Accelerating Innovation

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

2015 program activities or plans regarding connectivity for the integrated home.

To achieve consensus over and over in these complex environments, it is essential to have the acumen to recognize solid opportunities. CEE establishes structured discussion processes that bring multiple perspectives to the table, with additional input from an array of interested parties. Exploring possibilities and anticipating future challenges with this cumulative 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 New Homes Exploration

Forecasting trends in the home building community toward greater standardization, CEE members developed the Residential New Construction Initiative. Its goals include a set of robust specifications that will deliver credible, reliable energy savings in newly constructed homes, extend the benefits of connectivity, and align with the overarching aims of customer engagement.

The Residential New Construction Initiative will:

  • Establish a market platform that differentiates performance of new residential construction using a tiered specification
  • Create opportunities for alignment and coordination among existing voluntary programs
  • Based on performance data, harmonize metrics and methodologies for those most commonly referenced by state and local building codes
Natural Gas Portfolio

CEE supports fuel-neutral energy efficiency opportunities. Members address the vast energy savings available through efficient natural gas end uses, especially in terms of providing a unique voice for the minority faction of gas efficiency program administrators. Savings opportunities cut across CEE work areas and encompass both traditional, incentivized specification approaches (such as those addressed by the Commercial Kitchens Committee), and comprehensive energy savings assessments at the building or system level. The latter includes guidance for new greenhouse construction and steam system evaluations for leaks, traps, distribution systems, and operations and maintenance practices.

CEE members are working to increase the innovative impact and effectiveness of natural gas energy efficiency programs. Consider, for example, rooftop units and combination heat and hot water systems, as well as strategic improvements in the approaches to upstream program delivery and advanced customer engagement platforms.

Consumer Engagement in the Integrated Home

CEE members leverage common, effective market strategies to take advantage of shifts in customer expectations and capabilities. Mindful of the cross-cutting drivers affecting customer relationships (and the associated energy efficiency program strategies that buttress those relationships), program administrators are reaching customers through new channels, technologies, and messaging platforms. The result is energy saving, enhanced grid stability, and increased customer satisfaction.

CEE drafted minimum informational elements and core platform components to enhance evolving member goals and meet the requirements of multiple jurisdictions. Members trust CEE to encourage product manufacturers to bring connected products to market that support customer engagement applications.

Commercial Building Performance

When CEE invited members of the building software industry to the 2014 CEE Industry Partners Meeting there was an important outcome. All agreed to broaden acceptance for empirical, data-driven whole building saving estimates, whether derived from standard statistical methods or proprietary software tools. As a result, members are developing resources to advance use of these types of savings estimation by identifying common statistical performance metrics, definitions for quantifying and assessing uncertainty in savings estimates, and program scenarios showing the application of these techniques. Members aim to create a new analytical standard.

Health Care

CEE Health Care Exploration advances member electric and gas efficiency objectives with hospitals and smaller healthcare facilities. The group is developing a consistent Strategic Energy Management approach for hospitals and assessing energy savings opportunities in laboratories. The Exploration also engages strategic partners from industry and government to enhance program impact in the market.

Industrial Program Planning

Industrial Program Planning explores opportunities for members to enhance the effectiveness of their industrial programs. For example, on the recommendation of the CEE Emerging Technologies Collaborative, Industrial Program Planning is considering the program readiness of energy efficient engine block heaters and low-charge ammonia refrigeration systems.

CEE is leading the exploration of the potentials of combined heat and power (CHP) and identifying the best screening criteria to determine project viability. What, for example, are the implications of proven applications like grid costs incurred?  Of course, CHP’s value varies widely across the country, based on regulatory environments and states’ abilities to integrate distributed generation. A growing number of CEE member organizations value the efficiency, environmental, and resiliency benefits of well planned and implemented CHP projects, particularly when all costs and implications are recognized. Twenty-two member organizations currently support CHP.