Pivotal Energy Solutions News

- Home Innovation Research Labs Celebrates Certification of 500,000th Green Home in the NGBS Green Program

Home Innovation Research Labs proudly announces a significant milestone in sustainable housing with the certification of the 500,000th green home to the National Green Building Standard (NGBS). The project that helped NGBS Green reach this point was Bluebird, a permanent supportive housing facility in Boulder, CO. The NGBS Green Verifier on the project was Sarah Hong, PE, Energy Project Manager for Group14 Engineering, PBC.

The 500,000th NGBS Green Certified Home, Bluebird, is a housing tax credit project developed by Element Properties to provide permanent supportive housing to those experiencing homelessness.

Many of the design features that were pursued to address sustainability, energy + water efficiency, and occupant health and well-being aligned with NGBS principles, allowing the building to achieve NGBS Silver certification. The project also has an energy-efficient design that achieves an EUI of 31.4 kbtu/SF/year – 21% below Colorado’s 2030 benchmarking target. Key features include an above-code envelope, ENERGY STAR appliances, WaterSense-equivalent plumbing fixtures, and high-efficiency cold-climate packaged heat pumps. A central ERV was installed for ventilation, which not only reduces energy consumption, but also provides improved climate resilience and indoor air quality with MERV 13+ filters that are able to capture airborne particulates and pollutants resulting from regional wildfires.

In consideration of its resident population, the building has been designed with trauma-informed design strategies to provide a safe, supportive space for people who have been homeless for years. The site is also located in a central area of Boulder with easy access to bike paths, walking trails, and public transportation, and each resident gets a free bus pass. There is also an onsite solar PV system that not only reduces the energy cost burden on tenants but also reduces the building's greenhouse gas emissions by 12%. The building was designed by Shopworks Architecture and built by I-Kota.

The NGBS Green program, administered by Home Innovation Research Labs, is a comprehensive and rigorous certification that recognizes homes for their commitment to sustainability. Achieving this milestone highlights the growing commitment of homeowners, builders, and communities across the nation to create more sustainable and resilient living spaces.

"We are thrilled to reach the monumental achievement of certifying the 500,000th green home in the NGBS Green program," said Michelle Foster, VP of Sustainability at Home Innovation Research Labs. " This accomplishment underscores the industry’s commitment to the design and construction of sustainable buildings that have a smaller impact on the planet and a big impact on the resident’s lives. Bluebird also showcases the positive impact that sustainable housing can have on our communities."

The NGBS Green program provides a framework for builders and developers to construct homes that are not only energy-efficient but also healthier for occupants and kinder to the environment. The certification process evaluates various aspects of a home, including energy performance, water usage, indoor air quality, and resource efficiency. By meeting the stringent criteria set forth by the NGBS Green program, homeowners can be confident that their homes are contributing to a more sustainable and resilient future.

Learn more about the NGBS Green program by visiting HomeInnovation.com/NGBSGreen today.

- Pivotal Announces New APEX Simulation and Analysis Platform

Pivotal Energy Solutions, LLC, based in the Phoenix Arizona metropolitan area, has announced a new simulation solution targeting the residential new construction market. APEX, a simulation solution that utilizes the U.S. Department of Energy’s EnergyPlus simulation engine and OpenStudio-ERI calculation platform, enables the simulation of residential energy model data to generate energy rating index (ERI) and consumption results. APEX results may be used for a variety of purposes including eligibility for 45L tax credits, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage-backed security offerings, performance-based energy code compliance, sustainability/ESG reporting, and incentive calculation for utility incentive programs.

APEX offers unique functionality for energy raters and modelers, utilities and other energy efficiency program sponsors, home builders, code officials, and downstream stakeholders to both validate energy models against specific program requirements and simulate those models using standard program reference homes and/or custom, program-specific user defined reference homes (UDRH’s). APEX’s input validation functionality – which can be run independently from simulation – performs automated checks on the energy model input values to ensure they not only fall within prescribed bounds but are also internally consistent with other home characteristics and specified values. This functionality enables energy raters and modelers to identify and correct issues with their energy models prior to simulation or submission to energy efficiency program administrators.

APEX supports the simulation of energy models using the U.S. Department of Energy’s EnergyPlus and OpenStudio-ERI simulation engine and calculation platform. The EnergyPlus/OpenStudio-ERI solution is an open-source offering from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), meaning that the source code of the software is accessible to anyone to read, examine, and critique – proprietary simulators do not support the same level of transparency. The EnergyPlus/OpenStudio-ERI platform provides consistent, accurate results for an industry under increasing scrutiny due to the availability of 45L federal tax credits for homes meeting specific ERI targets and conforming to federal energy efficiency program requirements.

