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Two Decades of Market Transformation

More than 20 years ago, the energy efficiency community in Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon created the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) based on a shared belief that together, we can accomplish far more than we can alone. Thank you for your continued leadership, support and commitment to our regional collaboration.
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In an effort to encourage local markets to favor energy-efficient products and services, six of the Northwest’s investor-owned utilities and the Bonneville Power Administration joined forces to form the non-profit corporation Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA).

1996
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With ENERGY STAR® certified clothes washers commanding only 2% of the market, the region’s utilities begin working together to influence consumer behaviors and drive demand through targeted incentives, rebates and consumer awareness campaigns.

In 2016, efficient washers command 50% market share, use 25% less energy and 40% less water.

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1997
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BacGen

Wastewater facilities rely heavily on mechanical aeration, which constitutes the largest use of electricity in most facilities. BacGen Technologies, Inc. (BacGen) and NEEA propose to save energy by using proprietary micronutrients and technologies to increase the efficiency of wastewater facilities.

BacGen Technologies reduced wastewater treatment energy use by up to 50%.

1998
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Magna Drive Corporation

The alliance supports Washington-based MagnaDrive Corp. in entering the marketplace with a revolutionary magnetic industrial adjustable speed drive, which helps older motors that are used in high vibration or extreme temperature conditions operate efficiently. This technology cuts energy consumption in the industrial sector by up to 60%.

The firm immediately took off, becoming one of Inc. Magazine’s fastest-growing private companies in America in 2005 and 2006.

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1999
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NEEA’s original Board of Directors gathered and decided that they would continue to fund NEEA, in five year cycles moving forward beginning in January, 2000.

2000
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Refigeration Warehouse

In 1997 only 5% of refrigeration warehouses in the Northwest used Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs). By 2000, thanks to a combination of the region's field research and utility incentives, 69% of controlled atmosphere storage and 46% of all Northwest cold storage use VFDs – a reduction in energy use of 61-86%.

2000
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Windows

Market share for ENERGY STAR qualified windows was at only 12% in 1997. Using core market transformation strategies of marketing, sales training, technical assistance and incentives, the alliance helped to influence window manufacturers, builders, retailers and distributors. In just four years, market share has risen to 75%.

In 2016, windows sold in the Northwest are almost exclusively ENERGY STAR rated and have saved the region enough energy to power more than 12,000 U.S. households each year.

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2001
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Windows

Federal standards are adopted requiring a 22% increase in energy efficiency of all clothes washers by 2004 and a 35% increase by 2007. The alliance began work to influence this standard at its inception in 1997, making this the first instance where the alliance successfully transformed a market through federal standards.

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2001
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Better Bricks

NEEA launches its first market transformation initiative in the commercial sector. BetterBricks targets decision makers in the hospital and healthcare, grocery and office real estate markets and encourages them to rethink their business practices around energy.

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2001
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100 aMW of Savings for the Region

The Five Year Retrospective Committee reports that the alliance has measurably transformed several markets in the Northwest, resulting in nearly 100 average megawatts (aMW) of energy savings for the region.

2002
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Energy Star

In 2003, the alliance turned its focus on developing comprehensive residential sector strategic plan under a marketing umbrella built on the ENERGY STAR platform. Through this work NEEA staff became aware of both Ductless Heat Pumps and Heat Pump Water Heaters, two products that are still relevant today.

Providence Health Systems piloted the first Strategic Energy Management Plan for their facilities, which paved the way for later program work in healthcare.

2003
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Northwest utilities introduce the ENERGY STAR Northwest Homes program with specifications that are higher than the national program and at least 15% more energy-efficient than Washington and Oregon state energy codes.

“The work Northwest utilities are doing through NEEA continues to be a national model for how regional collaboration can lead to market transformation for ENERGY STAR qualified homes.”
- Kathleen Hogan Director of the Climate Protection Partnerships Division U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

2004
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80 Plus

Northwest utilities partnered with ENERGY STAR to launch 80 PLUS, a national program to improve the energy efficiency of computers and servers. In addition, the alliance is working with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on an updated specification for ENERGY STAR PCs that requires power supplies to meet the 80 PLUS criteria.

Computer giant Hewlett-Packard becomes the first major computer manufacturer to join 80 PLUS.

