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Performance Tested Comfort Sytems (PTCS)

Updates and NewsPTCS Logo

  • New Program Requirements have been posted to this website. See here for more information. Modifications include, but are not limited to:
    • Alternative trainings are now accepted as equivalent to PTCS if specified in the program requirements
    • New technicians are required to complete an online orientation
    • New technicians are no longer required by BPA to report their first three jobs to utilities
    • Installation issues found during a QA inspection must be corrected within 10 days of notification
  • The Regional Technical Forum has approved prescriptive duct sealing measures and BPA is working to offer them to utilities for their programs, though they are not yet available. Changes will be announced regarding installation specifications and upcoming trainings through our mailing list.
  • Effective October 1, 2014, all heat pumps installed for BPA utilities must be installed to a new posted standard. See here for more information.
  • Effective October 1, 2014, the payment to BPA utilities for Performance Tested Comfort Systems Duct Sealing will be reduced to $200 for manufactured and new single-family homes and $250 for existing single-family homes. Low income measures are not affected by this change.
  • Stay up to date on the PTCS program by joining our mailing list or send a request to reshvac@bpa.gov.

The Benefits of Performance Tested Comfort Systems and Duct SealingSealed Ducts

Performance Tested Comfort Systems (PTCS) is a regional program promoting contractor training for quality installation of high efficiency heat pumps and the sealing of ducts to ensure energy savings and comfort. Ducted systems provide opportunities for improved efficiency both by improving equipment and by sealing duct systems. Electric furnaces and older heat pumps use more energy, and as a result, cost more to heat a home than new energy-efficient heat pumps.


Benefits of PTCS heat pumps and duct sealing include:Detailed drawing of the operations of a heat pump

  • Reduced energy waste by as much as 20%.
  • Increased year-round comfort, especially in rooms that are too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.
  • Improved air quality.
  • PTCS Certified duct technicians are trained to seal leaky duct work to ensure that the HVAC system delivers conditioned air where it's needed inside the home, not to the attic or crawlspace.
  • Certified heat pump technicians install high efficiency heat pumps to standards that ensure the best performance and longest life. PTCS heat pump installations include tests and adjustments for optimal performance and comfort and can help to prevent the need for inefficient backup heat.

How BPA Supports Performance Tested Comfort Systems and Duct Sealing

The PTCS program is supported by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and Northwest public utilities. Since 2006, over 47,000 homes have received PTCS services. To ensure quality, energy-efficient installation, BPA requires PTCS contractors be certified by an approved trainer and agree to the terms of the program. BPA maintains a list of approved PTCS technicians, trainers, and inspectors as well as the PTCS online registry, which is available to all utilities in the region. Please see links to these items in the sections below.

Please note: BPA does not provide incentives directly to homeowners. Please contact your local utility.


Program Tools and Resources

Homeowner Information Forms and Applications
Information for Utilities and Technicians Training
Program Specifications Reference Materials
Promotional Materials



Information for Homeowners

Homeowners can learn about improving their heating system's efficiency, find qualified technicians and get more information about Performance Tested Comfort Systems at the Fact Sheet below. Please check with your local utility for additional information about incentives and approved contractors.


Forms and Applications

Forms and Applications Installation forms required by BPA are included below. Utilities may provide their own incentive applications at their discretion.

Technician, Trainer, and Inspector Applications required by BPA are included below. Sign and submit these applications in order to be considered and listed as a BPA-approved PTCS Technician, Trainer and/or Inspector.


Utilities and Technicians

This section is for BPA utilities who offer PTCS programs and the technicians who do work for those programs. These resources are specific to PTCS heat pump and duct sealing measures that BPA offers to utilities. Individual utilities may have their own additional program requirements. Technicians should contact the serving utility before proceeding with work.


Training

Prior to providing PTCS services, BPA requires that technicians either successfully complete training from a BPA-approved PTCS trainer or an approved alternative, as outlined in the program requirements. Trainings are offered for both duct sealing and heat pump installations. Additional steps to begin participating in the program are outlined in the steps below.

Please note that in order to install Ground Source Heat Pumps for the PTCS program, individual technicians must have BOTH a PTCS heat pump certification (or equivalent) and an IGHSPA certification.

To become a PTCS Technician:
    1. Contact a PTCS trainer, or an approved alternative, to gather dates, duration, and pricing of their next class.
    2. Complete your certification course successfully.

    3. Create an online account on the PTCS Online Site Registry.
    • Click on "Login" in the top right-hand corner to get started.
    • `

    4. Watch the PTCS orientation for your area(s) of certification and notify the PTCS team when complete.

    5. Email the team at ResHVAC@bpa.gov to notify them that you have viewed the required orientation(s).

    6. Complete and submit a signed Certified Technician Application along with dated proof of training completion.

Additional Training Resources

Program Specifications

BPA provides requirements for the PTCS program. The Regional Technical Forum (RTF) provides guidance on installation specifications. BPA determines when to adopt the RTF specifications. Adopted and draft versions can be found here. Individual utilities may have their own additional requirements. Please check with the serving utility for more information.

Duct Sealing

Heat Pumps


Reference Materials

The following collection of technical materials supports program delivery by utilities, technicians, trainers and quality assurance providers.

Duct Sealing

Heat Pumps

For additional questions, or to subscribe to PTCS updates, please send email to ResHVAC@bpa.gov


Contact

For more information please contact Stephanie Vasquez, PTCS Program Manager at smvasquez@bpa.gov or call the program hotline toll free 1-800-941-3867.

     


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