APEX’s support for standard reference homes and custom user defined reference homes (UDRH’s) also enables unique flexibility within the industry. Using a single energy model, APEX can perform simulations using any number of program-specific reference homes or custom UDRH’s. For example, eligibility for ENERGY STAR, DOE Zero Energy Ready, performance-based energy code compliance, and utility program incentives can all be determined through a single submission to APEX. Energy efficiency program developers and sponsors can also use APEX to enforce program requirements using the APEX input validation and custom UDRH capability to define energy efficiency targets and incentives as their programs evolve. APEX supports energy consumption and ERI calculation for ENERGY STAR, DOE ZERH, and virtually any utility and/or municipality performance-based program.

Bob Burns, co-founder of Pivotal, said, “We’re very excited to be offering this new solution to the industry. APEX enables utilities, builders, code officials, and downstream markets that rely on the modeled performance of homes to utilize a single, DOE-funded, open-source simulation engine, which we believe is a huge benefit to multiple stakeholders. APEX can serve as a ‘normalization tool’ to enable energy raters and modelers to use whichever modeling software they prefer while also providing a single, standard set of results generated by re-simulation of the original input data with EnergyPlus.”

The APEX simulation solution is currently integrated into Pivotal’s AXIS cloud-based platform used for the administration of and participation in a variety of “green” and energy efficient buildings programs. In the near future, APEX simulation and analysis solutions will also be offered as stand-alone cloud-based solution accessible through an application programming interface, or API, for easy integration into existing utility program infrastructure and back office applications.

Burns concluded, “APEX is a very powerful solution being introduced at exactly the right time to meet the residential new construction industry’s needs and support our country’s push toward a more sustainable future. We’re excited that we can play a role in the evolution of the industry.”

For more information about APEX, AXIS or other Pivotal software offerings, please click here to contact us.

- AXIS to be Deployed as NGBS Online Portal

Home Innovation Research Labs and Pivotal Energy Solutions have announced that Pivotal's AXIS software platform will be deployed as the online web portal supporting participation in and administration of the NGBS Green certification program as of September 7, 2021. 

After several years of regional success with AXIS in Arizona and the Pacific Northwest, this will be the first deployment of AXIS supporting a national program.  Pivotal has worked as a technical partner with Home Innovation Research Labs since 2016 to surface NGBS Green certifications within the AXIS database for use in analytics and markets utilizing green and energy efficiency certification data.  Most recently, Home Innovation and Pivotal have been pursuing opportunities to auto-populate NGBS Green certification data within real estate MLS platforms.

Bob Burns, president of Pivotal, said, "This is an exciting next step for Pivotal in working with Home Innovation to develop and support their online portal for the NGBS Green program.  We're thrilled to have this collaboration and to expand the use of AXIS to the national level." 

With the transition of the NGBS Green program to the AXIS platform, NGBS Green Verifiers and clients will be able to register projects, submit verification reports and compliance documentation, and monitor project status in real-time 24/7/365 from any modern internet web browser.  The volume of data available for downstream consumers will also be enhanced with the transition. 

Michelle Foster, Vice President of Sustainability for Home Innovation, added, "We are so excited to be working with Pivotal to streamline our NGBS Green certification process and provide even more value for our clients.  We're confident that over time NGBS Green Verifiers and clients will benefit from using the online portal and that it will enable Home Innovation to move the NGBS program forward in exciting new ways. We are also eager to provide greater transparency for the NGBS Green certification process which will benefit investors, financial institutions, government agencies, and the industry as a whole."

If you are interested in learning more about AXIS or the solutions that Pivotal offers, visit www.pivotalenergysolutions.com.

To learn more about the NGBS certification program, visit www.homeinnovation.com/services/certification/green_homes.

- RESNET and Pivotal Energy Solutions Finalize Data Sharing Agreement for MLS Auto-Population

The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) and Pivotal Energy Solutions (Pivotal) announced today that a data sharing agreement has been finalized between the two organizations that enables residential certification data from the RESNET Building Registry to be incorporated into Pivotal’s AXIS cloud-based workflow and data management platform. Once aggregated into AXIS, the RESNET data can be used to enable auto-population of real estate listings offered through multiple listing service (MLS) systems throughout the United States.

