The Big Picture
About the Network
Home performance is the science and practice of building and improving homes based on a whole-home approach or the house-as-a-system concept. This includes addressing the building envelope, mechanical systems, occupant behaviour, and environmental conditions to make the home as safe, comfortable, efficient, and durable as possible.
The Home Performance Contractor Network (HPCN) is the result of years of industry collaboration dedicated to improving the quality supply and consumer demand for affordable home performance services. It is a network developed for industry, by industry.
The concept for a network of qualified retrofit contractors in BC emerged through the development of the HPSC Working Roadmap. The roadmap is a document summarizing the vision and priority actions of industry and stakeholders to advance the home performance industry in BC. It was developed over approximately two years through:
- Identification and recruitment of key industry stakeholders and leaders in each of the respective sector groups to actively participate.
- Interviews, workshops, conference calls, and surveys to gather industry input and contributions defining the issues and developing recommendations.
- Sector Council evaluation for sense checking and vetting of content and ideas.
Out of this document, came the concept of a network to manage accreditation, certification, and quality assurance of retrofit contractors in BC. Since 2018, the HPSC has been working with its Sector Councils to design this network, including developing the criteria, and with industry stakeholders, to provide meaningful synergies between energy efficiency programs.
The criteria for the HPCN, including business requirements, code of conduct, trade designations, training, and ongoing management, were developed through facilitation with HPSC Sector Councils and broader sector contacts.
These Sector Councils currently consist of volunteer members of the five retrofit sectors ─ Fenestration, HVAC, Insulation, Renovation, and Energy Advisors ─ with current, real-world experience in their specialty. Anyone can apply to join the Sector Councils through the HPSC’s website and successful applicants must commit to a set of requirements. Industry representatives that are not members of the Sector Councils, still have the opportunity to engage with council and HPSC initiatives via newsletters, online surveys, and webinars.
The Sector Councils jointly developed business requirements that apply across sectors in the HPCN. The councils developed qualification (trade designation and training) criteria specific for each sector. Criteria varies across sectors from basic or interim, to comprehensive and advanced requirements due to factors such as availability of existing training, alignment with existing programs, and available funding. As laid out in the original Working Roadmap, the Sector Councils share a vision for improving the qualification criteria overtime to be more hands-on, comprehensive, specific to BC, and adaptive to changing markets.
HPCN and Rebate/Incentive Programs
Utilities and government will continue to run incentive and rebate programs. The HPCN will provide a central database of accredited and qualified retrofit contractors in BC that rebate programs can point to and require as part of their program eligibility. The image below shows the responsibilities and relationship between the HPCN and program partners.
IMPORTANT: Membership in the HPCN is one pre-requisite for rebate/incentive program eligibility. It is the responsibility of the applicant (either yourself or your customer depending on the program) to confirm that any additional rebate program requirements are met. Contractors are encouraged to understand these requirements and help their customers to understand by directing them to betterhomesbc.ca
The launch of the HPCN for fenestration is a great step forward for the home performance industry ─ and there are more opportunities to come!
The HPCN will evolve, expand, and improve over time to meet the changing opportunities and challenges in the industry. New initiatives always require some trial and error and the HPSC remains committed to ongoing evaluation and adjustments to the HPCN as warranted. As always, any changes will be considered with stakeholder engagement.
Stay tuned for more information on the HPCN for other home performance sectors.
The HPCN will be an ongoing foundation for the work of the HPSC moving forward. The network will provide new avenues for the HPSC to continue advancing the HPSC Working Roadmap actions as well as to introduce new, emerging priorities.
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