Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance saves enough power for 200,000 homes

Portland, Ore., August 11, 2009 — The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) said because of the collaboration and commitment of more than 130 electric utilities, the region has achieved energy and dollar savings from energy efficiency, enough to power the cities of Tacoma and Spokane for an entire year.

NEEA has been instrumental in helping transform the market for energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs), an effort that began in 1998 to boost quality control and testing of CFLs, spur development of a broader array of bulb types, increase retail availability, train staff and educate consumers. In the Northwest today, CFLs represent about 34 percent of the lighting market share, compared to 23 percent market share nationally.

In 2008, NEEA worked with the Northwest Food Processors Association and the U.S. Department of Energy on an industry-wide compact to reduce energy intensity by 25 percent in 10 years and 50 percent in 20 years. Food processing is one of the two most energy intensive industries in the Northwest. NEEA and its partners designed what would become the region’s first comprehensive, industry-led energy efficiency program.

Also in 2008, NEEA kicked off a partnership with 60 Northwest utilities to replace electric baseboard heaters with Ductless Heat Pumps (DHP), which have the potential to save a homeowner 20 to 50 percent of energy use. DHPs have been available in commercial buildings for more than 20 years, are widely used outside the United States, but are nearly non-existent in the Northwest region. Within three months, NEEA and its partner utilities had installed 100 units and trained more than 500 contractors in proper installation of DHPs. Today more than 1000 units have been installed.

By 2014, NEEA estimates that its partner utilities will have saved the region more than two billion dollars through their energy efficiency collaborative efforts.

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