Energy-Efficient Technology in Cold Weather – Bridger View On-Site Research

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with JG Research & Evaluation, LLC in the fall of 2021 to conduct a study of the new Bridger View housing development in Bozeman, Montana. The purpose of the study was to better understand how a cold weather climate may influence the adoption and performance of various technologies which included:

  • Building envelope and insulation
  • Triple pane windows
  • Ductless heat pumps (DHP)
  • Heat pump water heaters (HPWH)

This research took place over a period of approximately two years and covered each phase of the construction of Bridger View, which included 1) planning and design, 2) construction, and 3) homeowner lived experiences in the homes. The study concluded that decision makers (such as project consultants) were confident that the technologies would perform well in cold climates while installers expressed concern about installing HPWH and DHPs. This concern stemmed largely from unfamiliarity with the technologies. However, study findings show that Bridger View installation process appears to have positively changed these perceptions. Additionally, homeowners interviewed cited positive experiences and those who lived in the homes through a winter said they were impressed by the technology performance, such as maintaining consistent temperatures and overall lower energy bills.

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