Bob Burns, president of Pivotal, said, “As the interest in energy efficient housing continues to grow for both environmental and financial reasons, it’s important that the performance of homes is readily available for perspective home buyers. Enabling MLS software platforms to support green fields and making data available are important first steps, but long-term, auto-population of green and energy efficiency data directly into MLS listings is essential to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the data and limit the listing agent’s exposure to liability.” Beyond basic location information, the data included in the RESNET data feed will include the HERS Index Score, date of the rating, and modeled annual energy consumption. If the home has been certified as an ENERGY STAR or DOE Zero Energy Ready home, that information will also be available for auto-population into the MLS listing. RESNET joins a growing list of national and regional organizations sharing green and energy efficiency certification data with Pivotal. Burns added, “We’re excited to be working with RESNET to make their certification data more useful for real estate transactions. With the inclusion of RESNET’s data, AXIS can offer the richest set of certification and performance information in the industry. One day, we hope to reach a point where every home listed for sale will include some type of energy efficiency metric and/or utility cost information to help home buyers make more educated decisions when choosing their next home.”

If you are interested in Pivotal’s MLS auto-population solutions, or would simply like to learn more about AXIS, visit www.pivotalenergysolutions.com.

The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) is the independent, national nonprofit organization that homeowners trust to improve home energy efficiency and realize substantial savings on their utility bills. RESNET's industry-leading standards are recognized by the housing industry, federal, state, and local government agencies, among others. To date, over three million homes have been energy-rated and issued HERS Index Scores in the U.S. www.resnet.us.

- Earth Advantage and Pivotal Energy Solutions Partner to Consolidate Aggregation and Distribution of Green Home Data

Earth Advantage and Pivotal Energy Solutions announced today a partnership to help deliver green and energy efficient homes data through Earth Advantage’s Green Building Registry® (GBR). Since 2017, the Green Building Registry has provided green home data, verified from the source, to the public and real estate multiple listing services. The DaaS platform provides verified data from sources such as green home certifications, RESNET HERS® Index scores, US DOE Home Energy Scores, and solar data. The data is made available through a publicly available website (us.greenbuildingregistry.com) or through a proprietary API connection with regional multiple listing services across the US.

Bob Burns, president of Pivotal, said, “We are thrilled to be working with Earth Advantage and the Green Building Registry team to share home certification data being aggregated within our AXIS platform with home-buyers, realtors, appraisers, and other downstream consumers through the GBR.” Pivotal’s AXIS product is used as a cloud-based program administration platform for residential new construction energy efficiency programs in the Pacific Northwest and other U.S. markets but also serves as an aggregator of green certification data for national programs such as National Green Building Standard (NGBS) and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). “Partnering with Earth Advantage on the data distribution front allows Pivotal to focus on data aggregation and enables our respective organizations to best serve both providers of the data and consumers of the data by offering a single data aggregation and distribution channel. We feel that this consolidated approach will simplify the data sharing process and advance our mutual goal of proper valuation of green and energy efficient homes in the marketplace,” Burns added.

David Heslam, executive director at Earth Advantage stated, “Data drives the modern world. That's especially true for the real estate industry which provides the data for millions of home sales and mortgages every year. The Pivotal team has done a good job of making it simple for green programs to store their home data in the AXIS database. Our new partnership with Pivotal will make that 3rd-party verified green data easily available to MLS systems, agents, appraisers, and lenders through the Green Building Registry. The benefits of a one-stop-shop for green home data should be enormous."

The Green Building Registry was built and is maintained by the 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Earth Advantage, Inc. Earth Advantage’s mission is to accelerate the adoption of high performance and sustainable, residential building practices. We focus on two key pathways for success: maintaining well-above-code standards for our own certifications and providing information to the public in the form of data, and professional training. Visit: earthadvantage.org to learn more.

AXIS, Pivotal’s cloud-based data hub and workflow management solution, is specifically architected to serve the residential energy efficiency industry through aggregation of certified home data and streamlining the administration of and participation in residential new construction green and energy efficiency programs. To share your program data through AXIS, or to inquire about how AXIS might address your program needs, click here.

- Pivotal Incorporates LEED Certifications into AXIS Cloud-Based Data Hub

Pivotal Energy Solutions announced today that LEED-certified homes will be integrated into Pivotal's AXIS cloud-based data hub. Created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Pivotal will add more than 36,000 LEED-certified residential projects into the AXIS database to augment Pivotal's existing collection of National Green Building Standard (NGBS) and ENERGY STAR Certified Buildings certifications.

"We're very excited to add USGBC's LEED certifications to our portfolio of aggregated energy efficiency certified projects,” said Bob Burns, president of Pivotal. “No other platform offers the volume and diversity of building certification data that AXIS does."

