Alliance remains resilient in times of uncertainty

Letter to the Region:

2020 Susan and Cory headshots withtitle
Twenty-five years ago, the energy efficiency community in Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon created the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) based on a shared belief that together, the region could accomplish far more than it could alone. This past year has emphasized the importance of this unique, collaborative approach. Although the impacts of COVID-19 have reverberated throughout the country, the alliance has adapted to continue to pioneer the transformation of the Northwest’s energy market toward greater efficiency despite market disruptions and health challenges.
2020 marked a year of change that profoundly impacted the industry and energy efficiency in the region. Yet through this challenging and difficult year, the alliance remained committed to its purpose: to pool resources and share risks to transform the market for energy efficiency to the benefit of consumers in the Northwest. Working together in 2020, the alliance:
  • Worked with water heating manufacturers to introduce the first Tier 4 water heater to the market - the highest level of efficiency currently available – using the alliance’s Advanced Water Heating Specification (AWHS). The Environmental Protection Agency has now updated its Residential Water Heaters Specification Version 4.0 to align closely with the AWHS as part of the Federal administration’s 2021 energy efficiency initiatives.
  • Expanded alliance portfolio diversity, readying new concepts for Market Transformation including variable speed heat pumps and efficient fans.
  • Completed the fourth Commercial Building Stock Assessment, a regional study that seeks to understand drivers of energy consumption by compiling data from more than 900 commercial buildings in the Northwest.
  • Created a critical mass of support for the first North American gas heat pump water heater demonstration project and helped grow the North American Gas Heat Pump Collaborative to over a dozen gas utilities in Canada and the U.S. These combined efforts help the alliance to generate the market power needed to fast-track the development and adoption of efficient natural gas technologies.
  • Increased alliance scale and influence on the consumer products market by adding two new Illinois utilities to the ENERGY STAR® Retail Products Portfolio (ESRPP) program. ESRPP partners now represent 16% of the U.S. market.
  • Advanced the Ductless Heat Pump program to long-term monitoring and tracking. The program has laid the foundation for continued Market Transformation work in the residential HVAC market and the alliance will continue to leverage the infrastructure and lessons learned from the program to support launching its new Variable Speed Heat Pump initiative.
As a regional organization focused on long-term goals, the alliance remained well positioned to buffer against short-term market disruption – a testament to the resilience of Market Transformation. In times of uncertainty, energy efficiency remains a stabilizing force.
The alliance’s continued commitment to work together has made all of these accomplishments possible.

With gratitude for the alliance,
Susan E. Stratton, Executive Director
Cory scott signaturejpg
Cory Scott, NEEA Board Chair
2020 Annual Report

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