Assessment and Evaluation
Four utilities engaged Frontier Energy to create a user-friendly one-stop-shop for all rebate information aimed at commercial foodservice customers. The website, caenergywise.com, uses approachable graphics, interactive calculators, a do-it-yourself energy assessment, and design guides to help restaurateurs choose the best equipment for their space. Frontier’s staff update the rebate list on the 15th of the month and ensure consistency among the utilities’ programs. The website also serves an information hub about seminars, workshops, and webinars. Launched in July 2018, the website currently has more than 1,000 unique visitors a month.
For the nine-county BayREN, Frontier designed and implements the Multifamily Building Enhancements, which offers cash rebates and no-cost energy consulting for multifamily properties. Frontier Energy simplified the rebate approach with an “interest form” that applicants complete. Our specialists then call property owners to guide them through the application process, and then reviews submitted applications and approves them for rebate payment. In the project’s first year, we processed applications for 20,000 units and issued $15 million in rebates.
Since 2008, Frontier has administered and processed rebates for El Paso Electric (EPE) Company’s EPESaver program aimed at single family homes. Frontier receives applications for a dozen different measures for new and does turnkey processing. Staff review each application for eligibility and completeness and contact participants that submit incomplete applications to resolve issues. Frontier invoices EPE in batches and upon payment receipt, issues checks to participants. Frontier also manages the EPESaver website, where applicants can read about measures and complete applications online.
Visit the program website at www.epesaver.com
In 2007, Frontier implemented CenterPoint Energy’s targeted low-income energy efficiency program. We continue to innovate the program to reduce administrative expenses, improve competitiveness, and increase participation by energy efficiency service providers. Most recently, we partnered with CPE for a program aimed at low-income residents in older, all-electric multifamily housing. Program participants and project sponsors give glowing feedback and thanks, citing their happy customers’ reduced energy use and lower energy bills.
Frontier is the implementer for the New Mexico Low Income Program, which includes lighting, HVAC, and envelope measures. New Mexico requires that low-income programs pass the TRC and we’ve met this challenge every year since 2013. We also recruit participating contractors for the program, which serves large rural areas.
Since 2008, Frontier has managed incentive programs for Texas New Mexico Power’s Residential and Hard-to-Reach programs reduce peak demand in existing homes. We implement the program, give technical assistance, manage the P3 platform for program tracking and reporting, and perform inspections.
Frontier Energy designed and implemented SMUD’s single-family energy efficiency upgrade program. Frontier developed the first menu-based comprehensive whole-house upgrade rebate structure used by a California utility, recruited and trained contractors, and reviewed submissions and approved applications. Between 2010 and 2018, the program completed 55,65 residential upgrade projects and issued $17.5 million in rebates—three times the participation of other California programs.
Pay-As-You-Save® is innovative on-bill financing approach for municipal water utilities. PAYS enables customers to install indoor and outdoor water efficiency improvements with no up-front cost and save more than they pay for program measures. Frontier Energy implemented PAYS at three pilot locations with great success. We’re now working with Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority and BayREN on a regional launch with more than 90 water agencies.
Frontier designed and implements the SMARTSource Solar Photovoltaic Program, a market transformation initiative for AEP Texas Central Company (TCC) and Texas North Company (TNC). Residential and commercial customers can receive financial incentives to reduce the up-front costs of PV installations. The successful program has increased the number of participating contractors and decreased the average installed cost of systems.
Since 2006, Frontier Energy has operated the NYSERDA Distributed Energy Resources Integrated Data System website that presents hourly performance data for energy storage, photovoltaic/solar, anaerobic digester, fuel cell, and CHP projects. We collect data from several hundreds of DER sites each night, provide quality assurance, and upload it to the web database. The DER website shows hourly performance data, key performance metrics, and other information about each project.
The Honda Smart Home is a living ZNE laboratory built to evaluate and optimize advanced integrated systems and understand their impact on the grid. Frontier Energy and UC Davis Western Cooling Efficiency Center designed the house’s mechanical systems and recommended building materials to reduce energy demand. In 2016, the house producing more energy over the year than the residents used for living and vehicle charging. Frontier’s engineers continue to collect data and evaluate performance of technologies and advanced systems. Data is available to the public at www.hondasmarthome.com.
Frontier Energy analyzed the feasibility and made recommendations for the Nishi Student Apartments development, a 47-acre development that will provide affordable university student housing without increasing traffic in a land-constrained area. Frontier’s engineers developed a project description, sustainability framework and implementation plan for CEQA compliance. We optimized the real estate value with innovative approaches to zoning. Now we’re conducting engineering studies to demonstrate the project’s GHG reduction.
