Commercial High-Performance HVAC Market Characterization

NEEA contracted with Opinion Dynamics to conduct the Commercial High-Performance Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HP HVAC) Market Characterization.  This study was designed to provide the program team and internal decision-makers insights into how to refine the size and nature of this transformation opportunity. The research team created a system replacement decision-making model based on a spectrum of scenarios from planned to emergency and found that most replacement decisions are planned to some degree. In addition, the study examined four market barriers and found: 1) the market lacks awareness of the HP HVAC as a specified system, but is aware of the product/system concept (and is installing versions) of high-performing HVAC; 2) first-cost concerns are present in specific scenarios, but in other scenarios variables including tenant comfort, supply chain support, ease of maintenance/staff skills, controllability, and product availability are more important than first-cost; 3) established ways of doing HVAC business can be disrupted by identifying and leveraging market actors who support buildings with a high planning propensity (e.g., schools), whose clients are interested in sustainable building and whose clients have a vested interest in efficient building operation and an appealing indoor environment; and 4) only one manufacturer is currently producing the key component of the HP HVAC system at NEEA specifications. This reliance on one supplier increases the risk that the program will not have sufficient product to meet the demand it is intending to create.

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