With the addition of LEED, the AXIS database will soon contain over 150,000 certified single family homes and multi-family residential buildings from across the United States. The database consists of certified projects collected natively through the AXIS program administration and participation functionality, as well as third-party national and regional program data. Pivotal intends to fully integrate USGBC’s public residential project list into AXIS in Q4 2020. Project names will be made available through a searchable web portal or as a subscription service.

"We believe that by establishing AXIS as the preeminent source for energy efficiency data and enabling access to projects through a single platform, we'll make it easier for real estate professionals and the investment community to use the data so that the true value of high-performance buildings can be realized," Burns added.

LEED homes are built to be healthier, safer, and more comfortable for the people inside. On average, they use 20-30% less energy than a home built to code. LEED homes are also required to demonstrate 20% water savings, helping to put money back into owners’ pockets. They are built to be energy-efficient, ensuring that they can be comfortably heated and cooled with minimal energy usage.

To learn more about Pivotal or to access AXIS building certification data, contact Pivotal Energy Solutions directly. To learn more about USGBC or its LEED certification offering, visit usgbc.org.

- Pivotal Announces EnergyPlus Web API for Simulation of Residential New Construction

Pivotal Energy Solutions announced today functionality that enables simulation of residential energy models using the U.S. Department of Energy's EnergyPlus simulation engine through a web-based application programming interface (API) developed by Pivotal. Pivotal's methodology translates energy model input fields into an HPXML data set that is passed to a version of EnergyPlus installed on a remote, cloud-based compute server hosted by Amazon Web Services. Pivotal's EnergyPlus web API enables users to initiate simulations with, and retrieve results from, EnergyPlus, an open-source simulation engine whose development is led by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Since 2016, the DOE has invested in EnergyPlus improvements to better support simulation of residential buildings through its OpenStudio Software Development Kit. DOE’s future plans also call for EnergyPlus to replace the DOE-2 simulation engine for generation of its Home Energy Score rating, which is used in estimating the energy consumption of existing residential properties.

Pivotal’s initial EnergyPlus-based product offering will enable energy efficiency program sponsors to run a background process to re-simulate energy models created in other modeling software using EnergyPlus resulting in a "normalized" set of energy consumption and savings values that can be used for incentive calculation, regulatory reporting, and program evaluation. Bob Burns, president of Pivotal, said, “We believe strongly that coalescence around EnergyPlus as a common simulation engine for energy modeling of both new and existing homes will result in more credibility and transparency throughout the entire residential energy rating industry. By offering a low-cost service for utilities and program sponsors that provides the input translation, runtime ruleset, and compute infrastructure, customers will get consistent, accurate results that they can depend on. We believe that this solution could transform the industry and add tremendous value not only for the programs themselves but for potential downstream consumers of the data in the real estate, mortgage, and investment markets.” Scott Horowitz, Senior Research Engineer at NREL and program implementation lead for EnergyPlus’s residential development added, “Enabling EnergyPlus and OpenStudio – both available through an open-source software model - and the public HPXML standard for simulation of both new and existing homes has been our vision for several years. Pivotal’s solution is directly in-line with our goals for EnergyPlus and we’re anxious to see the impact our work has in the marketplace.” A prototype of the Pivotal EnergyPlus web API is available for demonstration today and full production availability is anticipated by Q4, 2020.

To learn more about Pivotal or its EnergyPlus web API, contact Pivotal Energy Solutions directly. Information about Energy Plus and Open Studio can be found here.

- AXIS Surpasses 75,000 Certifications

Pivotal Energy Solutions announced today that their AXIS cloud-based workflow and data management software platform has surpassed the 75,000 certification mark. Bob Burns, president of Pivotal, stated, "We're very excited that we've reached this important milestone. We've had some great partners along the way, including Arizona Public Service (APS), Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), and Energy Trust of Oregon, and are grateful for their support and trust in us. It's been a privilege to provide the technical solution for the administration of their respective residential new construction energy efficiency programs," Burns added. AXIS is used by companies like APS, NEEA, and Energy Trust of Oregon to streamline the administration and participation in residential energy efficiency programs through a centralized, cloud-based data hub with workflow management elements specifically tailored to home certification and quality assurance processes. In the Pacific Northwest, AXIS is used by energy raters and verifiers to access both the NEEA and Energy Trust programs through a single web-based user interface. In Arizona, builders may log into AXIS directly to monitor the certification and incentive payment status of their APS program homes.

