Accelerating Innovation

CEE members harmonize their efforts across a significant set of variables: climate, regulatory regimes, local market conditions, business requirements, and more.

man writing and reading

Customer engagement and behavioral persistence are key questions for CEE members. Source: iStockphoto

Achieving market transformation in these complex environments requires the acumen to recognize solid opportunities. CEE establishes structured processes that bring multiple perspectives to the table, inviting input from an array of interested parties and subject matter experts. Exploring possibilities and anticipating future challenges with this additive approach makes it possible to anticipate market shifts, reduce risk to any one member, and accelerate innovations that bring benefits to the utility and the customer.

Residential Existing Homes Exploration

Members, industry trade associations, manufacturers, and other key players are driving the uptake of retrofit programs at scale. Working in conjunction with these industry stakeholders, CEE is identifying the factors required for effective program design and delivery through the Existing Homes Program Guide. Contributors are gaining an understanding of the current landscape of existing home offerings along with other perspectives on market needs, consumer drivers, and strategies for successful implementation. Once completed, the revised Guide will provide a basis for competing end use industries to communicate in a credible, consistent manner about efficiency opportunities in the home.

Residential New Construction Initiative

“It is exciting to see the transformation of the residential new construction market over the last several years. More and more builders and homeowners are making a commitment to improve and encourage change within the construction industry by building to a higher, net zero standard. CEE is helping drive this change and delivering greater consistency within the market through its Residential New Construction Initiative.” Tilak Subrahmania, Eversource
CEE Residential New Construction Initiative employs the HERS Index as a means to identify the highest performing new homes. It also encourages use of ENERGY STAR® and DOE Zero Net Energy Ready Home programs to address non-energy performance of homes. It supports members who are currently unable to justify cost-effective new homes programs by increasing the consistency of existing programs that do not align with ENERGY STAR or DOE. Based on performance data, it harmonizes metrics and methodologies most commonly referenced by state and local building codes. This new Initiative is expected to be finalized in 2017.

Natural Gas Portfolio

Members work together at CEE to address the energy savings available through efficient natural gas end uses. Savings opportunities cut across CEE work areas and encompass both traditional, incentivized specification approaches, such as those addressed by the Commercial Kitchens Initiative, and comprehensive energy savings at the building or system level, such as the Commercial Boiler Systems Initiative. The Gas Committee is working to increase the innovative impact and effectiveness of natural gas energy efficiency programs with three explorations:

  • Steam System Investigation: CEE members are working with industry to establish measurement and assessment criteria to inform a steam system “soft audit” to screen for effective interventions and capture real-world conditions in complex systems. This will enable members to demonstrate program impacts with regulators and other stakeholders, as well as overcome program limitations for support of routine maintenance measures.
  • Gas PAC Exploration: Supporting program administrators in designing and implementing effective voluntary programs for condensing commercial rooftop units, CEE developed a Commercial Gas PACs Market Characterization and Technology Guide. This resource defines the elements that characterize successful technical applications aimed at driving uptake and broader market transformation.
  • Agricultural Gas Investigation: Program administrators revised the Commercial Greenhouse Market Characterization and Technology Guide to effectively design and implement voluntary programs for agricultural customers. Based on industry comment and feedback, the Guide identifies approaches that successfully drive market transformation.
“Through strong analysis of both technologies and market conditions, the dedicated gas effort at CEE provides accurate insights and pathways to greater efficiency. Our contributions to these outcomes in turn help us serve our own ratepayers more effectively.”Jeff Okrucky, Union Gas
“Through CEE, we advocate for the continued importance of natural gas as a foundational fuel and for the expansion of gas efficiency programs and emerging gas technologies that will provide opportunities for customers to use natural gas more efficiently.”Dan Rendler, SoCalGas
Commercial Whole Building Performance
Performance models are of great interest to CEE members.

Performance models are of great interest to CEE members. Source: iStockPhoto

Members of the Commercial Whole Building Performance Committee share information and experience about innovative whole building program designs, including monitoring-based commissioning, SEM, and multi-measure retrofit. They collaboratively identify specific methodological challenges and market barriers that CEE is positioned to address. For example, over the last year, CEE members explored applications of whole building energy savings estimation and uncertainty analysis, defined in ASHRAE Guideline 14 and IPMVP Option C, to common commercial building program scenarios. This work included common statistical performance metrics, definitions for quantifying and assessing uncertainty in savings estimates, and program scenarios showing the application of these techniques. This new insight will further CEE member understanding of uncertainty analysis and potential program application.

Health Care

The US Energy Information Administration 2012 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey data indicated that across the US, hospitals account for 57 billion kWh and 2 billion therms annually. Addressing this challenge, CEE is leveraging the Strategic Energy Management Initiative to develop a consistent approach for hospitals. In addition, CEE is broadening its perspective of health care by assessing energy savings opportunities in laboratories and engaging strategic partners from industry and government to enhance program impact across the market. Medical and diagnostic laboratories are estimated to number about 13,500 establishments in the US. Labs across all sectors, including education, biotech, pharmacy, and the like, are estimated to consume approximately 64 TWh of total site energy per year.1

Industrial Program Planning

More savings can be identified looking across a system. Source: iStockphoto

Industrial Program Planning Committee members share innovative programs targeting specific industrial customer market segments, system and process improvements, and effective program delivery approaches. For example, the Committee provided program-building expertise when the CEE Emerging Technologies Collaborative found that energy efficient engine block heaters and low-charge ammonia refrigeration systems were ready to take this next step.

Additionally, CEE is leading an exploration of the potential of combined heat and power (CHP) as an energy efficiency opportunity for programs. CHP value varies widely across the country, based on state and local policy, fuel prices and regulatory environments, and the ability to integrate distributed generation. The goal is to describe the efficiency, environmental, and resiliency benefits of well-planned and implemented CHP projects in the light of cost and other implications. Forty-nine CEE member organizations currently support CHP through ratepayer technical or financial assistance.

Medical & Diagnostic Laboratories Industry Profile, published November 28, 2016, accessed February 15, 2017