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March 2013 WAP Wire


Announcements

WAP Certification of Auditors and Inspectors Moved Back

The requirement for all WAP auditors and inspectors to be certified for a newly developed DOE quality control test by the beginning of the 2014 DOE WAP year has been moved back to the beginning of the DOE WAP 2015. DOE acknowledged that lack of training funds and funding issues at the federal level would reduce the ability for states to conduct training and for auditors/inspectors to take the required test.  This was announced at the winter NASCSP Conference in Arlington, VA (Feb. 26 – Mar. 1) by Bob Adams, DOE Technical Director.

Policy Updates

Important Policy Reminders:  Cost Center Creation

The Minnesota Department of Commerce staff often queries the statewide weatherization completions database as a part of its monitoring activities in reviewing local Service Provider practices. Queries occasionally uncover practices not in compliance with Commerce or U.S. DOE WAP policies. A recent statewide WA data query revealed some non-standard cost centers incorrectly created by Service Providers. These non-standard cost centers were created on-the-fly directly in WA and interfere with correct data in WA reports.  

  1. The correct and only allowed way to create a cost center in WA is to download it into WA from eHEAT. The process is similar to downloading a client file.  Here are the steps:
    1. Go to the WAP Benefits tab in eHEAT.  Click on “Weatherization Export” item (fourth item on the line below the WAP Benefits tab).  
    2. You will see a list in the center of the screen with a list of download types. Highlight the last item, titled “Fund Information.” Now hit the “Download Button” below the list.  This creates a download file on your computer or network.
    3. Import the downloaded file into WA, and the eHEAT funds (named cost centers) in WA, will appear on your WA dropdown.     
  2. Standard WAP contract funds such as DOE and EAP/WX are called “accounting funds” and are activated as needed by Commerce staff.  Service Providers should download Fund Information at the beginning of every WAP contract and whenever Commerce releases funds not previously released during a contract.
  3. Service Providers are allowed to add additional funds or cost centers that are called “non-accounting funds” in eHEAT.  These could include CIP funds received by a sub grantee or any other non-WAP contract funds you access to complete Weatherization work.
    1. Service Providers can initiate this process via an email to Chris Trost or Lorraine Larson. Your email should include the name of the fund and any other identifying information.
    2. If you are requesting to add a CIP fund, also specify whether it is an electric or gas CIP fund.  
    3. Commerce will make sure funds are activated in eHEAT and notify you when it is ready for download.  The process generally takes only a few days.
    4. Once you are notified, download the fund using the process spelled out in item 1 above.

Program Updates

Use of WAP Equipment for Non-WAP Programs

As we consider and undertake fee-for-service programs post-ARRA WAP, keep in mind that any for equipment purchased with DOE funds and used for work other than WAP must compensate DOE for that use. Please contact your fiscal monitor if you have questions about when this requirement must be followed.

Sealing of Ducts

During a 2010 federal monitoring visit, Carl Saueressig reminded us that all exposed furnace ductwork must be sealed. This not only increases energy efficiency in delivery of heat to the appropriate spaces, it also reduces negative pressure in the basement that could lead to back drafting. Mastic is the most appropriate medium for this purpose. Please contact your field monitor if you have questions. 

Documenting General Repair Measures in WA

General repairs are repairs that are allowed when the repair:

  1. Protects and ensures the effectiveness of installed weatherization materials
  2. Is necessary or required in order to install weatherization materials

In order to properly document that the measures completed with General Repair funds are within program guidelines auditors must include more information in the work order name than what is automatically generated from the WA software. All General Repair measure names in the work order must have a reference to the conservation measure that the general repair is allowing for the installation of or protecting materials. Some examples are below:

  • Replace knob and tube wiring so the attic can be insulated and air-sealed
  • Install ductwork in conjunction with the new furnace installation (SIR: “Enter the SIR of the furnace replacement”) to allow for proper distribution and static pressures.
  • Repair minor roof leak to allow insulation to be added in the attic.

Please contact your monitor if you have any questions.

General Repair and Health and Safety Reports

Service Providers should review the Health and Safety Measure Costs and the General Repair Measure Costs reports available in the Weatherization Assistant software once-a-month for errors.  All work paid for under these two measure types should be reviewed using the Allowed Activities and Measure Types Chart to make sure they are within the weatherization program guidelines. Make corrections as necessary.  The Allowed Activities and Measure Types Chart can be found at the following link:

http://mn.gov/commerce/energy/images/WAP-Measures-Types.pdf

Training

Administrative Trainings Scheduled

Three of the four WAP Administrative Trainings are now scheduled. You will receive notification when registration is open. There is no charge for these trainings and lunch will be provided each day.

Here are the dates and locations:

Client Education – One Day
Required participants: Auditors, Inspectors, WX Coordinators
Invited participants: Contractors, Executive Directors

  • Tuesday April 9, Mankato
  • Tuesday April 16, Bemidji

Program Management – Two Days
Required participants: WX Coordinators, Fiscal Program Managers
Invited participants: Executive Directors

  • Tuesday & Wednesday April 23 & 24, Bemidji
  • Wednesday & Thursday May 8 & 9, Mankato

Project Management – One Day
Required participants: WX Coordinators, Auditors, Inspectors
Invited participants: Executive Directors

  • Tuesday May 14, Bemidji
  • Tuesday May 21, Mankato