The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) was founded in 1997 on a new and promising notion – that by working together to identify and remove market barriers throughout the supply chain, the region could achieve permanent gains in energy efficiency. Twenty-three years later, market transformation is recognized across the country as a powerful tool for delivering energy efficiency and the alliance as its most experienced purveyor.
2019 marked the last year of NEEA’s 5-year (2015-2019) Business Plan. During this business cycle – by pooling resources, creating economies of scale and leveraging the market power of the region – the alliance successfully completed its Cycle 5 Business Plan.
Energy efficiency is an economic driver in our region and is important now more than ever. Energy efficiency saves money, creates family-waged jobs, and is the cornerstone of a low-carbon economic development strategy. Those who work in Oregon’s energy efficiency industry are critical to ensuring we have an affordable and resilient energy system that is robust for our future. Thank you to the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance for its leadership in advancing energy efficiency in Oregon and across the Northwest.
Locking in Energy Efficiency - Influencing progressively effective energy codes is a key element of NEEA’s market transformation efforts. During Cycle 5, NEEA’s approach to supporting code development evolved from a focus on individual measures to more holistic targeting of whole-building energy performance.
Removing Barriers to Market Adoption - To accelerate the adoption of heat pump water heaters, the alliance worked alongside manufacturers to identify barriers to consumer adoption and support product innovation.
Filling the Energy Efficiency Pipeline - The alliance collaborated with technology developers and manufacturers to fast-track the development of efficient natural gas technologies, including the first gas heat pump water heater, set for commercial availability in 2022.
Influencing Consumer Markets - Through the Retail Product Portfolio program the alliance partnered with retailers to influence the consumer products market. The program has gained traction with national players since 2015, including Best Buy, Lowe’s, Nationwide Marketing Group and The Home Depot.
Turning Data into Actionable Insights - To shift lighting contractors toward more efficient products, the alliance partnered with electrical distributors, building a robust data-gathering tool called the Distributor Platform. Today, the platform supports multiple alliance markets and programs.
Delivering Market Intelligence - In Cycle 5, NEEA coordinated the first region-wide end use load study in 30 years to gather critical data on Northwest residential and commercial energy uses.
Helping customers manage their energy use is a critical role that Northwest utilities and efﬁciency organizations play. From 2005-2015, the alliance pioneered Strategic Energy Management (SEM) in the Northwest through its Continuing Energy Improvement (CEI) program. CEI brought common “plan, do, check, act” goal setting principles and other industrial processes into the realm of energy management. Energy Trust of Oregon and Bonneville Power Administration were early participants in CEI pilots, renamed SEM in 2009.
As utility programs grew across the Northwest, NEEA began winding down its SEM market engagement. In NEEA’s 2015-2019 Business Plan, SEM became an infrastructure program, focused entirely on providing support for utility programs and the market through training, tools and resources. With a solid regional foundation and utilities leading the way, SEM programs continued to spread across the region in Cycle 5. Between 2017-2019, the number of industrial facilities participating in utility SEM programs almost doubled across the Northwest while commercial participants more than tripled. In total, Northwest SEM programs saved enough energy between 2015-2019 to power more than 20,000 Northwest homes each year. These savings would not have been possible without alliance investments made more than a decade ago and showcase the real power of Market Transformation.
With NEEA at the helm, the Northwest is leading the way for energy efficiency and showing the rest of the country where the industry is headed.
Co-Created - or shared - energy savings include all savings above the baseline that occur in the market due to the combined efforts of NEEA and its partners.
1 aMW = enough energy to power about 730 Northwest homes per year