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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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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
10/17/2017
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.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Residential
  • Ductless Heat Pumps
  • 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
7/12/2017
This report summarizes results of a characterization study of the Natural Gas Hearths Market in the Northwest. The objective of the research was to gain a deeper understanding and expand upon our current knowledge of the supply and demand sides of this market. Through a combination of in-depth qualitative and quantitative techniques, the report examines: • Existing interdependencies and current trends within the supply chain • Owner satisfaction and usage experiences with their units • Motivators for purchasing units among owners, and those intending to purchase a unit • Opportunities for improving upon current market barriers to adoption
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Natural Gas
  • Gas Hearths
  • All NEEA Funders
6/12/2017
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.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Commercial Buildings
  • Commercial
  • Building Operator Certification
  • All NEEA Funders
5/22/2017
This Power Point report summarizes results of a market research study conducted in Kirkland, Washington March 24, 2017. The objective of the research was to determine which of five potential marketing messages would be most likely to address the barrier of consumer awareness of, and interest in, Super-Efficient Dryers. The report includes: • How well each of the messages scored on six key attributes: differentiation, strategic fit, relevance, category legitimacy, understanding and engagement. • A summary of the qualitative response to the various elements (visuals, words and message) of each of the messages. • Indicated actions regarding ways to optimize the message elements.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Residential
  • Super-Efficient Dryers
  • All NEEA Funders
4/10/2017
The qualitative research report, “Exploring The Consumer Path-To-Purchase for New Construction Homes,” captures the findings of a study that was conducted in Q1 of 2017. The objective of the study was to inform intervention strategies designed to overcome the Next Step Homes initiative’s barrier of consumer awareness. Qualitative research focused on recent purchasers of new construction homes in the Northwest region. The results in this Power Point report include: • The new construction homeowner path-to-purchase • Attitudes, influences and needs within the path-to-purchase • The experiences and interactions with builders throughout the process • Perceptions and attitudes regarding energy efficiency as a consideration during the construction process
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Residential
  • Residential Buildings
  • New Construction
  • All NEEA Funders
3/21/2017
The qualitative research report, “Exploring the Consumer Value Proposition for Super-Efficient Dryers,” captures the findings of a study conducted in Q4 of 2016. The objective of the study was to inform intervention strategies designed to overcome the Super-Efficient Dryer adoption barrier of low consumer awareness of, and interest in, Super-Efficient Dryers. Qualitative research focused on recent purchasers of dryers and with consumers who stated an intent to purchase a dryer in the next 6 – 12 months. The results in this Power Point report include: • Use, attitudes and challenges associated with laundry, and dryers in particular. • The dryer consumer’s path-to-purchase, hierarchy of needs and unmet needs. • Perceptions and attitudes about energy efficiency, ENERGY STAR®, dryer brands and the retail experience. • The consumer value propositions created, a summary of consumer response to those statements, and conclusions regarding which statements hold the most potential.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Residential
  • Super-Efficient Dryers
  • All NEEA Funders
3/20/2017
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) was an active participant in the U.S. Department of Energy process to establish a standard regulating the consumption of energy in electric motors. To assess the effectiveness of NEEA’s effort in the establishment of this standard, NEEA contracted with Cadmus. The electric motor standard was unique in that energy efficiency stakeholders and the manufacturers established a collaboration forum, the Motor Coalition, and used this forum to create a joint recommendation. NEEA was a member of the coalition, providing technical expertise and serving as a trusted voice in the negotiations. The work of the coalition fundamentally changed the structure of the Department of Energy’s original proposal as well as significantly accelerated the adoption date of the standard. The efforts of the Motor Coalition (NEEA, other energy stakeholders and manufacturers) were significant. Cadmus estimates that 61 percent of the savings from the Electric Motors standard will result from the Motor Coalition activities.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Codes and Standards Report
  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • Electric Motors and Pumps
  • Standards
  • All NEEA Funders
3/7/2017
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.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Commercial Buildings
  • Commercial
  • Spark Tool
  • All NEEA Funders
2/22/2017
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance commissioned a study designed to characterize the natural gas consumer and to develop customer segmentation profiles to support the development of new high efficiency natural gas initiatives in the Northwest. The majority of natural gas customers (from among the sponsoring utilities and the Energy Trust of Oregon) reside primarily in suburban (52 percent) and urban (31 percent) homes, and are comprised of households with at least two or three individuals (72 percent). Space and water heating are the main uses of natural gas, and 44 percent report owning gas stove tops and 43 percent have fireplaces. Based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative research, four key segments emerge of the natural gas customers. These include the Pragmatist (30 percent); the New Urban Traditionalist (6 percent), the Middle American (9 percent) and the Day-to-Day (55 percent), each with its sets of drivers and barriers to high efficiency product adoption.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Natural Gas
  • All NEEA Funders
2/16/2017
In an effort to better understand the market potential of high efficiency gas fired condensing rooftop units, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance commissioned a market characterization study. The study sought to identify the supply side market structure for these units in commercial retrofit settings. Key findings indicate that the top three brands dominating the market include Carrier, Lennox and Trane. Installers play a critical role by serving as a conduit between commercial building owners and distribution channels. Furthermore, installers command high brand and distributor loyalty. While installers are familiar with condensing technology, few have much installation experience with high efficiency gas fired condensing rooftop units. Installers are not confident that lower performance energy costs will outweigh performance risk, and thus do not recommend high efficiency gas fired condensing rooftop units in general. This would suggest an opportunity for creating an energy savings and payback calculator. In addition, installers need training on the best installation practices and maintenance of condensing units to further their appeal.
  • Market Research Report (Program or Initiative)
  • Natural Gas
  • Commercial
  • Gas Fired Condensing Rooftop Units
  • Commercial Heating and Cooling
  • All NEEA Funders