When Involta designed a world-class data center in Boise, Frontier’s Energy Insight was at the table to identify and evaluate options that would save energy, lower operating costs, and qualify for utility rebates and other incentives. In additional to modeling, Energy Insight’s engineers visited similar facilities to understand methods of operation. By understanding how the people work with the equipment, the team’s recommended design is estimated to save 866,431 kWh annually, reducing the electric bill by about $54,000 a year.
Frontier Energy’s engineering team updates the Building Energy Efficiency Standards codes single-family and low-rise multifamily residential and appliances in Parts 6 and 11 for California’s State Building Codes. The team draws on their expertise in the current code cycle and plans for the next cycle to help cities with local reach codes—those that are more-stringent than the state code but must prove to be cost-effective. Recent reach codes studies include cost-effectiveness of all-electric new construction and requiring above-code solar to offset car charging in multifamily buildings.
Frontier Energy designed and built the Deemed Savings Engine (DSE), which allows utilities to centrally maintain and implement deemed savings instead of multiple Technical Resource Manuals. DSE is deployed in Texas, Arkansas, and New Mexico to implement each respective state’s TRM for subscribing utilities’ programs and has seamlessly integrated a dozen program tracking systems. Since adopting the Deemed Savings Engine, utilities report decreased administrative time and increased calculation consistency.
On behalf of CenterPoint Energy customers, Frontier’s Energy Insight certified energy auditors visit facilities to conduct a Natural Gas Energy Analysis. Auditors inspect the building envelope and natural gas equipment to identify opportunities to save energy and lower costs. After the audit, the owner/resident receives a written report with specific energy-saving recommendations, projected energy and cost savings, available rebates, and estimated payback.
For more than 30 years, Frontier Energy’s commercial foodservice group has conducted on-site assessments of restaurants, institutional kitchens, and other commercial facilities on behalf of utilities nationwide. The team shows kitchen managers and chefs behavior changes that can immediately reduce energy, water, and waste, and follows up with a written report that includes recommendations for rate structures, equipment replacement, and design changes that can reduce costs and improve indoor air quality. Visit our commercial foodservice webpages.
Energy Insight, Inc., is among an elite group of consultants in North America qualified to deliver accredited Green Globe auditing and certification services for travel and tourism businesses like resorts, cruise ships, and tourist attractions. An accredited auditor visits the business to assess compliance with dozens of criteria and hundreds of prescriptive and performance indicators that are based on the business type and location, including cultural heritage, local employment, sustainable materials, and conservation.
The New York Power Authority’s Energy Efficiency Innovation Collaborative (EE-INC) was a public-private collaboration to spur growth of the most-promising energy-saving innovations. As part of the project, Frontier Energy assessed the accuracy of several vendors’ virtual energy audit solutions. Wireless technologies were deployed in buildings on the SUNY campus and we conducted energy tradition audits. Our team analyzed and compared the results from all audits to assess validity of the software systems’ findings. Spoiler alert; none of the software systems were ready for market.
To provide data for the Title 24 rulemaking, Frontier Energy evaluated ducts in conditioned space, high-performance walls, and high-performance attics on behalf of PG&E. The team recruited builders; assisting builders with overcoming technical, cost, and market barriers; and measuring outcomes. Our engineers also manage the Central Valley Residential Home project, which is providing real-world data about mini-split heat pump and radiant heating and cooling systems installed in Habitat for Humanity homes. The data will be used to update 2021 Title 24 standards.
As a NYSERDA technical review contractor, Frontier Energy performed technical assistance review for performance-based incentives for central chiller systems, unitary HVAC upgrades, VFD application for pumps and fans, and lighting retrofit projects. Frontier Energy staff reviewed 145 performance-based energy conservation projects, with total annual electrical savings of 74 million kWh, peak demand savings of 12.9 MW, and annual fossil fuel savings of 298,000 therms. Frontier recommended incentives totaling nearly $9 million.
For East Bay Community Energy, the Frontier team is developing plans for individual municipal fleets to transition to electric vehicles over a period of years. We are working with fleet managers to assess vehicles and vehicle use patterns, parking locations, and building energy use to recommend specific plans that include charging stations and potential need for additional DER and energy storage to offset demand from car and truck charging.
Frontier Energy partnered with Sonoma Clean Power to win a $9.8 million California Energy Commission EPIC grant to rapidly accelerate the adoption of energy efficiency retrofits in existing residential and commercial buildings. The Frontier team is assessing market barriers to large-scale retrofits and evaluating the energy savings of deployed technologies.
