $7.7 billion in utility cost reductions for Californian’s by 2030, 8.4 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emission reductions, and nearly 69 billion gallons of water savings.
  • PIR-16-012: Effective Kitchen Ventilation for Healthy ZNE Homes with Natural Gas Appliances.  The goal of this Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) led project is to inform developers of residential building codes and standards that protect indoor air quality and health for ratepayers, focusing on kitchen ventilation requirements for California multifamily ZNE homes with natural gas. 

The project team will collect data and conduct analyses and simulations to inform the potential beneficiaries of changes to the building code requirements for kitchen ventilation. AEA will contribute to study design and protocol development, and will lead on project identification, recruitment of participating occupants, preparation and deployment of measurement and data logging devices, ventilation equipment characterization, execution of quality assurance procedures, data handling, documentation of fieldwork activities, and the reporting of field observations.

Past CA Projects:

  • Multifamily Indoor Air Quality & Combustion Safety: In 2015-17 AEA worked with LBNL under their Health Homes Indoor Air Quality Study, to investigate the impact of natural gas appliances on indoor air quality in multifamily apartments in California. 
  • Multifamily Ventilation Code Relevant Measures Program: In 2013-14 AEA worked with the U.C. Davis Western Cooling Energy Center and the Benningfield Group to conduct research under the Unique Multifamily Code-Relevant Measures (UMCRM) program. 

Training

Building and property management professionals, technicians and installers, and program staff come to AEA to learn how to assess building conditions and install retrofits to maximize both energy efficiency, and occupant health and safety.

Our courses offer students

• Essential industry certifications
• Continuing education credits
• Expert trainers with years of experience in their fields
• In-person classes and interactive, real-time distance learning
• Introductory modules to get  up to speed before the class
• 3-D graphics, animations, and knowledge checks

AEA trainees get engaged with the material so they know how to apply new skills on the job.  They learn new techniques and best practices, proper use of high performance materials, how to avoid common errors.

Courses offered include:

  • Building Performance Institute
    • Multifamily Building Analyst
    • Multifamily Building Operator
    • Building Analyst Professional
    • Quality Control Inspector
  • Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant (NAPHN & PHI)
  • Free public workshops on innovative topics including:
    • Heat pump water heating
    • Electrification of new and existing buildings
  • Customized training on building efficiency, operations, and maintenance

Building Performance Institute (BPI) Test Center

AEA West is an approved BPI Test Center, offering proctoring for all BPI written exams 

 

 

 

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