Happy New Year! 2019 should be an exciting year for emerging technologies as we focus more on Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and water heating and less on lighting. This transition will take a few years, and it comes with much trepidation because lighting has generated so much energy efficiency for our region. I’m reminded of a quote by Bob Marley, “In this bright future you cannot forget your past.” In the near term, lighting will remain the biggest driver of energy savings, and lighting continues to evolve rapidly, even to the point where lighting controls could expand to control HVAC and other building systems. Lighting baselines are changing, but it is important to know that even with baseline changes there is a bright future and significant savings for the region in controls and HVAC. To help accelerate the readiness of a variety of water heating and HVAC systems, the Regional Emerging Technology Advisory Committee (RETAC) and NEEA staff decided in our Quarter 4 meeting to focus on research gaps for these products. As RETAC implements its operations plan for 2019, look for updates and more data on viability and readiness levels as these products move toward program implementation and their bright future as the drivers of energy savings.
Here’s to the beginning of a great year.