Uniting the region’s diverse needs

The alliance’s commitment to innovation and collaboration helped find common solutions to benefit individual communities and the region at large.

Letter to the Region:

2022 Becca Mike Headshots w title
2022 marked an exciting and dynamic time for the alliance. The energy industry is undergoing a period of rapid and, in some areas, evolutionary change. At its core, energy efficiency enables the region to meet its energy needs and do so in low cost and affordable ways that benefit consumers and businesses. And today, more than ever, energy efficiency is a uniting force that delivers multiple dimensions of value across the region: It reduces peak demand, supports grid resilience and reliability, contributes to emissions reductions, improves health outcomes, supports workforce development, helps the region withstand increasing unpredictability from extreme weather events, and more.
This diversity of value brings us together and serves to strengthen the alliance to keep pace with this rapid evolution of the energy industry. While individual communities may face unique challenges, it is through a commitment to innovation and collaboration that the alliance finds common solutions that benefit not only these communities, but the entire region.
Through this year’s collective efforts, the alliance:
  • Collaborated to improve the efficiency of televisions by partnering with TV manufacturers to develop a new test method for assessing TV energy use. The new test method more accurately reflects actual energy use and was adopted into the ENERGY STAR Version 9 TV specification, which took effect in late 2022.
  • Provided data and market knowledge from the Northwest Energy-Efficient Manufactured Housing Program – a long-term collaboration between the Bonneville Power Administration, NEEA, Energy Trust of Oregon, Northwest electric utilities, Northwest-based manufactured home builders, and other partners – to the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE), resulting in the announcement from the U.S. DOE and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) of the first new energy efficiency update for manufactured homes in 25 years. 
  • Recruited 1,000+ homes to participate in the Residential Building Stock Assessment, a regional research study conducted by the alliance roughly every five years that is designed to collect information on home characteristics in the Northwest. Each participant home provides detailed data on hundreds of building and equipment characteristics, enabling the identification of energy efficiency opportunities and providing data for utility planning purposes. 
  • Participated in the development of a joint recommendation with industry partners to the U.S. DOE as input to the Federal standards public process for heat pump water heaters. As part of these conversations, NEEA brought data, research and real-world validation of the technology from across the Northwest, including those from cold-climate and rural markets. This work builds on the first Northern Climate Water Heater specification that NEEA created in 2009 to ensure cold-climate performance. Since then, NEEA has worked with both the region and market to iterate on it, based on real-world performance as product improvements were made over the last 13-14 years through voluntary programs. Incorporating the Advanced Water Heating Specification (AWHS) as the industry standard is an important step to ensure that future Federal standards for water heaters recognize Northwest climates and consumer needs.
  • Concluded an efficient gas rooftop unit field trial in collaboration with Montana State University’s Integrated Design Lab that demonstrated a 40% reduction in small-to-medium-sized commercial building HVAC energy use.
  • Co-created 38.7 aMW of electric energy savings and 827,379 Therms of natural gas savings in 2022, equivalent to the amount of energy needed to power more than 26,000 homes per year.

NEEA’s accomplishments in 2022 helped to bolster the region’s efforts in the face of some of the most challenging economic conditions our customers have seen. Inflation, labor shortages and supply chain issues contributed to a challenging environment in which to promote and realize energy savings. NEEA helped achieve savings and support future technologies despite these challenges. As we look towards the future and the demands of decarbonization faced by Oregon’s electric and gas utilities, NEEA’s work only grows in importance.

- Michael Colgrove,
NEEA Board Chair and Executive Director of the Energy Trust of Oregon

2022 also marked a transition in leadership for NEEA. After 11 years of serving as Executive Director, Susan E. Stratton wrapped up her tenure at NEEA and embarked on a well-deserved retirement. Through her leadership, Stratton led the alliance through two five-year funding cycles and helped NEEA to establish Market Transformation as a nationwide practice for energy efficiency.
In addition, NEEA began its 5-year Business Planning process for its Cycle 7 (2025 – 2029) Business Plan in 2022. NEEA’s 2025-2029 Strategic and Business Plans build on the alliance’s more than 25-year history of success. These plans outline how the alliance will continue to deliver energy efficiency solutions and transform the market to the benefit of all Northwest customers.

Energy efficiency plays a pivotal role in both the challenges and opportunities facing today’s energy system. It is a tool for businesses to be competitive in the market, helps consumers lower their energy bills, and prepares the Northwest for a resilient future. The alliance unites the diverse voices and needs of the region to enact long-lasting, meaningful change.

- Becca Yates
Executive Director of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

On the horizon the alliance will continue to seek excellence in driving market change leading to the faster and greater adoption of energy-efficient products and services and will work to meet the growing demands for a sustainable Northwest.
With gratitude for the alliance,
Becca Yates
NEEA Executive Director
Michael Colgrove
Energy Trust of Oregon NEEA Board Chair
2022 Annual Report

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