The TECH initiative’s primary objective is to drive the market adoption of low-emissions space and water heating technologies for existing single-family and multifamily homes across California. The initiative actively engages with contractors as a fundamental component of achieving this objective, and in doing so, the initiative will deliver the following activities in which contractors can participate: 


Incentives

Heat pump incentives will comprise the bulk of the incentive offering and will focus on contractor midstream incentives and engagement strategies. The initiative focuses on distributing incentives to contractors because: 

  • They are the primary marketplace where customers learn about heating options available to them. 
  • They can also verify the equipment being replaced and can be targeted to help cover the high installation costs involved in a gas-to-electric retrofit. 
  • Contractors are viewed as experts in their field and are relied upon for product recommendations, particularly when customers are replacing equipment such as water heaters on an emergency basis. 
  • Motivating contractors to identify opportunities for heat pump installations and to address customer concerns about the technology is essential to building market demand and driving sales volume.
  • Contractors or customers can apply for other incentives available in their area if they are not already integrated with TECH.
  • TECH incentives are still available for HPWHs in Southern California Gas territory and for HPWHs and HP HVAC in Southwest Gas territory. Due to the higher-than-anticipated response, incentives are temporarily suspended in all other territories. Please reference our May 12th Update on Incentives Suspension for more details about these program updates. 


Workforce Education and Training 


The initiative’s training activities are intended to leverage the existing relationships among workforce education and training entities, market actors, employers, and other industry stakeholders to maximize impact, reduce barriers, and decrease cost. The high-level goal is to create, drive, and support meaningful and relevant activities that align with the desired initiative outcomes as well as support the needs of the industry, market, and workforce. 

To foster a robust workforce, the value proposition offered by electrification must be well understood by contractors, who must also have confidence that customers will be satisfied with fuel substitution technologies. Localized contractor-targeted trainings will explain the incentives available to immediately bring down product costs, how to ensure an installation qualifies, and how customers can access energy efficiency financing options to limit upfront expenses. (For more information on GoGreen Financing – see https://gogreenfinancing.com/residentialcontractors.) The initiative will also seek to educate contractors on the types of customers most likely to adopt electrification technologies.


Pilot Programs 


Regional pilots are designed to address specific areas of the market and major adoption barriers that must be over come to meet California’s emission reduction goals but are not necessarily suited for a full rollout across the state at this time. The results of these pilots will inform the path for future funding. Given the rapidly evolving decarbonization landscape, these pilots may adjust to better accommodate shifting priorities and needs. 


Pilots include: 

  • Tariffed On-Bill Investment Pilot 
  • Supporting Low-Income Programs’ Transition to Electrification Pilot 
  • Multifamily Project/Portfolio Pilot 
  • Market Readiness for HPWH Load-Shifting Pilot 
  • Streamlining Installation and Permitting Pilot 
  • Customer Targeting Pilot


Quick Start Grants


Additionally, the TECH initiative provides a Quick Start Grants (QSG) program to fund localized, vanguard approaches to accelerate deployment of HP HVAC and HPWH technologies. The goal of the QSG program is to test market transformation strategies and approaches, support technology development, and leverage high-impact opportunities to increase the installed base of heat pump technologies. Contractors are eligible to apply for this funding. More information can be found here: https://energy-solution.com/tech-qsg/.