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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.

Our evaluation reports assess our current initiatives to ensure we achieve our goals in a cost effective manner. Our Long-Term Monitoring and Tracking Reports measure the continued energy savings delivered by 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. These reports typically are not based on statistically valid market research.  When we find a promising technology, additional, disciplined, and statistically valid market research is completed to benchmark performance and savings, understand market conditions and barriers, and test intervention strategies associated with a market transformation initiative.

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4/18/2018
This memo documents Research Into Action’s analysis of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) Building Operator Certification (BOC) program dataset as of 2017. The primary goal of this analysis was to describe the new 2017 BOC certificants and to update the count of active BOC certifications in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, as of Jan. 29, 2018. The analysis found a total of 150 new certificates recorded in 2017, bringing the total number of active certificates – or certificates for which NEEA reports to 1,551.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Building Operator Certification
  • All NEEA Funders
4/3/2018
This report characterizes both the supply and demand sides of the Northwest water heater market. The study highlights current trends in that market, based on an extensive online bulletin board and a quantitative survey designed to gather insights from purchasers of water heaters, as well as in-depth interviews with the supply chain. This report serves as an update to the previous Water Heater Market Update conducted in 2011.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Residential
  • All NEEA Funders
2/21/2018
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with Navigant and Cadeo in May 2017 to further explore three research topics from the Reduced Wattage Lamp Replacement (RWLR) Initiative Market Progress Evaluation Report #1. The overarching goal of the RWLR initiative is to transform standard purchasing practices in the nonresidential lighting maintenance market toward reduced wattage options. This memo discusses the findings in two sections. The first section discusses market intervention strategies – both successful and less successful – used by distributors to drive reduced wattage sales. The second section offers Cadeo’s review of regional linear fluorescent lamp (LFL) market size estimates.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Commercial Lighting
  • Commercial Lighting and Controls
  • Reduced Wattage Lamp Replacement
  • All NEEA Funders
2/6/2018
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with TRC Energy Services (TRC) to conduct an evaluation of NEEA’s efforts to help establish the federal commercial refrigeration equipment (CRE) standard. The study qualitatively assessed activities that NEEA conducted to help establish the CRE standard and quantitatively assessed the combined influence of all energy efficiency stakeholders on the energy savings from the adoption of this standard. Through the evaluation, TRC determined that NEEA, in partnership with other energy efficiency stakeholders, worked to affect the stringency of the adopted standard; particularly through directional comments made to influence the standard’s final test procedure. TRC concludes that of the total savings projected to result from the EPS standard, 15 percent will result from efforts put forth by NEEA and the other energy efficiency participants.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Commercial
  • Commercial Storage and Refrigeration
  • All NEEA Funders
2/6/2018
Arrow G Consulting conducted an online qualitative market research study for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (NEEA) Window Attachments program between November 13-16, 2017. The Market Transformation Theory associated with the Window Attachments program identifies the success of the Attachments Energy Rating Council (AERC) as a pivotal success factor for the program. As such, the primary research objective was to provide the AERC with information that will help them to understand their target audience, and to optimize their communication plan. Research results include, but not limited to: • Insights regarding the decision-making process for home improvements, and how window improvements fit within that context • Needs, decision process and concerns associated with window replacements • Insights regarding key messaging for window attachments
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Residential
  • Window Attachments
  • All NEEA Funders
1/31/2018
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with TRC Energy Services (TRC) to conduct an evaluation of NEEA’s efforts to help establish the federal residential furnace fan (FF) standard. The objectives of the study were to qualitatively assess activities that NEEA conducted to help establish the FF standard and quantitatively assess the combined influence of all energy efficiency stakeholders on the energy savings from the adoption of this standard. TRC collected data through a literature review and conducted interviews with a variety of stakeholders that were involved in the adoption of this standard, including NEEA staff, energy efficiency stakeholders and manufacturers. TRC determined that NEEA, in partnership with these other energy efficiency stakeholders, worked to affect the stringency of the adopted standard particularly through directional comments made to influence the standard’s final test procedure. TRC concludes that of the total savings projected to result from this standard, 15 percent will result from efforts put forth by NEEA and the other energy efficiency participants.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Residential
  • All NEEA Funders
1/17/2018
