Biden Administration Highlights Northwest Efforts in America’s Efficiency Future

Regional efforts to advance efficient water heating, heat pumps spotlighted in national building decarbonization effort

PORTLAND, Ore. – May 18, 2021 – U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm has announced a new national initiative designed to make heat pump technology and advanced water heating more widely available in the U.S. market.

Along with NEEA and 50 other organizations, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Building Technologies Office (BTO) is supporting the Advanced Water Heating Initiative (AWHI) as part of the Biden administration’s national building decarbonization efforts.

In partnership with the AWHI, DOE is launching a new initiative to increase market adoption of high-efficiency, grid-connected Heat Pump Water Heaters – which are two to four times more efficient than conventional water heaters – in homes and commercial buildings across the country.

The Initiative for Better Energy, Emissions, and Equity (E3 Initiative) will advance clean heating and cooling systems. This effort will help drive research and development of several technologies that NEEA is currently leading regional market transformation efforts around, including heat pumps and advanced water heaters.

The administration announced that it will also develop the first building performance standards for federal buildings, establish new ENERGY STAR® standards for residential heat pumps through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and invest in programs that drive heat-pump products, particularly in underserved communities.

As a fuel-neutral organization that transforms markets towards greater energy efficiency, the alliance has long been at the forefront of advancing heat pump water heaters as more efficient options for both electric and natural gas use:

  • Hot Water Solutions is an alliance initiative focused on accelerating the adoption of heat pump water heaters in the Northwest by providing resources, tools and support to increase sales and installations of electric hybrid water heaters.
  • NEEA’s Efficient Gas Water Heater Program is developing the market for efficient gas water heating products. The alliance is part of a group planning a North American field demonstration, including a major manufacturer and utilities, to support a timely and successful product launch of Gas Heat Pump Water Heaters.
  • NEEA led collaboration between utilities, energy efficiency organizations and market partners to develop the Advanced Water Heating Specification to advance higher performing electric and gas heat pump water heaters. These specifications provide guidance to manufacturers for developing products that deliver high levels of consumer satisfaction and energy performance in a range of climates.

As heat pump technology has proven to be extremely efficient, many states and municipalities around the U.S. are including these products in their energy codes. The U.S. Department of Energy Building Technologies Office (BTO) is in support of this expansion effort and hopes to leverage the work of AWHI and NEEA to improve access and availability of affordable heat pumps and other, existing high-performance building technologies.

“This support from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Biden administration is an important step forward for heat pump technology and high-performance buildings,” stated NEEA’s executive director Susan E. Stratton. “The alliance has been working to advance the water heating market for a decade. This visibility will help further transform the market by providing more efficient options for American homes and businesses.”

FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Accelerates Efforts to Create Jobs Making American Buildings More Affordable, Cleaner, and Resilient | The White House

As part of this national focus on water heating, Hot Water Solutions has launched the Boring But Efficient campaign educating consumers on the benefits and savings to homeowners when they install a highly efficient, electric hybrid water heater. The campaign’s microsite lets consumers search by zip code to determine the closest retail location to purchase an electric hybrid water heater, find installers and research available promotions, tax credits or incentives from their local utility.


Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is an alliance of more than 140 utilities and energy efficiency organizations working on behalf of more than 13 million energy consumers. NEEA is dedicated to accelerating both electric and natural gas energy efficiency, leveraging its regional partnerships to advance the adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices.

Since 1997, NEEA and its partners have saved enough energy to power more than 900,000 homes each year. As the second largest resource in the Northwest, energy efficiency can offset most of our new demand for energy, saving money and keeping the Northwest a healthy and vibrant place to live.

Hot Water Solutions is an initiative of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), an alliance of more than 140 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations working to accelerate the innovation and adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices in the Northwest. A list of frequently asked questions about electric hybrid water heaters can be found on

Veronica Marzilli
Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA)