This training initiative is sponsored by MassCEC and conducted by Abode Energy Management. This event is organized by USGBC MA. Collaborators include Mass Save utility partners.

Agenda and Workshop Tracks

General Agenda:

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM | Registration, Breakfast, and Networking
8:30 AM – 9:10 AM | 
Tech Snapshot: An Introduction to the Session Topics
9:15 AM – 10:40 AM | Workshop Session 1
10:45 AM – 12:15 PM | Workshop Session 2
12:15 PM – 1:00 PM | Lunch 
1:00 PM – 2:25 PM | Workshop Session 3 
2:30 PM – 3:55 PM | 
Workshop Session 4
4:00 PM – 4:15 PM | Refreshments
4:15 PM – 5:15 PM | Questions from the Stakeholder Panel

Tech Snapshot: An Introduction to the Session Topics

This session consists of a brief description of the technologies and strategies that will be showcased in a session later today, including Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs), Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs), Air-to-Water Heat Pumps, Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Selling Solar, Understanding Incentives, and more. Each subject matter expert (SME) will pitch their technology, giving the stakeholders a chance to familiarize themselves with the available options and prioritize those they would benefit from attending.

Attendees will:

  1. Gain a brief understanding of each of the cost-effective, deployable-today technologies that will be addressed in the subsequent sessions
  2. Gain a brief understanding of current incentive programs available for these technologies
  3. Be able to make informed decisions as to which sessions they would benefit from attending as a stakeholder

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Final Session: Questions from the Stakeholder Panel

The preceding sessions will be comprehensive and detailed, ensuring stakeholders will benefit from attending. There will not be adequate time to address and discuss all questions. This larger session will offer an opportunity for a panel of stakeholders to pose essential technology-specific questions to the SMEs. Time-permitting, additional questions may be addressed at the end.

Attendees will:

  1. Fill gaps in understanding by hearing SMEs address questions that weren’t addressed in earlier sessions
  2. Gain a greater perspective of technology deployment by hearing the questions of other stakeholders
  3. Learn more about the sessions they weren’t able to attend

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Session 1: Fundamentals of Air Source Heat Pumps

Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) absorb heat from the air through a system of fluid-filled coils, condensers, and compressors. They offer a popular alternative to gas or electric heating systems by eliminating the use of fossil fuels in the home. They also have the added benefit of providing cooling as well as heating. This session will provide an overview of the mechanics of this alternative heating system, as well as discuss the advantages and disadvantages of installation, capabilities, and control.

Attendees will:

  1. Learn how an Air Source Heat Pump works
  2. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of installation and control
  3. Understand the economic risks and benefits of ASHPs

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Session 2: Fundamentals of Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs), or geothermal heat pumps, take advantage of the constant temperature of the ground to keep buildings comfortable. An alternative to gas or electric heating, GSHPs can help eliminate the use of fossil fuels in the home. Like ASHPs, they have the ability to heat, cool, and supply domestic hot water. This session will provide an overview of GSHP mechanics and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of their installation in new construction projects.

Attendees will:

  1. Understand how GSHPs work
  2. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of installation and control
  3. Become familiar with the economic risks and benefits of GSHPs

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Session 3: Fundamentals of Solar PV

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) is the technology that absorbs and converts sunlight into electricity through solar panels. It has become increasingly popular as technology advances and costs decrease. This session will provide an overview of Solar PV mechanics and capacity. It will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of installation and control.

Attendees will:

  1. Become familiar with how Solar PV works
  2. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of installation and control
  3. Become familiar with the economic risks and benefits of Solar PV

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Session 4: Fundamentals of Solar Thermal

Solar Thermal is the technology that captures heat from the sun and uses it to heat water. As technology advances and costs decrease, it is becoming an increasingly popular way to reduce fossil fuel use in the home. This session will provide an overview of Solar Thermal mechanics and capacity. It will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of installation and control.

