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.
The primary goal of the Next Step Homes initiative is to identify best practices and advanced technologies that the region can adopt into building codes over the next three to four code cycles. To encourage builders to incorporate high performance features into their new projects and to accelerate adoption of advanced energy-efficient building practices and technologies, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance commissioned Curtis Research Associates to investigate the motivations and obstacles to building more energy-efficient homes.
Results from focus group discussions held in Portland, Seattle and Spokane suggest that builders have different motivations to build higher than existing code standards such as differentiating themselves in the marketplace, or strong personal ethics that favor energy efficient building practices.
Common challenges to building above code homes include higher costs, appraisers’ inability to assess higher value to more efficient homes, and lack of buyers’ awareness or appreciation of energy-efficient homes.
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance commissioned a study to assess the appeal and potential viability of the Certified Refrigeration Energy Specialist initiative, designed to certify refrigeration professionals to optimize the energy efficiency of the refrigeration systems in their respective plants, to capture both energy and cost savings.
This report presents an assessment of the initiative’s potential appeal to key market actors/segments including refrigeration facility managers, operators, technicians, engineers, and service providers. The study found the initiative has the potential to succeed with its goal based on good early awareness of the initiative, interest among operators and technicians in professional development and openness of management to support efforts to improve operational and energy efficiency within their facilities.
Since 2007, NEEA has offered the Commercial Real Estate initiative to encourage the Northwest’s commercial real estate market to adopt Strategic Energy Management practices to reduce energy use. This report documents validated 2014 savings from the Commercial Real Estate initiative. The office competition cohort saved 0.772 aMW during 2014, equivalent to 4.09 percent of building consumption. The market partners’ program cohort saved 0.611 aMW during 2014 equivalent to 5.54 percent of building consumption.
Both results are statistically significant.
The first Market Progress Evaluation Report of the Heat Pump Water Heater (HPWH) Initiative concludes that over 4,000 tier 1 units sold in the region through a manufacturer markdown in the first year and a half;most of these purchases were not the result of an emergency;over half (54 percent) of HPWH purchasers interviewed for this study replaced an existing water heater because it was getting old and was reaching the end of its useful life; manufacturers are engaged and eager to meet higher Northern Climate Specification tiers; and market actors agree that the update to the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act federal standard for large tank electric water heaters is likely to have an impact on sales in the near- and long-term, though in their view, consumer awareness of HPWHs in general is presently low.
This report evaluates the Reduced Wattage Lamp Replacement demonstration project, a market test of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s initiative to transform the general service fluorescent T8 lamp market and make reduced wattage T8 lamps the market standard in the lamp replacement market. The key conclusions are the Reduced Wattage Lamp Replacement initiative is a viable and needed effort; the initiative’s focus on distributors is a good strategy, but additional demand-side interventions would be beneficial for market transformation; the market shift initiative is not a viable initiative strategy due to the high variability in sales over time and declining overall T8 lamp sales; and the initiative process ran smoothly, resulting in high distributor satisfaction with the initiative.
This is the third Market Progress Evaluation Report (MPER) of the Building Operator Certification Expansion Initiative. The Northwest Energy Efficiency Council, Northwest Water and Energy Education Institute, and the International Building Operators Association have offered Building Operator Certification (BOC) training and certification to facility operators in the Northwest since 1997. In 2012, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance established BOC-E to accelerate adoption of BOC and increase its market penetration in the Northwest.
This report offers several important findings. The building operator market is larger than previously estimated. With new and updated data, the new estimate of the market size is more than 20,000 operators. With about 2,400 currently employed BOC operators, market penetration is about 12 percent. Levels in Idaho and Montana are similar to Washington and Oregon. This resolves an incongruous finding from MPER #2 that suggested a much higher penetration rate in Idaho and Montana than in Washington and Oregon. The average per-operator natural gas (therm) savings for Idaho and Montana is about 8 percent - twice as high as in Washington and Oregon. Electricity savings are about the same for the two sub-regions. This report makes several recommendations including expanding efforts to increase employer support of BOC participation and renewal, particularly among large employers.
The sixth residential lighting tracking and monitoring study conducted since NEEA ended funding the ENERGY STAR® Consumer Products Lighting Project in early 2008 concludes that ENERGY STAR Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL) sales declined in the region between 2013 and 2014;
CFL sales will likely continue to decrease; big box stores still dominate the region’s residential ENERGY STAR CFL sales; incandescent lamps continue to dominate store inventories, although their retail presence is declining year over year; halogen lamps and Light Emitting Diode (LED) lamp sales are on the rise; and consumer awareness of LEDs in the Northwest is high at 94 percent, with 35 percent of respondents indicating they had purchased an LED bulb in the last 12 months.
