Representing Northwest Needs at a National Scale

As a long-trusted resource to the U.S. Department of Energy and other national efficiency organizations, NEEA provides data and technical guidance to support federal efficiency standards in ways that benefit Northwest utility customers.

An integral aspect of NEEA’s Market Transformation efforts, the alliance’s work influencing federal standards is a unique and cost-effective opportunity to provide long-term value to Northwest consumers. Elevated standards can deliver an enormous and ongoing impact because the U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) issues standards for products that account for 90% of the energy consumption in homes, 60% in commercial buildings and 30% in industrial facilities.1

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NEEA provides Northwest data to federal agencies, conducts product testing, and builds coalitions with national partners to ensure that the Northwest is represented in the federal standards process. In some cases, influencing the federal standard to lock-in energy savings is the long-term goal of a Market Transformation initiative and the result of years, if not decades, of voluntary alliance programs. In other cases, NEEA takes advantage of opportunities as they arise, furthering existing momentum or leveraging changing circumstances to influence product specifications. In both of these approaches, NEEA brings the Northwest perspective into the national conversation to permanently elevate the efficiency baseline in ways that serve the best interests of the region’s utilities and their customers.

NEEA has supported the U.S. DOE with technical guidance and energy-cost and customer-satisfaction data to represent the needs of Northwest consumers for more than 25 years. Through these efforts, NEEA has earned a reputation of expertise, impartiality and results, becoming a trusted collaborator of the U.S. DOE as the dependable voice of the Northwest. This reputation is supported by the unique characteristics of the alliance, including:

Long-term Outlook
NEEA’s formal Market Transformation framework fosters a viewpoint that extends years into the future, allowing the alliance to develop strategies that provide long-term change and reliable results.

The Representative Northwest
NEEA represents Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, a varied region that features a spectrum of geographic and demographic elements seen across the country.

Data Power
NEEA analyzes and produces robust data, research and product performance information that strengthens the case for elevating standards and optimizing efficient product performance.

Decades of Trust
From NEEA’s inception, the alliance has served as a trusted partner, convening and collaborating with regional and national groups. This includes helping manufacturers and trade groups determine and embrace realistic solutions to advance energy efficiency.

NEEA appreciates the U.S. DOE’s public, data driven, and representative process for setting federal appliance standards. NEEA staff have consistently participated in the standards process by providing robust data, research and product performance information that represent the unique needs of the Northwest, and this information has equipped the U.S. DOE to consider elevations to federal standards that raise the country’s efficiency baseline in ways that benefit all Northwest customers. This synergy with the U.S. DOE underscores NEEA’s dedication to market transformation and supports continuous improvement to the region's energy landscape.

- Mark Rehley

2023 Standards Highlights

The alliance's hard work paid off with major efficiency increases at the federal level. Tangible results of these efforts include:

Efficient Motors
NEEA staff and stakeholders convened a coalition of industry members and efficiency organizations to encourage the U.S. DOE to elevate electric motor efficiency standards and bring significant benefits to the region. After an intense period of discussions and data analysis, the coalition filed a joint recommendation to the U.S. DOE in November 2022. In 2023, this recommendation was accepted and used verbatim in the U.S. DOE’s final ruling. This elevated standard holds the potential to save more than 3 quads of energy over the next 30 years—equivalent to the electric use of 31 million homes in one year.

Heat Pump Water Heaters
In 2023, the U.S. DOE adopted a revised test procedure for all electric water heaters that references NEEA’s Advanced Water Heating Specification (AWHS) as a de-facto industry standard. NEEA represented the needs of Northwest consumers in this process, both by providing a significant amount of energy use, cost and customer satisfaction data and by convening a diverse stakeholder coalition of industry partners to create a joint recommendation to the standard. These efforts directly informed the final federal water heating standard update that passed in 2024. This achievement permanently elevates water heater efficiency while delivering benefits to all Northwest utility customers, including both electricity and natural gas customers, and those living in colder climates.

U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (Appliance and Equipment Standards Program):

To learn more about the alliance's key activities and highlights in 2023, view the full annual report: