Market Research and Evaluation Reports
Providing market-critical data
NEEA's market research drives our programming, defines the challenges within our work, and provides critical market data and analyses about regional energy consumption for NEEA and our stakeholders.
In addition to market research, NEEA consistently evaluates our efforts to ensure that they are maximizing our resources. Our Evaluation Reports gauge our progress and include assessments of NEEA's current initiatives, while our Long-Term Monitoring and Tracking Reports measure the continued effects of NEEA's previously-funded initiatives.
NEEA’s Emerging Technology Reports document the exploratory work we do to assess and develop market intervention concepts for emerging technologies and typically are not statistically significant market research. When we find a promising technology, additional, disciplined, and statistical market research will be completed to benchmark performance and savings, understand market conditions and barriers, and test intervention strategies associated with a market transformation initiative.
This report describes the compliance of residential new construction in the state of Oregon with the revised state residential code: Chapter 11 of the 2011 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC). The study team assessed compliance using two different approaches: 1) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) checklist method: This approach analyzed how well the studied homes complied with each of the sixty-one process and efficiency requirements found in the code; 2) Significant item method: This approach analyzed compliance based only on measures that were considered to have the most significant impact on energy use. Compliance rates for the two methods were found to be 91% and 96% for the checklist and significant items methods respectively. In addition, the study team assessed the energy impacts of code compliance by using a building simulation model to determine the relative energy use of each home as-built compared to the energy use of a reference home built to meet the prescriptive code.
The Comprehensive Commercial Lighting Initiative (CCLI) was a regional energy-efficient lighting retrofit pilot effort funded primarily by Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA). Three utilities – Idaho Power, Idaho Falls Power, and NorthWestern Energy – as well as the Energy Trust of Oregon - participated and funded extra incentives. This report discusses findings from a study conducted by the Heschong Mahone Group (HMG) to identify and understand the market actors and product flows of the commercial lighting retrofit market in the Northwest region (Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington). Recommendations from the report include suggestions on simplifying the programs whenever possible; continuing to encourage early T12 replacements; providing more education and training for contractors, installers and customers; building relationships with manufacturer sales representatives; encouraging the use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs); as well as an “upstream” incentive relationship with distributors, manufacturers and manufacturer sales representatives. This report represents the final in the CCLI series accompanying two previously posted reports, one focused on an evaluation of the CCLI Pilot and another describing the current state of lighting retrofit programs and project practices.
The Ductless Heat Pump (DHP) Pilot was a large-scale regional effort intended to validate a provisional savings estimate established by the Regional Technical Forum (RTF) while demonstrating market acceptance of units in existing zonal, electrically-heated residential homes. This report represents a summary of the five research areas undertaken as part of the DHP Pilot that occurred between 2009 and 2013. These include market progress evaluation, laboratory testing, field monitoring, billing analysis, and cost analysis/non-energy benefits. Key findings reiterated in the summary report include a high level of customer satisfaction with DHP units (92%), high coefficients of performance across a range of temperature conditions, and an identification of ancillary benefits to occupants (including the reduction of supplemental fuel and increased temperatures in adjacent living space). The overall program implications of this research suggest that this is an important and transformational technology which can appreciably offset electric space heating requirements in simple electric resistance systems without disrupting the existing heating system or underlying home structure.
Over the last four years, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) has promoted energy-efficient televisions through its Television initiative. In doing so, it worked with utilities in the region, ENERGY STAR® and select retailers to create the Energy Forward mark or logo. The purpose of this study is to understand the awareness of and association with the mark and the potential to use the mark as a parent brand across current and future NEEA initiatives. The results indicate that awareness of the mark is low (seven percent). This applies to awareness of other national brands such as TopTen USA. ENERGY STAR® is the only brand that currently elicits recognition among consumers. Few consumers associated Energy Forward with advanced technology. However, over half of consumers think that the mark fits well with appliances such as clothes dryers and cooling systems. Almost all consumers have a favorable impression of the mark after it was described to them.
This report provides an assessment of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance Heat Pump Water Heater (HPWH) Market Test from May 2012 through April 2013. According to the report, the Market Test has promoted regional strategies, forged relationships with market actors throughout the supply chain and supported homeowner purchases of energy-efficient units. New purchasers of HPWHs are highly satisfied with the performance of their units (95%). Key drivers for purchases include saving energy, lower monthly operating costs and rebate availability. Obstacles to purchase are not atypical of those associated with other new energy-efficient products, namely first cost and low awareness.
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) recently conducted a quantitative survey of ENERGY STAR homeowners and potential buyers. This study investigates perceptions around energy efficiency within the home purchasing process with the intention of assisting real estate and home appraisers to better assess Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes in the region.
Findings from the report indicate nearly two-thirds of homebuyers do not consider energy efficiency as a key factor contributing to their purchase decision, though it is a strong secondary driver. In fact, two-thirds of potential homebuyers express a willingness to pay more for an energy-efficient home.
While four in ten did not know their homes were ENERGY STAR certified at the time of purchase, the majority did recognize and value the energy efficiency of their homes. One-third of respondents surveyed are aware that Northwest ENERGY STAR Homes are designed to provide a 15% increase in energy savings above code. In addition, they associated their ENERGY STAR homes with lower bills, higher quality, increased comfort and higher resale value.