The Existing Building Renewal initiative is designed to achieve whole-building deep energy efficiency retrofits through the integration of energy savings strategies across building systems. This third-party evaluation report validates the 2014 energy savings for two demonstration buildings, one in Idaho and one in Montana. The study revealed that the building in Idaho showed a small amount of electric savings and 808 Therms of natural gas savings. The Montana building showed no electric savings due to certain malfunctions, but showed 19,979 Therms of natural gas savings. The report concludes that over the long-term, commissioning Existing Building Renewal buildings could give the region confidence that these projects sustain savings at expected levels and that new energy efficiency measures are performing properly.
The fourth Market Progress Evaluation Report of the Ductless Heat Pump (DHP) Initiative concludes that the initiative continues to exhibit a positive influence on the market. Key findings include: general consumer awareness of DHPs remains steady since 2013, fifty-two percent of installers perceive increased customer interest in DHPs (up from 43 percent in 2013), customer satisfaction with their DHP is nearly 95 percent, nearly three-quarters of respondents have recommended a DHP to others, and suppliers indicated that the initiative directly influences their marketing efforts.
Overall, Master Installers (defined as those that complete orientation and best practices training) install the most units – nearly 40 percent installed more than 20 units in 2014, compared to non-master installers with only 2 percent installing more than 20 units in 2014. Word of mouth appears to be the primary source of information, with eight percent of respondents saying they will definitely purchase a unit, and 85 percent seriously considering a purchase.
This report estimates the market baseline for the Super-Efficient Dryer Initiative in the absence of a NEEA initiative or the influence of a local utility program. According to the report, the average final estimate of the market adoption for super-efficient dryers is zero percent in 2015, and 31 percent by 2035. Adoption in the early years of the initiative will be slow, but would increase by 2020.
This Market Progress Evaluation Report (MPER) summarizes the impact and learnings from NEEA’s Consumer Electronics Television Initiative from 2009-13, with specific focus on its last year. This MPER represents the fourth evaluation of the initiative. Prior MPERs found mixed results regarding program effects. However, based on the overall evaluation assessment, the report's primary conclusion found that the initiative influenced the TV market at both the national and regional levels.
This evaluation sought to catalog both the initiative’s regional and national influence, including initiative influence on corporate-level retailer behavior. It found that initiative efforts were measurable at the local level, but was not able to document the initiative’s quantitative impact at the national level.
The research concluded that little opportunity remains for NEEA to intervene in the TV market with another initiative. The report recommends that NEEA monitor the rate of uptake and the energy use implications of UHD TVs as key indicators to inform future intervention in the TV market.
In 2012, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) created the Precision Agriculture Irrigation Leadership project, a consortium of irrigation industry stakeholders to support NEEA’s efforts to improve the energy efficiency of center pivot irrigation. The consortium brought together a wide range of manufacturers, software companies and irrigation consultancies in order to establish standards which would allow various technologies (e.g., soil moisture sensors, weather stations, emitters, sprayers, etc.) to communicate with one another.
This report assesses NEEA’s effort to establish the consortium. The research concludes that NEEA accelerated the process, positively affecting the development of industry-wide standards associated with energy efficient irrigation.
In 2013, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) stopped active support of Strategic Energy Management (SEM) programs in Northwest food processor facilities. After exiting, NEEA began monitoring
activities associated with diffusion of the program outside of these facilities. To support this monitoring activity, the Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA) agreed to share annual data from its members. This report validates the savings from the initial subset of NWFPA members. It relies on the NWFPA’s confidentially collected and reported production and energy use data to identify SEM savings. In this round of reporting, eligible savings were very small (near zero). The researchers anticipate that NEEA will report positive savings in future rounds.
NEEA funded the Drive Power initiative between 1999 and 2004 as an effort to increase motor efficiency and transform the electric motor market. Since then, NEEA had been conducting long term monitoring and tracking (LTMT) studies to continue to assess the impact of that initiative in the Northwest (Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington) region.
This 2014 LTMT report concludes that green motor rewinds have not become standard practice, and therefore, the region's efforts have not transformed the market for green motor rewinds. Green Motor Practices Group members reported that green motor rewinds comprise 30 percent of all motors rewound, and 25 percent indicated performing no green motor rewinds in 2014. This suggests that opportunities remain for NEEA to support interventions to transform the market for motor rewinds.
From 1998 to 2004, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) administered an initiative to transform the building commissioning market in the Northwest. NEEA’s goal was to make commissioning standard practice in public buildings and to create a standardized professional certification body for commissioning providers. NEEA assesses the outcomes of previously funded initiatives through the long term monitoring and tracking (LTMT) efforts. This report does not focus on market progress, but on the assumptions that NEEA used to determine energy savings forecasting and reporting.
Key conclusions from this latest LTMT effort are: commissioning activity could be underreported due to the presence and activities of commissioning firms not based in the Northwest; the nine-month adjustment applied to data to obtain the market size of newly constructed buildings is likely underestimating the average duration of the commercial new construction projects. This report recommends that NEEA apply at least a 12-month lag to new construction starts for future LTMT studies.