Energy Efficiency Investments Prove Resilient in 2020

NEEA’s Annual Report highlights adaptation, innovation in advancing energy efficiency.

Portland, Ore. – June 21, 2021 – On behalf of more than 140 Northwest utilities, the Bonneville Power Administration and the Energy Trust of Oregon, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) has released its 2020 Annual Report.

“Energy efficiency is a key pillar in Washington’s plan for a cleaner energy future. Not only does energy efficiency save money, it ensures a robust, resilient and equitable energy system,” stated Washington Governor Jay Inslee in the report. “Thank you to the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance for serving as a guiding force for the region and helping to provide affordable energy-efficient products, services and practices to the Northwest and beyond.”

NEEA’s Annual Report highlights regional accomplishments and results over the past year. 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 own 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; and,
  • Delivered nearly 37 aMW of co-created energy savings in 2020, culminating in a total of 859 aMW of additive energy savings from 1997-2020; enough to power more than 625,000 homes in the Northwest each year.

Twenty-five years ago, the energy efficiency community in Idaho, Montana, Washington and Oregon created NEEA based on a shared belief that together, we can accomplish far more than we can alone,” said Susan Stratton, NEEA’s executive director. “As a regional organization focused on long-term goals, the alliance has remained well positioned to buffer against short-term market disruption in times of uncertainty – a testament to the resilience of Market Transformation and the fortitude of the alliance.”

The alliance’s 2020 Annual Report is available at


About the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

The 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 620,000 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.