2005
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80 Plus

Hospitals, representing 30% of the beds in the region, have adopted or committed to, a Strategic Energy Management Plan. The plans focus on implementing integrated design in new construction, enhanced operations and maintenance of existing facilities, and purchasing policies in new construction and major equipment upgrades.

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2005
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The NEEA Board made an important governance change, shifting to a more policy-focused Board to advise the strategic direction of the alliance.

2007
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CFL Bulbs

The alliance launched a comprehensive CFL campaign in 1997, influenced by the region’s utilities, manufacturers, laboratories, government agencies, retailers and ENERGY STAR. In 2006, 10.7 million CFL bulb were sold, just shy of the ENERGY STAR Consumer Products program sales goal for 2009. By 2008, sales topped an impressive 24 million.

This transformation of the lighting market paved the way for LED lighting in the region.

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2008
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Despite the economic downturn, market share for Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes nearly doubled from 4.6% in 2007 to 8%.

2008
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550 aMW of Savings for the Region

The alliance has created over 550aMW of cumulative energy savings for the region.

2008
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Ductless Heat Pump

During the first three months of the Ductless Heat Pump pilot, the alliance held more than 47 contractor orientation events, during which more than 500 contractors learned about the technology; more than 60 utilities agreed to market the heat pumps to their customers; and more than 100 units were installed.

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2009
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efficiency Connections Northwest

Now known as Efficiency Exchange, the alliance launches inaugural “Efficiency Connections Northwest” conference to encourage collaboration among regional and national energy efficiency professionals.

2010
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HPWH

NEEA, regional utilities and manufacturers partner to help bring to the market the first heat pump water heater to work effectively in the Northwest climate.

2010
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Conduit

Bonneville Power Administration and NEEA partner to launch ConduitNW.org, an online community that promotes information-sharing by regional energy efficiency professionals.

Launch Conduit
2011
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The region collaborates to help draft and publish the revised Northern Climate Specification ( now called the Advanced Water Heater Specification) to provide energy efficiency guidance to manufacturers developing HPWHs.

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2011
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800 aMW of Savings for the Region

The alliance has created over 800aMW of cumulative energy savings for the region.

2011
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NEEA completes performance study of LED streetlights with controls to support a push for national standards for LEDs on all arterial roadways.

2011
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Sears

NEEA validates heat pump water heater performance through in-home testing and collaborates with Sears on a successful market test that increases sales during the promotional period by 600%.

The region could save nearly 289 aMW by 2035, the equivalent to powering almost 211,000 homes each year.

2012
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Market share of 80 PLUS certified power supplies grows from 0% in 2005 to an estimated 70% of desktop PCs (including 80 PLUS or equivalent power supplies) sold in the U.S.

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2012
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By the end of 2013, more than 19,000 DHPs were installed in the Northwest through a network of nearly 1,000 contractors. The region demonstrated that DHPs offer homeowners lower bills and added comfort, provided opportunity for HVAC installers, and saved enough energy to power 4,400 homes each year.

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2013
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1,000aMW of Savings for the Region

The alliance has created over 1,000aMW of cumulative energy savings for the region.

2013
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EE TV

In coordination with major utilities and ENERGY STAR, the alliance launched an initiative in 2009 that increased the availability of super-efficient TVs. By 2014, the program known as Energy Forward led to nearly 90 percent of televisions sold in the region to meet the ENERGY STAR 5.3 specification.

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2014
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EE Awards

In an ongoing effort to enhance collaboration and innovation within our region, we introduced the Leadership in Energy Efficiency Awards to recognize individuals and teams for their exemplary dedication and performance.

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2015
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Reduced Wattage Lamps

The alliance developed a plan using the lesson learned from the TVs program to include stocking practices of T8 lamps. Thanks to 12 participating distributors, market share of 28W T8 lamps rose from 8 to 14 percent.

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2015
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A group of gas utilities and efficiency organizations in Idaho, Oregon and Washington collectively launched a 5-year plan for accelerating natural gas efficiency in the Northwest.

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2015
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1,250aMW of Savings for the Region

Since 1997, the alliance has created over 1,275 aMW of cumulative total regional energy savings.

2015