"We're excited about continuing to deploy AXIS nationally as a direct program administration and participation platform. However, if you include our other third-party national and regional certification data - certifications completed using other software platforms but shared with Pivotal - we're quickly approaching 100,000 certifications representing over 300,000 single-family homes and multi-family units. We continue to lead the U.S. market with the largest volume of aggregated energy efficiency certification data," Burns added.

To learn more about AXIS as an administrative platform or the energy efficiency data housed within AXIS, contact Pivotal Energy Solutions directly.

- AXIS Support for Generation of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score

Pivotal Energy Solutions announced today new functionality available within its AXIS software platform enabling generation of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score™ from REM/Rate™ energy model inputs. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score lets homeowners quickly and affordably know how their homes compare to others in terms of energy performance and what steps they can take to improve their home’s efficiency. Typically used for existing homes, Pivotal’s unique approach enables a Home Energy Score to be generated from REM/Rate energy model inputs, which are generally collected as part of the energy rating process for new home construction. “There are literally millions of energy models that have been created over the last two decades for regional, national, and utility-sponsored residential new construction energy efficiency programs and this functionality enables generation of a Home Energy Score for these homes that can be used in both the real estate and financial markets,” said Bob Burns, president of Pivotal.

Pivotal developed this functionality in partnership with Energy Trust of Oregon, which uses Pivotal’s AXIS platform to administer its EPS™ New Construction offering. To support City of Portland’s Home Energy Score ordinance, Energy Trust sought to streamline the generation of a Home Energy Score for builders and verifiers already participating in EPS New Construction. EPS New Construction verifiers who are also Home Energy Score assessors affiliated with the City of Portland Home Energy Score program may use AXIS to generate an official Home Energy Score using the same REM/Rate energy model created for submission to Energy Trust’s EPS New Construction offering. For energy raters, verifiers, and assessors not affiliated with a Home Energy Score Partner, a Home Energy Score generated by AXIS is “unofficial” since the required assessor training and quality assurance oversight is not met. “Although the generation of a Home Energy Score using legacy energy model data does not result in an official score, we believe that there is still tremendous value in unofficial scores being generated for large volumes of homes to help inform home buyers who value energy efficiency and in assisting the real estate and financial industries in properly valuing high performance homes,” said Burns. “Moving forward, generating a Home Energy Score as part of an energy rating for new homes will simply augment the data available to the home owner and appraiser when it comes time to sell the home. It’s a win-win for everyone,” Burns added.

To learn more about AXIS, contact Pivotal Energy Solutions directly. Click here to learn more about the Home Energy Score and how to become a Home Energy Score Partner or Assessor. Click here for more information on Energy Trust’s EPS New Construction offering.

- New AXIS Administrative Functionality Released

We recently updated AXIS with new functionality intended to provide rating companies, HERS providerships, QA organizations, and program sponsors the ability to track a variety of data helpful in managing their operations. AXIS now supports the ability for organizations to manage the accreditation/credentialing of their personnel, track training courses and credits on a per-user basis, and monitor the number of ratings performed by each rater/verifer, modeler, or rating field inspector. Equipment and calibration records can now be tracked on a per-company basis as well. New functionality for HERS providerships and QA organizations includes the ability to assign a letter or numerical grade to file and/or field QA performed, enabling oversight organizations to easily identify individuals needing additional mentoring or training. Lastly, we've updated the scheduling functionality to enable tasks such as inspections to be easily scheduled on a per-home basis and provided methods to view schedules and manage tasks on a per-user and per-company basis.

For registered AXIS users, training videos of the new functionality will be available soon on the AXIS support site. For questions or to learn more about AXIS and how it can be used to support your organization, contact us directly.

- REM/Rate® 16.0/16.0.1 Release Support

Pivotal is pleased to announce REM/Rate version 16.0 and 16.0.1 SQL export support within AXIS. To download the latest version of REM/Rate, click here. A full list of the changes in 16.0 and 16.0.1 is also available here.

- City of Richland (WA) Joins the New Homes Performance Path Program

We'd like to welcome the City of Richland as the latest utility in the Pacific Northwest to implement a performance-based incentive program for residential new construction. Richland joins Snohomish PUD, Clark PUD, Central Electric Co-Op, Pacific Power & Light, Puget Sound Energy, Idaho Power, Benton PUD, Benton REA, and Inland Power in offering builder incentives for achieving specific whole-home energy efficiency targets using a performance-based program template developed by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance(NEEA), the Regional Technical Forum (RTF) and the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) and implemented within the AXIS platform. Each utility defines their own above-code savings target and incentive structure while homes entered by raters and verifiers into AXIS are automatically routed for third-party QA review, approved, and paid by the respective utilities. This revolutionary approach of leveraging AXIS as the centralized data hub, the participation and administration portal, and the file/field QA platform enables a streamlined and integrated workflow for all stakeholders while providing the Northwest with the visibility into the construction of program homes throughout the region to help influence energy code moving forward.

