Commercial Initiatives

Improving the bottom line in the commercial sector through energy efficiency

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s 6th Power Plan predicts electricity demand in the commercial sector will increase by 2,500 aMW between 2010 and 2030. More than 60 percent of that growth can potentially be avoided through energy efficiency. Capturing these savings is critical to helping the region meet its growing energy demands, while improving the bottom line for Northwest businesses.

NEEA estimates that if just 16 percent of the commercial building space made energy efficiency renovations, regional energy savings could reach nearly 100 average megawatts (aMW) by 2025.

NEEA accelerates the adoption of energy-efficient products, practices and services within the commercial sector through the following initiatives:




Building Operator Certification (BOC) Expansion

Educating building operators and managers to instill lasting energy-efficient operation and maintenance (O&M) of commercial buildings.


Commercial Real Estate (CRE)

Encouraging energy-efficient building management practices among commercial portfolio property owners.


Commercial Window Attachments

Encouraging the installation of high-performance commercial window attachments (secondary glazing systems) as a standard practice for competitive advantage in Northwest buildings.


Commercial Code Enhancement

Bridging the gap between market practices and state policies by identifying, assessing and validating the feasibility and affordability of the next-generation technologies and practices. 

Luminaire Sensors

Luminaire Level Lighting Controls

Testing an integrated occupant and light level control on individual lamps to maximize user satisfaction while minimizing energy use for commercial lighting.


Reduced Wattage Lamp Replacement - Upstream Platform

Creating tools and market capabilities to advance new lighting standards.

      Top Tier Trade Ally

Top Tier Trade Ally

Facilitating the coordination and development of an Advanced Training Infrastructure that will enable the Northwest to meet its evolving training needs.

  • 2016 BOC Program Data Analysis
    This memorandum documents Research Into Action’s analysis of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council Building Operator Certification (BOC) program dataset as of 2016. A review of the BOC dataset of certified operators took place during January and February 2017. This report provides an updated count of the number of active certified building operators for 2016 energy savings reporting. In 2016, the BOC program registered 157 new certificates. Also in this report, the reader will find a brief update on the program’s recent alignment with the ISO 17024 standard, the process used to determine the number of active BOC certificants, and a year-by-year count of new, retired, and total active certificants. An additional section has been included this year on opportunities for further research.
    PDF, 312.24 KB
  • Commercial Real Estate Infrastructure Market Progress Evaluation Report #1
    Through its Commercial Real Estate infrastructure program, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is working to support Northwest utilities’ efforts to improve energy efficient operation of commercial buildings in their service territories. To accomplish this, NEEA made accessible a set of best practices, tools and resources which utilities, Bonneville Power Administration and Energy Trust of Oregon can tap into in order to affect improved commercial building operations. In this report, the research team (Navigant and subcontractor Cadeo) conducted a characterization of the market, assessed the NEEA-developed Spark tool – a web-based tool designed to assess the potential value of efficiency project in buildings, and reviewed the effectiveness of retrofit efforts in demonstration projects. Findings from this research include: awareness of energy efficiency as a source of economic value exists within the commercial marketplace, however practice lags awareness; the Spark tool proved useful in general, but will require some fine-tuning; initial assessment of demonstration sites realized economic benefits from energy efficiency renewal efforts.
    PDF, 3.28 MB
  • Market Progress Evaluation Report 1 Energy Codes Program
    Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) directs an energy codes program, the objective of which is to get sustained market change through the development, adoption, and implementation of increasingly stringent code in residential and commercial construction resulting in energy savings. This Market Progress Evaluation Report (MPER) report presents the findings of a formal evaluation of this program’s progress in achieving its goals and provides recommendations to improve program performance moving forward. The focus of this MPER was on codes efforts undertaken since 2011 in the northwest region (in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana). Key research objectives of the MPER were to conduct reviews of: the program logic model; cost effectiveness assumptions used to estimate program influence; program progress achieved; and effectiveness of processes implemented. The evaluation found that NEEA’s codes program has made a significant contribution to the Northwest region through its support of energy code development and adoption, implementation and compliance. The report’s recommends NEEA put additional focus on the timing and targeting of training.
    PDF, 1.35 MB

Resource Spotlight

Commercial Building Stock Assessment (CBSA) 2012-14

CBSA is a comprehensive assessment of energy efficiency that provides critical information about energy use in the Northwest’s commercial buildings. The CBSA database includes more than 250 variables for each site including building type and functional use, building size, detailed information about building envelope, fenestration, lighting and HVAC equipment.  The CBSA has a profound effect on energy efficiency planning and programming around the region.

Hear a webinar discussing CBSA results

View the final report

View previous data here

Article Spotlight

Building Renewal - Montana Pilot


Northwestern Energy and NEEA are collaborating on a pilot project to demonstrate the viability of bringing existing older commercial office buildings into ultra-modern energy efficiency standards.

Learn more