ARLINGTON, Va. - Southern California Edison (SCE) has launched its Energy Star® Residential Quality Installation program, and only contractors eligible for the North American Technician Excellence (NATE) Consumer Contractor Connection (C3) program are able to offer these incentives to their customers. To be eligible for the NATE C3 program, contractors must have at least 50 percent of their technicians NATE-certified. The SCE incentives can amount to as much as $1,250 for homeowners in California.

The installation parameters of the SCE Energy Star Residential Quality Installation program are patterned after the ANSI/ACCA 5 QI-2007: HVAC Quality Installation Specification. The SCE program incentivizes customers who install a new air conditioning system per the quality installation guidelines - they receive $750 for 13 SEER units; $1000 for 14 SEER units; and $1,250 for 15 SEER and above units.

“These specifications can be tough to meet,” said Paul Kyllo, program manager at SCE. “By requiring that the contractors are eligible for the NATE C3 program, we are essentially pre-screening them. We want the work being done in the field to be high-quality work, and NATE certification helps ensure the contractors are top notch. As a result of this program, we’ve had a lot of inquiries about training opportunities and testing. The contractors that we’ve talked to all support the program and agree NATE certification is an important thing to have, whether they have it or not.”

NATE said that it appreciates the support of SCE. “Southern California Edison is one of our valued partners, and clearly they understand the value of having trained, certified technicians install HVACR equipment,” said Rex Boynton, president of NATE. “As more people realize the efficiency of HVACR equipment depends upon not only the equipment itself, but also on the installation and servicing of that equipment, more people will seek trained, certified technicians who can get the job done right. There are tremendous incentives for homeowners to use certified technicians, for contractors to hire certified technicians, and of course, for technicians to be certified.”

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Publication date:04/13/2009