To learn more about how AXIS can benefit your utility program, contact us directly.

- Announcing DocuSign Integration In AXIS

In order to address the growing need for capturing electronic signatures for energy efficiency and "green" program enrollment and participation, we are excited to announce new DocuSign functionality available in the AXIS platform! Initial deployment of DocuSign within AXIS was driven by a project for the Energy Trust of Oregon that required capturing electronic signatures from both home builders and verifiers on a single, auto-populated document generated by AXIS using a workflow trigger. The AXIS DocuSign integration will also be used for routing auto-populated program enrollment agreements for signature in support of Home Innovation Research Labs's National Green Building Standard (NGBS) Program.

To learn more about DocuSign, click here. To learn more about AXIS, contact us directly.

- Home Efficiency Forum in Portland, OR

The Pivotal team will be attending NEEA's BetterBuiltNW Home Efficiency Forum in Portland, OR, October 17 and 18. We're looking forward to seeing our users in the Pacific Northwest again in person and learning more about the exciting future of high performance building in the region. If you have plans to attend and would like to set up a private meeting to discuss the AXIS data and workflow management platform, let us know! See you in Portland!

- ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Partner Meeting

The Pivotal team will be attending the ENERGY STAR Residential New Construction Partners Meeting in Charlotte, NC, September 11-12. We're looking forward to great sessions and seeing our builder, rater, and EPA friends again. If you have plans to attend and would like to set up a meeting to discuss the AXIS data and workflow management platform, let us know! See you in Charlotte!

- Visit Pivotal at the 2018 RESNET Conference in Orlando

Pivotal will again be hosting a booth on the exhibit floor and offering a pre-conference session at the 2018 RESNET conference in wonderful Orlando, Florida, February 24 through February 29 to demonstrate our AXIS data sharing and workflow management software platform! The pre-conference session has been scheduled for SATURDAY, February 24, at 8:00am so please take that into consideration when booking your travel. Registration for the pre-conference session is available through RESNET, or contact us using the "Contact" button above and we'll get you registered. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando!!

- Pivotal Energy Solutions Awarded RESO Gold Certification

The Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) announced today that Pivotal Energy Solutions (Pivotal) has been awarded the RESO Data Dictionary Version 1.5 Gold Certification. Pivotal, a technology company based in Phoenix, AZ, is an aggregator of energy efficiency, water efficiency, and indoor air-quality data, and offers solutions for automated population of “green” data in real estate listings. Bob Burns, CEO of Pivotal, stated, “Our goal is to enable transparency in the home buying process. Adding energy efficiency, water efficiency, and indoor air quality program certifications and rating data to a real estate listing helps perspective home buyers and renters make more informed decisions about their next residence." Pivotal’s solutions enable the automated distribution of validated address-level single-family and multi-family energy efficiency, water efficiency, and indoor-air quality program certification data to real estate end points making the data available for listings.

Contact Pivotal directly for more information regarding sharing certification and/or rating data with the real estate market or integrating data into your MLS or online portal.

- Pivotal Energy Solutions Recognized as Home Innovation NGBS Green Partner of Excellence

Pivotal Energy Solutions has been named a Home Innovation NGBS Green Partner of Excellence for 2016. NGBS Green, which is based on the National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS), has certified more homes than any other national green home certification program thanks in large part to its knowledgeable in-field verifiers. Being one of an elite group of Home Innovation’s green certification program partners to be recognized validates the commitment Pivotal has made to providing customers with increased value, professionalism, and relevance in the marketplace through third-party verification to the NGBS.

“As the home building market continues its rebound,” said Home Innovation Labs president and CEO Michael Luzier, “dedicated partners like Pivotal prove that supporting our rigorous third-party certification program isn’t just a passing fad – it’s a strategic business decision that is paying dividends and changing the marketplace. Others around the industry could benefit from following the lead of this year’s NGBS Green Partners of Excellence and building on the program’s success.”

Bob Burns, president of Pivotal, stated “We are honored to be recognized by Home Innovation Labs for our efforts to help drive proper valuation of energy efficient homes in the real estate market. Our data sharing agreement with Home Innovation Labs is a huge step forward in furthering the consolidation of energy efficient home certification data and delivering this data into the hands of home sellers and real estate market professionals to drive accurate home valuations.”