Attendees will:

  1. Become familiar with how Solar Thermal technology works.
  2. Understand the advantages and disadvantages of installation and control
  3. Become familiar with the economic risks and benefits of this technology

Session 1: Air Source Heat Pumps – Equipment

There are several options when it comes to ASHPs, including wall-mounted, floor-mounted, and ducted central systems. This session will discuss the necessary equipment and best practices for each technology, especially installation and control measures. This session will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each technology.

Attendees will:

  1. Understand the different types of ASHP equipment available today
  2. Become more comfortable with their installation procedures and control measures
  3. Become familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of different types of ASHPs in new construction projects

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Session 2: Air Source Heat Pumps – Design

The design of ASHP installations is vital for the effectiveness of this technology. In this session, we will discuss strategies for the sizing and orientation of heat pumps proactively (modeling and managing the expected load requirement), as well as retroactively (how to best manage the current load requirements).

Attendees will:

  1. Understand the design and sizing of ASHP systems
  2. Understand the best practices for setup and orientation
  3. Be able to model and manage system load requirements appropriately

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Session 3: Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) 2020

Policy and incentive trends, combined with more efficient home envelopes, are changing the types of HVAC requirements needed to effectively condition homes and provide domestic hot water. In this session, we will review emerging technology trends for HVAC and how they fit into residential new construction. Specific technologies to be covered include air-to-water, VRF, wood pellet boilers, and heat pump hot water heaters.

Attendees will:

  1. Understand how emerging HVAC trends fit into new construction
  2. Understand how to implement these systems effectively in the Northeast climate
  3. Be able to compare the application of emerging technologies in new construction

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Session 4: Heat Pump Case Studies

This session will provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss their experiences, solicit advice, and express concerns about the different types of heat pumps showcased in earlier sessions, including ASHP, GSHP, and Air-to-Water Heat Pumps.

Attendees will:

  1. Review different case studies
  2. Learn how other stakeholders have approached implementing these technologies
  3. Have the opportunity to share their own experiences

Session 1: Selling Solar

Solar is becoming more and more appealing as the technology improves and prices drop. However, because most of the savings aren’t seen immediately, it can be tricky selling such an investment to customers who don’t yet see the full picture. In this session, we will discuss strategies for effective marketing of solar technologies, including project proposals and advertising.

Attendees will:

  1. Learn the common barriers stakeholders face when selling solar to customers
  2. Become more comfortable talking about solar options
  3. Learn strategies for effectively proposing the upfront costs and long-term return of solar installations

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Session 2: Solar Ready vs. Solar Right

In an ideal world, every customer would want to install energy-saving technologies from the get-go (“Solar Right”). When that’s not an option, however, you can still take measures to ensure improvements can be made easily later on (“Solar Ready”). This session will provide an explanation of minimum requirements for the installation of solar technologies and review potential strategies for making solar easy to retrofit on your projects.

Attendees will:

  1. Understand the code minimum requirements for solar technology implementation
  2. Understand how to plan and execute projects that meet minimum requirements
  3. Be able to plan and execute projects so that new homes can be easily retrofitted with solar technologies

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Session 3: Understanding Incentives

Incentives available in Massachusetts make energy-efficient technologies attractive for many. However, it can be difficult to make the most cost-effective decisions for a project when there are so many incentive programs available. In this session, we will break down each of the incentive programs, including federal income tax credits (FITCs), alternative energy credits (AECs), MassCEC rebates, MassSave rebates, the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program, and other state rebates. We will demystify these incentive programs and discuss how to navigate them in order to maximize both efficiency and savings.

Attendees will:

  1. Become familiar with available incentives for the installation of energy-efficient technologies discussed at this conference
  2. Understand the challenges and potential solutions associated with navigating incentive programs
  3. Be able to take advantage of incentive programs to maximize both efficiency and savings on their projects

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Session 4: Solar Case Studies 

This session will provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss their experiences, solicit advice, and express concerns about the different types of solar technologies showcased in earlier sessions, including Solar PV and Solar Thermal.

Attendees will:

  1. Review different case studies
  2. Learn how other stakeholders have approached implementing these technologies


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