Frontier has extensive experience with the evaluation of lighting technology impacts for utility energy efficiency programs. Our team analyzed inputs for calculating energy and demand for directional and omni-directional LEDs and standard and specialty CFLs to determine residential lighting deemed savings, which utilities use for credible and reliable savings results. We maintain and regularly update the Lighting Savings Form that many southwest utilities use to calculate energy savings of retrofits and new construction projects.
Led by EPRI, the California CO2 Storage Assurance Enterprise (C2SAFE) project conducted pre-feasibility work for commercial-scale geologic CO2 storage in the Southern San Joaquin Valley of California. Frontier Energy helped research and write the CO2 source characterization and capture techno-economics report and the implementation plan report and led the integrated scenario analysis report. Along with other members of the C2SAFE team, Frontier Energy conducted outreach to industry stakeholders and policymakers, holding meetings in Sacramento and Bakersfield. These efforts laid the groundwork for a Phase II submission to DOE.
Frontier Energy developed a blueprint and planning tools to implement the City of Sacramento’s EV Strategy, providing a detailed roadmap for the City to achieve 75,000 EVs by 2025; identifying ideal locations to achieve equitable access for EV charging and car sharing; identifying goals for EV workforce development, shared vehicle ownership, and new mobility programs; and recommending reach codes and zoning ordinances that could encourage more charging infrastructure. As a result of regular public engagement throughout the process, the planning commission approved all recommendations and the City is poised for additional projects. Read the reports at http://www.cityofsacramento.org/EV.
Sacramento Metro AQMD commissioned Frontier Energy to create a regional plan that targets adoption of fuel cell and battery electric vehicles by high-mileage drivers. We conducted a thorough analysis of how super-commuters, livery drivers, service workers, trucks, and transit buses moved throughout a six-county region that includes large rural areas, and then recommended locations for DC fast charging plazas and hydrogen stations. The interactive map and all data is available at zevreadiness.frontierenergy.com.
2019 Cost-effectiveness Study: Low-Rise Residential New Construction found that additional building efficiency measures, adding solar and battery storage, and all-electric buildings can be cost effective for single-family and low-rise multifamily residences. The report, developed by Frontier Energy and project partner Misti Bruceri & Associates, documents combinations of measures that exceed the 2019 California Energy Code and are cost-effective using Time Dependent Valuation (TDV), which the Energy Commission uses for code development, and On-Bill methodology that represents customers’ savings on utility bills.
Sponsored by EPRI, Frontier developed a user-friendly spreadsheet model to analyze technical and economic potentials for electricity energy efficiency improvements among a given population. The spreadsheet engine allows for automatic incorporation of additional measures, calculates additional cost-effectiveness tests, and allows users to filter measures to estimate economic potential for up to three scenarios.
As solar and energy storage technologies have become more cost competitive, local governments are increasingly involved in solar and storage projects. In partnership with North Central Texas Council of Governments, Frontier analyzed the benefits and costs of selected solar and energy storage applications and produced financial pro forma tools, which give local a consistent and comprehensive approach to evaluating solar applications that may provide energy, capacity, shade, mobility, resiliency and other community benefits. The tools are available at www.gosolartexas.org/cost-benefit-analysis
On behalf of BayREN, Frontier Energy coordinates technical strategy and positioning within the CPUC’s regulatory framework. An important component is to clarify the technical aspects of BayREN’s role as a successful provider of ratepayer-funded programs. The Frontier team analyzes legislation, policy, and regulatory documents and aligns BayREN programs, targets, and activities to ensure compliance.
A pair of DOE-funded projects, Technology Solutions for Wind Integration in ERCOT, sought to determine how rate structures, residential rooftop solar, and car charging influenced residential energy consumption. Frontier Energy designed innovative pricing models and other tools to shift electricity use. Rigorous statistical analyses showed that pricing signals, technology-based tools and feedback to customers drove positive and persistent behavioral change.
In a CenterPoint Energy pilot project for in-home displays of energy use, Frontier Energy collected data from the program participants and performed regression analysis to estimate demand and energy impacts of demand response program at the household level. Post-implementation analysis showed that only 0.5% of 1,800 residential customers in the program achieved electric energy savings.
California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority’s Residential Energy Efficiency Loan (REEL) program is a statewide tool designed to offer lower-cost financing to more Californians. Frontier Energy recruits high-quality contractors for the program and keeps them engaged after enrollment. We designed program materials for contractors to use to market the program to their clients. Using a CRM, we track all activities to evaluate recruitment effectiveness adjust efforts as needed.
