The following are definitions of key terms you will find on program documents for Tacoma Power’s heating and weatherization rebates, loans and grants.
AHRI (Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute) – the trade association representing more than 350 manufacturers of air conditioning, heating and commercial refrigeration equipment. AHRI is home to the industry's three performance certification programs for indoor comfort and commercial refrigeration equipment and components.
Grant Application (Attachment A) – a form you need to fill out and submit to Tacoma Power to qualify for grant funding. Each household must complete this form in addition to the program application.
Authorized Representative – someone granted legal authority to act on owner’s behalf.
BPA (Bonneville Power Administration) – a nonprofit federal power marketing administration based in the Pacific Northwest. Although BPA is part of the U.S. Department of Energy, it is self-funding and covers its costs by selling its products and services.
BPA’s Qualified Products List – BPA maintains a list of qualifying ductless heat pumps and smart thermostats eligible for the program. This list is updated regularly and may not contain every qualified product available today.
BTU (British Thermal Unit) – a standard unit of heat energy. Heating system output is measured in thousands of BTUs. It represents the amount of thermal energy necessary to raise the temperature of one pound of pure liquid water by one degree Fahrenheit.
Conditioned Space – the lived in areas of the home that are heated or cooled.
DHP (Ductless Heat Pump) “Basic Install” Costs – the total cost for standard equipment, installation and materials for DHPs, excluding permit fees and sales tax.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) Project – projects that are installed by the homeowner OR any project that uses a contractor that is not on the Tacoma Power participating contractor list at www.mytpu.org/contractor.
Duct Sealing – sealing of duct connections, joints and holes to prevent heated/cooled air from escaping the conditioned space.
Heating pattern – a graphical representation of electrical use over the heating season compared to the rest of the year.
Heating Season – the billing months, typically between November and April of each year. Electric heating customers often see an increase in their bills during these months.
HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) – the term used to measure the heating efficiency of a heat pump. The higher the HSPF rating, the higher the efficiency.
HVAC (Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning) Contractor – a contractor who specializes in heating and cooling systems.
Income-Qualified Grant – funds available to help qualifying low income customers cover the majority of costs to make energy efficiency improvements to their residence.
Income Qualified Customers – customers whose gross monthly income falls below the amounts listed on the Tacoma Power energy efficiency grant table at www.mytpu.org/grant.
Journeyman Electrician – electricians who have acquired the training and experience necessary to work independently, but not licensed as master electricians. May work with electrical wires, fixtures and control systems in commercial, industrial and residential buildings.
Knob and Tube (K & T) – a standardized method of electrical wiring in buildings prior to the 1950s.
Manufactured/Mobile Home – a structure that is constructed almost entirely in a factory. The house is placed on a supporting steel frame and transported to the building site.
Multifamily Building (MF) – a structure with two or more housing units. Includes apartments and condominiums.
Notice to Proceed (NTP) – communication from Tacoma Power to the owner and contractor approving project and start date for work to begin.
Owner occupied – a property that the legal owner resides in.
Passing Report (knob and tube inspections) – a journeyman electrician’s certification that the knob and tube wiring is acceptable, qualifying the home to be insulated under the Tacoma Power’s programs.
Prescriptive Duct Sealing Specifications – outlines the requirements for repairing and sealing new or existing ductwork in single family and manufactured homes heated with an electric forced-air furnace or a heat pump.
PRIMARY heat source – fuel source used to heat a home the majority of the time.
PTCS (Performance Tested Comfort System) Certification – a certification program for testing residential heat pumps and duct systems based on best practices for high performing HVAC systems.
PTCS Certified Technician – technician trained to achieve the highest possible efficiency from heat pump and ductwork systems through proper equipment sizing, and optimal settings for controls.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) – term used to measure the energy efficiency of the air conditioner. The higher the SEER number the more efficient the system is as a cooling system.
Single family (SF) home – a structure that houses one household.
Smart thermostat – technology that enables you to remotely control your home's temperature via a tablet, smartphone or desktop computer. Provides greater comfort and energy efficiency by learning your routine. (Smart thermostats should not be confused with smart meters, which digitally send meter readings to your energy supplier).Unconditioned Space – areas not intended to be lived in, and not heated or cooled. (i.e. attics, garages, and crawlspaces.)