Accelerating Innovation

CEE members continually raise the bar. They seek new avenues for savings, calibrate performance metrics on organizational and market levels, and anticipate future challenges and opportunities.

It’s not enough to identify products and services that are demonstrably energy efficient in any given market. Target areas must meet higher criteria by proving their cost-effective value, reflecting genuine opportunity, and realistically fitting the requirements specified by program administrators. CEE members base their search for new initiatives on a host of considerations that influence each exploration.

Gas Portfolio

CEE stays focused on efficiency while providing a home for gas-only programs. Members take a multifuel approach, supporting utility partnerships and joint gas and electric programs, as well as measures that generate both gas and electric savings.

Expanding the CEE gas portfolio to address large commercial and industrial customers, CEE launched explorations into steam systems, focusing on steam traps and agricultural gas. These opportunities were identified by members and approved by the Board as avenues promising significant gas savings.

CEE leveraged its close relationship with AHRI by taking another significant step toward real-time data sharing in 2014. Consumers and contractors can now search the CEE Directory of Efficient Equipment for the most efficient gas products in the residential space heating, residential water heaters, commercial water heaters, and commercial boilers marketplaces. The revised website offers mobile access to the most current information on products supporting five CEE initiatives. Likewise, the Coalition for ENERGY STAR® Water Heaters continues its outreach to plumbers and contractors with a goal of increasing appreciation of the benefits of efficient water heating.

Residential Whole House Exploration
A well insulated house pays back in lower energy costs and fewer ice dams. Source: CEE staff photo

A well insulated house pays back in lower energy costs and fewer ice dams. Source: CEE staff photo

Through the agency of the Existing Homes Working Group, CEE members and industry representatives work collectively to explore how emerging technologies, control devices, connected products, integrated systems, and engagement platforms can contribute to residential energy management—and increased overall savings. Central to this effort is the definition of a customer engagement platform capable of supporting efficiency, load management, and behavior change. This cross-cutting effort will identify and classify the data elements and parameters required by programs, industry stakeholders, consumers, and third parties to support programs that drive whole home savings. The ultimate goal is a tool kit for members in a variety of situations to engage customers on their own terms.

In 2014, the Whole House Committee began to establish consensus positions on a proposed CEE Initiative for residential new construction. This effort will drive increased market consistency across the United States and Canada through a tiered specification for voluntary program adoption. CEE intends to seek input and comments from industry while developing content and components for the initiative in the upcoming year.

CEE finalized the CEE Window Products Overview for members in February 2014. This comprehensive document, which was created by members in conjunction with industry stakeholders, communicates consensus findings about program opportunities for fenestration products.

Lighting for Tomorrow, the design competition co-sponsored by CEE, ALA, and UL, continues to accelerate well-designed, highly efficient lighting products into the consumer market by rewarding manufacturers who push the envelope while maintaining quality.

Commercial Whole Building Performance

“CEE membership is a highly effective tool for advancing new energy efficiency programs and products that help customers save energy. With technology evolving, and the focus on more efficient building management systems growing, the value of the industry-wide forum CEE provides is more important than ever.”Tilak Subrahmanian, CEE Board, Eversource
As program administrators explore the promise of energy management to capture new savings streams an opportunity emerges. What approaches for delivering energy management programs are best suited to small and medium business (SMB) customers? The cost of program delivery and quantification of savings represent barriers that energy management information systems and other emerging data sources and tools might help to address. In 2014, CEE validated with industry the need for common uncertainty metrics to support the use of savings estimates from whole building and energy management programs. As well, members have encouraged broader acceptance of these types of empirical approaches to whole building savings estimations to increase implementation of SMB energy management programs.

Industrial Program Planning
CEE members are evaluating combined heat and power. Source: iStockphoto.

CEE members are evaluating combined heat and power. Source: iStockphoto.

The Industrial Program Planning Committee explores opportunities for members to enhance the effectiveness of their industrial programs. Committee members exchange insights on program designs that target specific industrial market segments, systems, and processes. They monitor the development of comprehensive whole plant program approaches.

Motor Decisions Matter, the supplemental project that lends CEE third-party credibility to information about efficient motors and motor systems is entering its fifteenth year with plans for a revised marketing approach focused on systems. The goal is to cross the first-cost barrier with persuasive information on long term savings.

Several published reports indicate that combined heat and power (CHP) could be a significant addition to member portfolios since it advances energy efficiency and reliability at industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities. Other factors, such as energy prices, environmental requirements, manufacturing upturn, regulator interest, advances in technology, and increased attention to energy reliability, have renewed interest in CHP.