This report presents the findings of the Northwest Ductless Heat Pump (DHP) initiative’s sixth market progress evaluation. The research, conducted between Q4 2016 through Q3 2017, measured performance on several market indicators. The study assessed the initiative’s performance on goals to improve DHP affordability and to increase consumer adoption. An online survey of 520 consumers in the target market (homeowners with electric baseboard heat or force air furnaces) returned interesting results. The survey incorporated two choice experiments to measure the relative strength of DHP features for consumer messaging and marketing. The analysis showed that consumers consider the reduction of monthly heating costs by up to 50 percent and the ability to provide cooling as well as heating to be the most compelling reasons to purchase a DHP. The study confirmed that price is the dominant factor in consumer decision-making, indicating that cost is likely to remain a near term barrier. Note: This report was republished on 01/17/2018 with additional market partner input reflected throughout Section 3.6, and in the conclusion “Additional market intervention will be needed to reduce DHP costs.” A correction was also made to Appendix C Figure 23.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Residential
  • Ductless Heat Pumps
  • All NEEA Funders
1/17/2018
This preliminary market research focused on understanding the market barriers and any product performance concerns with Secondary Glazing Systems (SGS), an interior window attachment that improves the performance of existing windows in commercial buildings. The bulk of the research occurred between March and October 2017 and included a literature review, a review of existing market research, and primary data collection with representatives from projects installed throughout the United States. The limited number of in-region installations and lack of access to building contacts indicate that the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) will need to continue to collect region-specific intelligence on these products. The findings indicate that NEEA staff should consider attending trade shows or other networking events attended by glazing contractors and design teams responsible for interior rehabilitation (as opposed to new construction) to improve awareness of the product among Northwest professionals. Product "mock ups" are another common way to expose potential users to the product. The research found no industry wide concerns with the product performance nor any evidence of unexpected product failure. Additional research needs include supply chain research specific to the Northwest. This report has been updated as of 03/06/2018.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Commercial
  • Window Attachments
  • Secondary Glazing System
  • All NEEA Funders
10/31/2017
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) presents the findings of the Heat Pump Water Heater (HPWH) initiative’s third market progress evaluation. Key objectives of the research were to characterize the market effects of the 2015 National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA) for heat pump water heater tanks greater than 55-gallons and to improve understanding of the installer market. Mystery shopping calls to a random sample of installers and retailers revealed that neither group is likely to recommend HPWHs to customers, and that retail salespeople do not understand the technology well. The study also found that the NAECA standard has underperformed and has generated multiple workaround solutions. Installers and retailers most commonly recommend downsizing to a 50-gallon standard electric water heater to avoid the installation of a HPWH. The findings suggest that installers need more training and education on the consumer benefits of HPWHs, and that high first cost and prior negative experiences with the technology are still barriers.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Residential
  • Heat Pump Water Heaters
  • All NEEA Funders
10/25/2017
This report summarizes the results of an in-depth assessment of NEEA's Natural Gas Portfolio, two and a half years into its current five-year funding cycle. The objectives of the research were to: Assess progress of the Natural Gas Portfolio to date, address gas/electric integration issues and recommend improvements or changes going forward. Focus on identifying and quantifying the benefits of a dual fuel or integrated fuel market transformation approach and/or put a plan in place to collect the data necessary to determine the benefit. Through a combination of in-depth qualitative techniques, the report examines and gauges: The impact NEEA has had on product advancements within the Natural Gas Portfolio. NEEA's adherence to the key principles of operation in the Natural Gas Business Plan. Evidence of market transformation across the current selection of products in the Portfolio. NEEA's overall health as a dual-fuel organization.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Natural Gas
  • All NEEA Funders
10/23/2017
This report presents the 2016 long-term monitoring and tracking (LTMT) findings for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (NEEA) Building Commissioning initiative. Starting in 1998, the initiative sought to make commissioning (Cx) standard practice, and supported the Building Commissioning Association’s (BCA) provider certification program (which is still ongoing). The 2016 research spanned from November 2016 – May 2017 and met three major objectives for the new and existing building markets separately: Update the total size of the potential Northwest Cx market in square feet; Estimate the 2016 Cx market activity in square feet; Estimate percent market penetration of Cx activity. The report presents the following findings for 2016, and provides further analytical and methodological detail: In the Northwest new building market penetration grew substantially from 49 percent in 2015 to 71 percent in 2016. Market penetration varied greatly among the four states. Washington came in at 89 percent primarily because of the 2016 code change requiring Cx in new buildings. Oregon was close at 75 percent. Montana and Idaho came it at 35 percent and 14 percent respectively. In the region overall, for the second year in a row, existing building commissioning activity decreased compared to 2015. Market penetration in 2016 was 1.17 percent. There were increases in Oregon and Washington for the 2016 research period. For the states with lower market penetration, NEEA should consider new ways to build awareness of the benefits of commissioning, particularly through continued support of the BCA.
