The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with Johnson Consulting Group to conduct market research on awareness and usage dynamics for the Hydraulic Institute’s (HI) Energy Rating (ER) label for pumps and circulators. Specifically, this study assessed the role of efficiency in the pump selection process, explored current levels and patterns of awareness and use of the HI ER label among regional pump and circulator market actors, and sought to identify opportunities to promote the HI ER label in the selection of efficient equipment. Between August and October 2021, Johnson Consulting Group conducted 27 interviews with pump specifiers, installers, and commissioning agents active in the Northwest, accompanied by a literature review and an informational interview with a member of the HI staff.
The study identified both barriers and opportunities associated with the usage of the HI ER label in the selection process for pumps and circulators. While awareness of the HI ER label among all market actor groups was generally low at the time of study activities, the findings indicate that the label may act as a useful mechanism for differentiation when pumps and circulators of varying efficiency levels have been identified as suitable for a given project. The report provides recommendations to mitigate market barriers and leverage identified opportunities. In addition, findings suggest ongoing education and awareness-building efforts to equip market actors with the knowledge and familiarity necessary to consider the HI ER label as a credible and beneficial component of pump and circulator selection processes.