Working as a collaboration of utilities, efficiency organizations, and other strategic market partners to advance innovation, the alliance operates a portfolio of market transformation programs. Within each product group in the portfolio, the alliance develops and implements programs, emerging technologies and enabling infrastructure activities with the potential to deliver significant energy savings opportunities for the region.
Accelerates the adoption of more efficient motor driven products, such as pumps, fans, and compressors in end markets with significant savings potential.
Fifty-five percent of Northwest homes have electric water heaters. The alliance is increasing availability of high-efficiency heat pump water heaters (HPWHs) specifically designed for the Northern climate, with a goal of influencing the passage of a federal standard requiring HPWHs for all electric storage tanks greater than 45 gallons by 2025.
NEEA and its partners are engaged in a “Retail Product Portfolio” initiative that uses mid-stream incentives to influence retail stocking practices, making more qualified products available on store shelves.
The Efficient Rooftop Unit (RTU) program works to increase the efficiency of RTUs through product differentiation and increased Federal Standards. Motivated by emerging opportunities from evolving test procedures, the Efficient RTU program transitioned from an exclusive focus on condensing rooftop units (C-RTUs) to a broader rooftop unit approach in 2020. Updated modeling demonstrates a significant energy-saving potential among Efficient RTUs through low-cost efficiency measures, offering a strong opportunity to differentiate these products in the market.
The High-Performance HVAC program is a recent addition to NEEA’s portfolio, and will focus on Very High Efficiency Dedicated Outside Air Systems (VHE DOAS) as its first technology. Building on the DOAS concept of separating the ventilation from the heating and cooling system, VHE DOAS includes heat recovery ventilation and focuses on increased equipment efficiency and optimized system design. This combination yields significant whole building energy savings in new and existing small and medium commercial buildings while providing better indoor air quality and greater occupant comfort.
High-Performance Windows is a dual-fuel program in the alliance's portfolio that aims to accelerate the adoption of high performing windows that reach 0.22 U value, or lower. Motivated by national interest in the products, the program is focusing on increasing builder demand, influencing leading manufacturers to scale production and advancing the ENERGY STAR criteria to reach the large existing home and multifamily window replacement market.
Luminaire Level Lighting Controls (LLLC) combine LEDs, controls, connectivity, and data to create a lighting product that is both efficient and easy to install, and offers improved occupant comfort and space utilization. NEEA is working with its partners to accelerate market adoption of LLLC technology by developing best practice specifications and increasing market awareness of the benefits of LLLCs in retrofit applications.
The region has identified the need for a set of common resources and best practices to guide businesses in strategically managing their energy. NEEA is working to address this need by developing a holistic set of tools and an online community, SEM Hub, that support utilities and the market in building market capability, awareness and demand for Strategic Energy Management (SEM).
The Variable Speed Heat Pumps (VSHP) program aims to improve best practices and efficiency for electric residential heating system replacements, focusing on replacement of electric forced air furnaces and air source heat pumps, which account for roughly one in five homes in the Northwest. VSHPs are distinct from single-speed or even multi-stage heat pumps because they can ramp up or down to exactly meet heating and cooling demand, using significantly less energy than traditional heat pumps. Ultimately, the program aims to achieve heat pump efficiency that is 30% more efficient than current standards through a series of improvements to the federal test procedure and minimum standard, driving the transition to VSHP across all applications.
NEEA’s Window Attachments program seeks to accelerate the adoption of high-performance commercial secondary windows. Secondary windows comprise a frame and one or more transparent pane(s) that are installed on the interior or exterior of an existing window and can achieve the performance of a full window replacement at half the cost. The long-term goal is for commercial secondary windows to be established as the standard product and practice for addressing poor performing windows in commercial buildings.
The long-term goal of NEEA’s market transformation programs is often to lock in energy savings through progressively effective energy codes and standards. NEEA supports regional stakeholders in energy code development and adoption, training and implementation. Program staff serve as technical experts during U.S. Department of Energy rulemakings, to encourage the adoption of federal appliance and equipment efficiency standards.
The region is working together to demonstrate success for a new voluntary above code specification (NEEM 2.0) in the market prior to a HUD code change, providing manufacturers/retailers with the tools and resources they need to drive consumer demand.