  • Long-Term Monitoring and Tracking Report
  • Commercial
  • Building Commissioning
  • All NEEA Funders
10/19/2017
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) presents findings from research done from November 2016 to June 2017 for Long-Term Monitoring and Tracking (LTMT) of the Northwest residential lighting market, its thirteenth year of LTMT in this market. The effort entails collecting and analyzing extensive shelf survey data and sales data. This year, researchers also interviewed manufacturers and observed an interactive session by NEEA with utility program planners. Key 2016-17 regional research objectives: Characterize the expected impacts of the 2017 ENERGY STAR® specification and the federal 2020 EISA standard; Understand manufacturer opinions, and also market trends; Describe 2016 Northwest residential lamp sales and pricing, and confirm the market exit of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs); Better understand regional residential lighting program activities and needs for planning. Key 2016-17 regional findings and implications: Light-emitting diodes (LED) now dominate general purpose and reflector lamp sales (43 and 51 percent respectively). This begs the question: when do we say the market is transformed? LED prices have dropped 70 percent since 2011, greatly narrowing incremental cost, and making incentive decisions increasingly difficult. Planners say they need more frequent price analysis. EISA, if implemented, will continue to expand, and lock in, efficiency gains. That said, major manufacturers do not see EISA 2020 as a watershed; they are certain that LEDs are here to stay. Market actors no longer think so-called “value LEDs” will harm energy efficiency. Indeed, their efficiency is on par with ENERGY STAR LEDs. This raises nuanced program design questions. Specialty lamp sales, such as decorative and minibase lamps, are still largely inefficient. EISA 2020 is to include these lamps, but in the near term, this could be a program opportunity. CFLs are exiting the market based on sales data, manufacturer feedback and the EISA 2020 requirements.
  • Long-Term Monitoring and Tracking Report
  • Residential
  • All NEEA Funders
9/13/2017
This Market Test Assessment (MTA) provides a summary of the first full year of Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA)’s Retail Products Portfolio (RPP) initiative’s market test. The research extended over a period of approximately 18 months and focused on several key aspects of the 2016/2017 program experience, particularly as NEEA joined with other program administrators and ENERGY STAR® to develop a national framework and national scale sufficient to affect retail assortment for qualified products. By providing midstream incentives, NEEA and other participants in the Energy Star Retail Products Portfolio (ESRPP) program create a more robust market for efficient versions of several common consumer products. The market test sought to 1) improve data administration and access, 2) build scale through retail and extra regional engagement, 3) improve transparency and streamline portfolio management, and 4) build consensus on evaluation approaches. The MTA found that first three of the four market test objectives had been achieved. The fourth, building consensus on evaluation approaches, will continue to require attention from NEEA. An analysis of sales data available to the initiative was used to test analytical approaches that could support evaluation of RPP impacts in other jurisdictions, to support NEEA’s objective to build consensus around evaluation activities for RPP. The research team recommended that NEEA continue to advocate for improvements in the data administration and access, and continue to engage regional stakeholders in the portfolio selection process that supports RPP.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Residential
  • Retail Products Portfolio
  • All NEEA Funders
9/5/2017
This report presents the 2016 long-term monitoring and tracking (LTMT) findings for the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (NEEA) Drive Power Initiative which encouraged adoption of green motor rewind practices by Northwest motor service centers from 1999 to 2004. The initiative worked through the Green Motor Initiative and the Green Motors Practices Group (GMPG). The GMPG continues to promote these practices actively. This year’s LTMT research met three major objectives: (1) update the size of the motor rewind market in the Northwest; (2) establish the market share of green motor rewinds; and (3) calculate the regional savings for green motor rewinds. The report presents the following findings, and provides further analytical and methodological detail: In 2016, there were 79 motor service centers in the Northwest of which 33 were GMPG members and 46 were nonmembers. Nonmembers performed 771 motor rewinds; all were standard rewinds. GMPG members performed 1,925 rewinds, of which 33 percent was green. These green rewinds saved an estimated annual total of 1,734,708 kilowatt hours. Since 2013, the percentage of green GMPG member motor rewinds increased from 29 percent. Although the penetration of green motor rewinds among GMPG member motor service centers is increasing, green motor rewinds have yet to become standard practice in the Northwest. The 2016 report also recaps barriers reported by nonmembers in 2013 for not joining GMPG and conducting green rewinds: lack of needed equipment, paperwork, lack of customer interest, time involved to sign up, and a perception that green rewinds do not last as long.
  • Long-Term Monitoring and Tracking Report
  • Industrial
  • Long-term monitoring and tracking
  • Drive Power Initiative
  • All NEEA Funders
7/19/2017
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance contracted with Arrow G Consulting to conduct a consumer and retailer/dealer qualitative research study during the first quarter of 2017. The purpose of the study is to support the NEEA Manufactured Homes program’s business objective to advance the voluntary energy efficiency standard for Northwest manufactured homes. Arrow G’s goal was to generate insights into ways to effectively communicate energy efficiency attributes by understanding both consumer and dealer needs and motivations. The report presents the dynamics of the manufactured home market, including a depiction of the market’s unique consumer base, and challenges dealers have in positioning energy efficiency in ways to compel interest among the market’s consumers.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Residential
  • Manufactured Homes
  • All NEEA Funders