Visit the program website at https://gogreenfinancing.com/residential
The Emerging Technologies Program (ETP) is a collaborative of North American utilities focused on accelerating cutting-edge energy efficiency technologies. Frontier Energy supports ETP with member outreach and engagement, event planning, website maintenance, and educational resource development. We also developed a CRM to successfully increase member engagement and ensure that members received the important information they needed.
In the City of Berkeley, Frontier Energy supports technical and workforce development for the new Building Energy Saving Ordinance that requires single-family homes to obtain a Home Energy Score at the time of sale. To determine the market readiness of the Program, Frontier Energy sought stakeholder input from local realtors, home inspectors, and industry experts, and then recruited and trained HES-qualified assessors, developed HES program protocols, and a web-based program for streamlined HES submissions.
Visit the website at www.cityofberkeley.info/BESO
Training food service professionals to treat energy and water like other commodities and giving them the skills to manage their utilities, like they manage food costs, has the potential to return those billions back to the bottom line. Frontier’s Fe3 is the only online learning to train food service professionals about energy and water efficiency for commercial food service. Six graphically rich modules each have specific learning objectives, post-testing, videos, web links, and gamification. After passing all six modules, the student receives an Fe3 Certification can be used as a professional credential. Visit the Fe3 website.
Frontier Energy partnered with Purpose for an electric-vehicle tour from California to New York over 10 days in September 2018 to highlight the stories of the people, cities and emerging technologies that are fulfilling America’s Pledge on climate change, creating jobs and economic prosperity while reducing climate pollution and ensuring our country’s clean energy future. Financed by several climate-focused foundations, the 2,906-mile road trip generated millions of online interactions through Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and a series on FunnyorDie.com. Visit the New American Road Trip website.
Developed by Frontier Energy the California Energy Wise website is an online resource center for the foodservice industry. The engaging website offers free, educational foodservice-specific seminars, expert energy advice, equipment demos and more. A unique interactive tool lets restauranteurs compare energy and water savings from hundreds of pieces of equipment. Visit the Energy Wise website.
For two years, with worked Veloz to disseminate information about EV charging infrastructure to owners of multifamily dwellings. Leveraging our relationships within the multi-family market, we arranged meetings with the lobbyists and apartment industry groups, and as a result, we worked with the project manager to change the SOW to better meet their objectives. One success from the project was transforming their webinars from technical panel sessions that “spoke to the choir” to an NPR-style audio webcast that attracted new audiences and speakers. Participation grew from 24 attendees, most of whom we knew by first name, to more than 300 attendees who remained engaged with the origination.
From 2003 to 2014, Frontier Energy conducted outreach for the West Coast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (WESTCARB) project. Frontier staff organized and ran WESTCARB’s annual business meetings, including field tours to power plants and drill sites; wrote, designed, and produced collateral, website, and videos for target audiences; exhibited at international technical conferences and DOE program reviews; staffed community meetings in support of WESTCARB field projects; and participated in science teacher training workshops on climate change and mitigation options. Visit the WESTCARB website and YouTube channel.
Working on a DOE grant with the San Francisco Department of the Environment, Frontier Energy staff conducted workshops and educational outreach about FCEVs throughout the San Francisco Bay Area to help speed the implementation of three retail hydrogen stations. In addition to public outreach, the team worked with local AHJs to create a regional best-practices guide for permitting and inspecting hydrogen stations and trained the area’s first responders in proper incident response steps.
In 2016, a private company hired Frontier Energy to engage states in federal rulemaking about autonomous vehicles before a patchwork of local regulations were implemented. Our team researched the cities and states that were closest to the local regulation “danger zone” and then found an advocate in each location. We then planned and executed an all-day program in each city that incorporated our “see-touch-do” style with presentations, autonomous vehicle test rides, and an interactive workshop. Each workshop was designed for a minimum of 40 people, however, all workshops had significantly higher attendance.
Frontier Energy worked with GTI to deliver outreach and education to code officials throughout the United States so that they can permit and inspect automotive repair facilities that service vehicles that run on gaseous fuels: natural gas, propane, and hydrogen. In addition to creating the curricula and delivering hydrogen training online and in person, Frontier Energy created the program website and branding. Visit the Alternative Car Garage website.
Since 2013, Frontier has coordinated efforts between the Association of Bay Area Governments, BayREN counties, CPUC and CEC to improve regional compliance with state codes and to advance energy efficiency and Zero Net Energy goals. Outreach and education are major components of the program. Frontier staff facilitate quarterly forums and conduct regional training sessions in person and online. We also developed and maintain an online library of energy code tools and resources and facilitates ongoing dialogue to improve and expand BayREN programs. Visit the BayREN Codes website.