In May 2021, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with Michael Harnar, Ph.D., of Pointed Arrows Consulting to conduct an independent review of NEEA’s approach to evaluating its Market Transformation (MT) programs. NEEA’s evaluation efforts are carried out by its Market Research and Evaluation (MRE) team. The objectives of the assessment were to 1) Document NEEA’s approach to the evaluation of its MT programs, documenting strengths of the approach and areas of alignment with industry best practices, as well as highlighting areas for improvement; and 2) Provide specific recommendations to address gaps in the alliance’s approach and to help MRE articulate the purpose and mechanics of their evaluation approach for alliance MT programs.
The study included interviews with NEEA staff, a review of program documentation for three current MT programs, and the interpretation of MRE practice through the lens of two evaluation tools: a set of key practices identified in the MT literature and published by NMR Group (2013) and the Joint Committee for Standards of Educational Evaluation Program Evaluation Standards (PrgES). The study praised the alliance’s evaluation practices, in general, while also highlighting a few areas for improvement.