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) has sponsored the 80 PLUS Initiative with the goal of transforming the market for energy efficient internal power supplies for commercial desktop PCs since 2004. This is the fifth Market Progress Evaluation Report (MPER) and contains three primary components: 1) a characterization of the trends, status and dynamics of the PC and laptop market; 2) an update of key assumptions related to market penetration, baselines, and costs for the program’s cost effectiveness model and 3) an assessment of the market progress indicators associated with the 80 PLUS initiative. The study finds that the 80 PLUS market share is approaching 85%, NEEA’s estimate of maximum potential. It also shows that incremental cost remains as the primary barrier that prevents Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) and System Integrators (SI) from installing 80 PLUS power supplies in 100% of the PCs they sell.
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), New Buildings Institute (NBI), and the University of Idaho Integrated Design Laboratory (IDL) collaborated to measure the energy performance of higher-efficiency-rated products in the unitary, vapor-compression, direct-expansion (DX) package rooftop unit (RTU) class of commercial building heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment. The project sought to use experimental data to evaluate the operational capabilities of three RTUs, first in a relatively controlled lab setting and then in a field operating setting. The primary goal of the study was to analyze a typical (or baseline federal minimum efficiency rated) RTU alongside two examples of an emerging class of advanced-performance RTUs.
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted Ecova to conduct laboratory testing of the 2013 Environmental Protection Agency Emerging Technology Awardee for clothes dryers. The purpose was to determine if the dryer's success meeting the Emerging Technology specification would translate into success with the recent Energy Star specification, and how the dryer would perform when drying heavier weight test cloths more similar to "real world" conditions. The results show that as currently configured, the clothes dryer would not result in significant energy savings unless run times were extended well beyond typical consumer expectations. This does not invalidate the Emerging Technology award status but does raise the question if utilities should use this first efficient US dryer as a basis for incentive programs.
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with Ecotope, Inc. and Cascade
Engineering Services, Inc. to conduct a laboratory assessment of the Sanden model # GES-
15QTA heat pump water heater (HPWH) for northern climate installations. The testing plan included observing heat pump efficiency atlower ambient temperatures (30° F, 50° F, and 67° F); conducting the standard 24-hour and 1-hour rating tests; measuring noise output levels; quantifying the number of efficient showersdelivered at 50° F ambient; and measuring airflow across the evaporator coil under different ducting regimes. Overall, the results suggest the GES is an extremely efficient heat pump water heater and suitable for nearly all applications in the Pacific Northwest.
This report focuses on the detailed metering findings on 30 homes selected to evaluate the operation of Northern Climate Specification qualified Tier 2 Heat Pump Water Heaters (HPWHs). Overall in-field metering results suggest that units installed in conditioned spaces with warmer ambient air temperatures demonstrate higher Coefficient of Performance (COP) on average. Furthermore, the field study confirms that HPWHs are an efficient technology. Incorporating this information into future planning and program design efforts will help ensure future use of the technology.
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with EnerNOC Utility Solutions to provide definition to the process for establishing and documenting energy baselines for industrial facilities. Energy baselines are foundational to a robust energy management program, however, industrial facility energy baseline methodologies are neither well known nor consistently implemented. The paper describes a straightforward six-step process suitable for use by facility staff. Using this process facilities can effectively monitor and manage their energy performance.
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with Portland Energy Conservation, Inc. (PECI) to help provide clarity on the range of Commercial Energy Management and Information Systems (EMIS) available and their respective feature sets. EMIS are software tools that store, analyze, and display energy use or building systems data. A wide variety of EMIS is available, and have shown promise for supporting nonresidential utility energy efficiency programs.The output of this work is an EMIS inventory that details the functionality of fourteen EMIS. The overarching objective of the inventory is to document EMIS features that can support utility programs and financial transactions for energy efficiency.
This report is the third and final in a series of reports summarizing the results of the Residential Building Stock Assessment (RBSA). The purpose of this report is to obtain a comprehensive view of the current state of residential multi-family stock characteristics through an understanding of the distribution of energy-consuming equipment and lighting.
The report presents interesting findings on multi-family building characteristics as well as actual housing units. There is substantial diversity in building characteristics throughout the region. Approximately 56% of the sector was constructed prior to 1981, and 18% is classified as low-income housing. While the building reflects relatively low insulation values, the heat loss rates per unit is 50% less than average single-family homes and 30% less when normalized by conditioned floor area. Electric heat is the primary heating source for about 93% of the units surveyed in this sample. Compact fluorescent lamps account for 27% of the in unit lighting, which is comparable to the other residential sectors surveyed in this study.
Information gleaned from this report can help to establish a baseline of residential building stock characteristics in the Northwest. Additionally, the results of this study will serve as a basis for planning, forecasting, and program development initiatives by various entities in the region.
This is the third technical report of the Northwest Ductless Heat Pump Pilot Project (pilot). This report presents findings from the billing analysis portion of the ductless heat pump evaluation and focuses on the overall energy use of the pilot project population, based on an analysis of the billing records of most of the pilot participants. The overall results of this analysis are in general agreement with results of the previous ductless heat pump metered study.