What's up with program Quality Assurance?

A very important part of the DEP RNC program, and efficiency programs in general, is effective quality assurance (QA). Through the QA process, the program is able to ensure that savings and rebates are accurate. All of the program's savings data are reported to state regulators, so that accuracy is paramount. Significant and/or sustained inaccuracies hurt the program's viability and can shorten the program's life.

To support effective QA, the program conducts in-field inspections and desk reviews of building plans. 

  • Plan Reviews:
    5% of all submitted homes are randomly selected for plan review. Program staff will contact builders to request plans for the selected homes. The submitted homes' energy modeling inputs are then compared to the plans. If a discrepancy is found, the program will notify the builder and rater and collaborate on a resolution.
  • Field Inspections:
    7% of all RNC homes are inspected by program staff. Raters provide the program with their weekly inspection schedules and inspectors randomly select homes to visit before, after, or with the rater. Inspections are quick and inspectors very carefully avoid impeding builders/trades. Program staff members will always carry Duke Energy "Contractor" identification. Please note that the 2016 Builder Participant Application outlined the inspection requirements and the need for builder cooperation.

From the builder and rater 2016 RNC Participation Applications:

APPROVAL, VERIFICATION AND INSPECTION: Prior to any payment of incentives, ICF reserves the right to verify the completion of homes to the level of the requested incentive, as well as all applicable building codes, zoning laws, local, state, and federal requirements, and other relevant requirements. The homebuilder is responsible for any applicable permits as required by aforementioned codes/laws. A sampling of completed homes will be selected by ICF for a quality control inspection.   No warranty is implied by this inspection.

Program staff will only enter a "final" home if the home is on their rater's inspection schedule. If a neighboring home appears to also be ready for a final inspection, the inspector will not enter the home unless first approved by a site supervisor. Inspectors are also very careful to avoid tracking dirt into final-clean homes. 

In addition to keeping the program strong and accurate, field QA provides the program with excellent opportunities to help builders maximize their rebates through impromptu conversations/trainings with builder staff members.

If you have any questions or concerns about the QA process, please contact us at DEPRNC@icfprogram.com.