Since January 2009, when the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) became the first residential green building rating system to be approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Home Innovation Research Labs has certified nearly 100,000 green single-family and apartment homes, and more than 1,650 lots within green residential land developments. (For more details on current certification numbers, visit www.homeinnovation.com/ngbsgreenstats.) For more information on NGBS Green Certified homes and Home Innovation’s NGBS Green Partner builders and remodelers, visit www.NGBS.com.

For more information about Pivotal, visit www.pivotalenergysolutions.com or contact Bob Burns at 800-980-AXIS.


ABOUT PIVOTAL ENERGY SOLUTIONS: Pivotal Energy Solutions, headquartered in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area, is committed to enabling proper valuation of energy efficient homes through the collection, storage, and sharing of energy efficiency data. AXIS, our cloud-hosted workflow management and database solution, enables the consolidation of energy efficiency rating and certification data while delivering operational efficiencies for home builders, raters, utilities, and program administrators. New solutions being developed this year will enable energy efficiency rating data and program certifications to flow seamlessly into the real estate market to help home sellers, appraisers, and lenders document and share energy efficient home features and certifications.

ABOUT HOME INNOVATION RESEARCH LABS: Home Innovation Research Labs, located in Upper Marlboro, Md., is a full-service research, testing, and consulting firm determined to improve the quality, durability, affordability, and environmental performance of single- and multifamily homes and home building products – in short, we aim to perfect the home. Founded in 1964 as a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), our team has been integral in solving many of our client’s most difficult product and technology issues, and helping to introduce some of the most groundbreaking innovations in residential construction. Through an interdisciplinary research approach – including market research, building science analysis, laboratory testing, and standards development – we help to find a home for innovation in the residential construction industry.

- NGBS™ and Pivotal Energy Solutions Announce Data Sharing Agreement

NGBS™ and Pivotal Energy Solutions Announce Data Sharing Agreement

Home Innovation Research Labs and Pivotal Energy Solutions are pleased to announce the availability of NGBS Green Certified homes through Pivotal’s Axis energy efficiency data collection and sharing platform.

Over 85,000 U.S. homes have met the requirements of the ICC 700 National Green Building Standard™ (NGBS) - the only residential green building rating system approved by ANSI as an American National Standard. The NGBS Green stringent third-party verified certification process ensures that homes and apartments are built in compliance with the NGBS and focuses on three highly marketable attributes: healthy homes; lower operating costs; and sustainable lifestyle. NGBS Green homes must achieve high performance metrics in several key areas, including, site design, resource efficiency, water efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and building operation/maintenance. An NGBS Green Certified home can be awarded a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Emerald certification level, depending on the number of green practices successfully incorporated in its design and construction. And NGBS Green is the only national green home certification program that requires increasingly higher point thresholds in every category – not merely an increase in the overall points for the home.

Pivotal's Axis platform is a cloud-based energy rating data and workflow management solution used by HERS Raters and Providers, home builders, and energy efficiency program sponsors to streamline collection and sharing of energy ratings and program certifications. The consolidation of Axis data and Home Innovation’s NGBS Green Certified home data furthers Pivotal’s commitment toward proper valuation of energy-efficient homes by establishing Axis as a trusted data hub that facilitates data sharing within the energy efficiency industry and with multiple listing services (MLS) and other real estate market data systems.

“We are excited to be working with Pivotal Energy Solutions,” said Michael Luzier, president and CEO of Home Innovation. “We believe this partnership is well-timed to remedy two of today’s most intractable market barriers when it comes to green homes – ensuring green certified homes receive the right valuation, and helping homebuyers and renters find them easily.”

To learn more about Axis, go to www.PivotalEnergySolutions.com or contact Bob Burns at 800-980-AXIS. For more information about Home Innovation Research Labs or the NGBS Green certification program, go to www.homeinnovation.com/green.

- Bonded Builders Warranty Group and Pivotal Energy Solutions form new Partnership

Bonded Builders Warranty Group (BBWG) and Pivotal Energy Solutions are pleased to announce the availability of BBWG’s Residential Energy Guarantee (REG) program through Pivotal’s Axis Platform.

The REG is an exclusive program available to builders who construct and certify homes that meet industry standards for energy efficiency such as HERS, Energy Star, LEED or National Green Building Standard. This first-of-its-kind program for new homes is the only national program which guarantees energy usage of the entire home based on standards set by the Residential Energy Service Network (RESNET). The program reimburses the homeowner for cost of gas and electricity usage exceeding the home’s predicted energy usage by more than 15%.

