Air-Conditioning and Heat Pump Initiative


This Initiative aims to increase the market availability of high efficiency commercial unitary air conditioners and heat pumps in the US and Canada and to encourage efficient systems upgrades.

Initiative members meet these objectives by developing performance specifications for high efficiency air conditioner and heat pump equipment, which are promoted by program administrators in their local markets. This voluntary approach ensures that participating efficiency programs achieve increased energy savings and supports programs pursuing peak demand reduction.


2015 saw development of a final recommendation for the CEE High Efficiency Commercial Air-Conditioning and Heat Pumps Initiative and associated performance specifications, which were adopted in early 2016. This includes introduction of an advanced tier for unitary AC equipment that takes advantage of new savings opportunities. In addition, CEE reached consensus on primary market and program barriers for uptake of advanced rooftop unit controls retrofits.

Members work together to address market barriers to advanced rooftop unit controls retrofits, for example, poor alignment with typical contractor business models. Members work together on program guidance to identify effective approaches to overcome these challenges.

CEE specifications enable member incentive programs to recognize and promote the most efficient products in the marketplace. As such, specifications catalyze market transformation. As member efforts transform markets, CEE tier levels are periodically raised to encourage continued advancement. The advances in specification tiers shown in this graphic indicate the progress that has been made over the last two decades toward a marketplace for more efficient products. These efforts are continuing into the future with the 2016 approval of a revised initiative.

How to Participate

This initiative provides individual organizations with a voice in our collective, harmonized effort to advance efficiency. Initiative participation informs original equipment manufacturers and supply chain gatekeepers—and encourages their ongoing investment in, and supply of, energy efficient products to local markets. While one program may represent a small fraction of the market, collective participation through CEE sends a powerful signal to the binational supply chain that energy efficient products are valued and supported across the US and Canada.

As with all initiatives of CEE, participation in the High Efficiency Commercial Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Initiative is voluntary. Initiative participants must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • provide incentives, defined as rebates or financing, for high efficiency commercial air conditioning equipment that meets at least one of the CEE efficiency tier levels for at least one of the equipment categories


  • deploy a significant and focused educational or promotional program that identifies and promotes high efficiency commercial air-conditioning equipment that meets at least one of the CEE efficiency tier levels for at least one of the equipment categories


communicate to CEE that you are a participant, upon request. CEE typically publishes publicly available program information for Initiative participants in an annual program summary and in other communications about Initiative impacts to key market players in order to promote the goals of the Initiative



Alliant Energy


Arizona Public Service

Baltimore Gas and Electric

Bonneville Power Administration

Cape Light Compact

City of Palo Alto Utilities

Consolidated Edison Company

Consumers Energy

DC Sustainable Energy Utility

Delmarva Power

DTE Energy

Duke Energy

Efficiency Maine

Efficiency Vermont

Energy Trust of Oregon


Focus on Energy—Wisconsin


Georgia Power

Gulf Power

Idaho Power

Liberty Utilities

MidAmerican Energy

National Grid

Nebraska Public Power District

New Hampshire Electric Co-Op

New Jersey Clean Energy Program

New Jersey Natural Gas

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

Northern California Power Agency

NV Energy

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Platte River Power Authority


Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco)—Maryland

PPL Electric Utilities—Pennsylvania

PSEG Long Island

Public Service Electric & Gas

Puget Sound Energy

Rocky Mountain Power—Utah

Rocky Mountain Power—Idaho

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Salt River Project

San Diego Electric & Gas

South Jersey Gas

Southern California Edison

Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency

Tacoma Power

Tennessee Valley Authority

United Illuminating


Vectren Corporation

Xcel Energy