Gas Boiler Systems Initiative


gas boiler image

Adjusting settings for a large commercial boiler. Source: Unique Combustion

Commercial boiler systems are technically complex in terms of equipment and installation. Understanding the relationship between system design and various energy solutions is important to maximize energy savings over time. This Initiative addresses energy savings opportunities through these objectives:

  1. increase the number of new commercial boiler systems operating in the condensing range
  2. increase the number of existing commercial boiler systems that are optimized to operate at the highest efficiencies allowable for the given system throughout the year
  3. increase the number of quality installed and maintained high efficiency commercial boiler systems
  4. educate building owners, design engineers, and contractors on high efficiency in a given system and options for maintaining high efficiencies throughout the life of the boiler
  5. educate contractors on the importance of, and optimal steps for, conducting quality installations and maintenance of high efficiency commercial boiler systems
  6. encourage creation of an enhanced efficiency metric for commercial boiler systems. This will replace the current steady state boiler metrics and provide better infield operating efficiency of the boiler system throughout the year

This Initiative focuses on a systemic approach to savings, recognizing the role each component plays in overall efficiency. CEE Commercial Boiler Equipment and Functionality Specifications define cost-effective efficiency levels for boilers and related requirements for optimizing boiler performance regardless of the system design. The new CEE Minimum Piping Insulation Thickness Specification reflects ASHRAE standards.

To ensure a whole systems focus, the Initiative also covers requirements for multiple boiler systems, including hybrid systems, retrofit controls and equipment for conventional boilers, including quality installation, maintenance, and operation. For all elements, the Initiative requires contractor compliance with manufacturer instructions and all federal and local standards for boiler system installation, operations, and maintenance safety.


The revised CEE Commercial Boiler Systems Initiative clarifies program needs for the industry and maintains Initiative relevance in the face of an innovative industry that is moving away from simple product efficiency and toward evaluating and promoting comprehensive systemic energy saving solutions.

CEE members submitted a comment letter to the US EPA on Commercial Boiler specifications and system considerations. The impact is expected to drive development of materials that support understanding and promotion of in-field efficiency of boiler systems.

Analysis of the distribution chain suggests points at which member messaging may be most effective.

Data Source:
Quantum Consulting, 2003 and Industry Interviews as quoted in the CEE Commercial Boiler Systems Initiative Description, September 1, 2015

How to Participate

As with all CEE Initiatives, participation in the CEE Commercial Boiler Systems Initiative is voluntary. To be considered an Initiative participant, a program must meet a minimum set of requirements. For this Initiative, these requirements emphasize the need for programs to go beyond incentivizing the boiler alone by providing a comprehensive strategy for capturing savings through system optimization.

Participants are required to:

  • offer an educational or incentive program that incorporates
    • CEE Equipment and Functionality Specifications
    • Minimum Piping Insulation Thickness Requirements
    • Hybrid Boiler System and Fully Condensing Multiple Boiler System Requirements
    • Quality Installation, Operations, and Maintenance Requirements
    • Retrofit control and equipment options for existing conventional boilers
  • undertake awareness and system optimization measures related to quality installation and quality operations and maintenance
  • conduct outreach to key market players within the distribution channel, including facility managers


Alliant Energy

Ameren Illinois

Ameren Missouri

Atmos Energy Corporation

Avista Utilities

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company

Berkshire Gas

Black Hills Energy

City Utilities of Springfield—Missouri

Columbia Gas of Massachusetts

Columbia Gas of Ohio

Connecticut Natural Gas

Consolidated Edison Company

Consumers Energy

DC Sustainable Energy Utility

DTE Energy

Duke Energy

Efficiency Maine

Energy Trust of Oregon


Focus on Energy—Wisconsin


Gaz Métro

Great Plains Natural Gas

Liberty Utilities

MidAmerican Energy

Montana-Dakota Utilities

National Grid

New Jersey Natural Gas

New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program

Nicor Gas

NV Energy

Pacific Gas and Electric Company



Public Service Electric & Gas

Puget Sound Energy

Questar Gas

San Diego Gas & Electric Company


South Jersey Gas

Southern Connecticut Gas

Southwest Gas

Union Gas


Vectren Corporation

Vermont Gas

Xcel Energy