Axis is a cloud-based data collection, storage, and sharing solution used by HERS Raters, new home builders, and program sponsors to streamline the data collection process for energy ratings and energy efficiency programs such as ENERGY STAR Homes.

By offering the BBWG REG through Axis, BBWG is making it even easier for builders and home owners to enroll in the REG program and guarantee their new home's energy performance. For more information about BBWG's REG, contact Steve Hooker at 800-749-0381 x4618. For more information about Pivotal's Axis platform, contact Bob Burns at 800-980-AXIS.

Learn more about Bonded Builders Warranty Group, please visit www.bondedbuilders.com.

- Pivotal and Ekotrope Announce Collaboration to Streamline Energy Ratings

Pivotal Energy Solutions and Ekotrope announced today a collaboration enabling the generation of energy ratings and energy consumption data directly from Pivotal's Axis platform. Axis will be the first product to utilize Ekotrope's new general purpose application programming interface (API) to enable cloud-based simulations using the RESNET accredited Ekotrope engine.

Pivotal's Axis platform is a cloud-based data collection, storage, and sharing solution used by HERS Raters and Providers, home builders, and energy efficiency program sponsors to streamline data collection for energy ratings and energy efficiency programs such as ENERGY STAR Homes. By offering the Ekotrope engine from within Axis, Pivotal can offer HERS Raters the ability to enter preliminary rating data, generate a preliminary rating, validate and correct preliminary rating data from the field, generate a confirmed rating, and submit rating data to their Provider all from within a single, cloud-based platform. The Axis/Ekotrope collaboration also provides energy efficiency programs an hourly-simulation option for the calculation of energy consumption and savings.

By offering access to their cloud-based energy simulation engine, Ekotrope seeks to expand its market beyond new home builders into energy ratings to support HERS energy performance ratings and utility programs at a time when hourly simulation is becoming a requirement in the market.

For more information about Pivotal's Axis platform, go to www.PivotalEnergySolutions.com, or contact Bob Burns at 800-980-AXIS. For more information about Ekotrope, go to www.ekotrope.com.

- Pivotal Licenses Appraisal Institute's Green Addendum

Pivotal Energy Solutions is pleased to announce the licensing of the Appraisal Institute's Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum (G&EEA) enabling auto-population of the G&EEA directly from its Axis platform. The Appraisal Institute, the world's largest professional organization of real estate appraisers, developed the G&EEA for use by appraisers to document the energy efficiency features of a home for appraisal purposes. Through an agreement with the Appraisal Institute, Pivotal's Axis platform generates and auto-populates the Green Addendum using home energy rating and energy efficiency program data.

Pivotal's Axis platform is a cloud-based data collection, storage, and sharing solution used by HERS Raters and Providers, home builders, and energy efficiency program sponsors to streamline data collection for energy ratings and energy efficiency programs such as ENERGY STAR Homes. By offering an auto-populated Green Addendum within Axis, Pivotal seeks to eliminate data entry errors while documenting the energy efficiency features of new homes in a consistent manner to enable the proper valuation of high-performance homes within the real estate market.

For more information about the Appraisal Institute and the Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum, go to http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/education/education-resources/green-building-resources/. For more information about Pivotal's Axis platform, contact Bob Burns at 800-980-AXIS.

- Join us at RESNET 2016!

Pivotal will be hosting a booth on the exhibit floor and offering a pre-conference session at the 2016 RESNET conference to be held in Scottsdale, Arizona, February 29 through March 2 to demonstrate our Axis software platform and share with you our plans for 2016! The pre-conference session has been scheduled for SATURDAY, February 27, so please take that into consideration when booking your travel. Registration for the pre-conference session is available through RESNET, or contact us using the "Contact" button above and we'll get you registered. We look forward to seeing you in Scottsdale!!

- Axis User Group Meeting to be held in Portland Oct. 13

Pivotal will be holding it's first Axis User Group Meeting in Portland, Oct. 12, 2015. Pivotal clients and users will be gathering to "compare and contrast" how they use Axis to support their respective energy efficiency programs and collaboratively plan the Axis development roadmap for 2016.

If you'd like to attend, please contact us to receive additional information regarding the time and place of the meeting by clicking here or calling us at (480) 256-2737.

- Find us at the EPA ENERGY STAR Stakeholders Meeting in Portland Oct. 13-15!

The Pivotal team will be attending this year's EPA ENERGY STAR Stakeholders Meeting to be held in Portland, OR, Oct. 13 through 15. Please let us know if you'll be attending as well and if you'd like to set up a time for a quick demo of Axis, our energy efficiency data hub. Find out more about the ENERGY STAR meeting by clicking here.

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