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Retail Product Portfolio Market Progress Evaluation

Market Research & Evaluation Reports

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with Apex Analytics to conduct the first Market Progress Evaluation Report (MPER) for NEEA’s Retail Product Portfolio (RPP) program, which operates as part of a larger, national program, the ENERGY STAR® Retail Products Platform (ESRPP). In January through July of 2021, Apex Analytics conducted document review, interviews with NEEA staff and staff from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and interviews with current and prospective ESRPP funders, to meet the following research objectives:

  1. Document the status of key market progress indicators (MPIs) for RPP;

  2. Understand the circumstances under which midstream incentives are most likely to affect retailer assortment for key products in the RPP portfolio;

  3. Document NEEA’s involvement in the national ESRPP program; and

  4. Propose a path forward for increasing the scale of the national ESRPP program.

Apex Analytics found that NEEA’s RPP program has made substantial progress on metrics related to program processes and procedures and has made initial progress on MPIs related to the program’s influence on the market. Apex Analytics also found that there are multiple benefits to increasing the scale of the program and made recommendations for how NEEA can continue to grow the program.

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Extended Motor Products Pump and Circulator Baseline Assumptions Review

Market Research & Evaluation Reports

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (NEEA) Extended Motor Products (XMP) program aims to accelerate adoption of efficient pumps and circulators in the Northwest. NEEA engaged with Apex Analytics to conduct a review of its 20-year naturally occurring baselines for pumps and circulators. Specifically, Apex reviewed:

  • NEEA’s assumptions regarding the timeframe that the XMP program began influencing the pumps market,

  • NEEA’s approach for integrating relevant market drivers, such as codes and standards, into the baseline forecasts, and

  • Whether NEEA’s baseline assumptions are appropriate given NEEA and its partners’ interventions in the pump and circulator markets to date.

In February through May 2021, Apex Analytics conducted qualitative and quantitative analyses and, based on its review, made five recommendations for updates to NEEA’s baseline assumptions and additional analyses NEEA should conduct to better understand how data provided to NEEA by manufacturers’ representatives engaged with the XMP program compare with the full market. NEEA has accepted these recommendations and is incorporating them into its naturally occurring baseline forecasts

SELECT APEX PROJECTS

Apex staff have worked on a diverse array of projects in the past several years.
A selection of some of our recent work is below:

Measuring if the lights remain on

NORTHWEST RESIDENTIAL LIGHTING LONG-TERM MONITORING AND TRACKING STUDY

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) has contracted with Apex Analytics and DNVGL since 2018 to conduct the 16th Northwest Residential Lighting Market Analysis as part of its long-term monitoring and tracking (LTMT) of the residential lighting market. As in previous studies, Apex Analytics and DNV collected and analyzed store shelf and point-of-sale data to update market parameters including lamp sales mix and post-incentive per lamp cost.

Looking at the whole picture

NATIONAL ENERGY SCREENING 

PROJECT ASSESSMENT OF BENEFIT-COST ASSESSMENT MODELS

NESP commissioned a report to review how common BCA models support application of the NSPM framework. Apex's paper reviews five BCA models and the extent to which they allow for discrete accounting of a wide range of utility and non-utility impacts.  

California IOU Evaluation

DNG VL, Itron, and Apex Analytics prepared an impact evaluation of the savings claimed by two programs – Multifamily Energy Efficiency Rebate (MFEER) and Multifamily Whole Building (MF-WB) programs during the 2015 program year, of which were implemented by the California Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) – Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), Southern California Gas (SoCalGas), and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) (June, 2017).

Heat Pumps and Smart Thermostats

Energy Trust and Apex Analytics published (April, 2015) a study using Nest Smart Thermostat as an alternative to existing heat pump controls.

Enabling a greener grid

STATE OF WASHINGTON DISTRIBUTED ENERGY RESOURCES PLANNING

Apex, as a sub to Demand Side Analytics, supported the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission in developing recommendations on best practices and policies for electric utilities to develop distributed energy resource plans. 

Using past experiences to shape the future

FORTISBC SMART LEARNING THERMOSTAT PILOT EVALUATION

Apex led the evaluation of a FortisBC pilot that explored participant experience with smart thermostat use. This involved conducting two participant surveys and integrating findings from an electric and gas energy savings analysis. 

Its all about the bills

CALIFORNIA STATEWIDE MULTIFAMILY EVALUATION

Apex conducted an impact and process evaluation for the statewide Multifamily programs. This included calibrated engineering models, stakeholder interviews, and participant surveys across IOU and Regional Energy Network projects.

Squeezing Every Last Drop

ENERGY TRUST SEASONAL SAVERS

Apex led an evaluation that determined the winter and summer electric and natural gas impacts of the Nest Seasonal Savings Service. The impacts were determined via statistical billing analysis and participant surveys.

Transparency and Collaboration

ARKANSAS STATEWIDE EVALUATOR

Apex has been part of the statewide evaluator team since 2013. As part of this oversight advisory role, Apex has led the development of residential protocols for the Technical Reference Manual, while providing guidance of the annual evaluation research.

Not created equally

ENERGY TRUST SMART THERMOSTAT

Apex oversaw the impact and process evaluations for a Smart Thermostat Pilot. This pilot reviewed the natural gas impacts across the Nest and Honeywell Lyric Thermostats. The Apex Team assisted with the statistical billing analysis and conducted participant surveys.

EISA 2020

APEX'S PERSPECTIVE ON DOE'S FINAL RULE RELATED TO EISA 2020

On September 5th, 2019, DOE issued a final rule and a notice of proposed determination related to EISA which stated that the EISA 2020 backstop had not been triggered, which allows retailers and manufacturers to continue to sell and produce inefficient lighting products.  The legal challenges and uncertainty caused by this ruling are intensified by the ramifications that the COVID-19 pandemic has on the lighting market. Read more about the latest market trends for residential LEDs, LightTracker's update on the regulatory environment for lighting, and our assessment of the implications it all has on lighting programs in our white paper. 

What is Data Science in Energy Efficiency: 3 Core Elements 

APEX ANALYTICS INFOGRAPHIC

As the Apex Analytics team welcomes aboard Dr. Jon Koliner we are excited to share our vision of data science in energy efficency in this infographic. 

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Optimizing temperature for significant savings

ENERGY TRUST OF OREGON RESIDEO THERMOSTAT OPTIMIZATION PILOT 

Apex estimated the electric and natural gas savings associated with the "Connected Savings Pilot," which provided participants with the opportunity to optimize their thermostat setpoints and schedules for energy efficiency savings. 

Adapting to the "new normal"

REVIEW OF RESIDENTIAL VIRTUAL PRE-ASSESSMENT OPTIONS 

Apex researched virtual residential audit opportunities for delivering whole-home energy savings in response to COVID-19 restrictions for Connecticut utilities. This research categorized available options for virtual audits and recommended best practice approaches during this unprecedented time.

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Market Transformation Evaluation to Support Adoption of More Stringent Standards for Manufactured Homes

NEEA Manufactured Homes Market Progress Evaluation

Apex conducted an evaluation to assess NEEA’s Manufactured Homes program against key Market Progress Indicators (MPIs) and address key questions to guide the future of the program. The evaluation included interviews with manufactured home manufacturers and retailers throughout the Northwest, as well as regional utilities offering downstream incentives for manufactured homes, to assess the program’s progress toward achieving self-sustaining adoption of an above-ENERGY STAR efficiency specification in the market. Apex found that, while the specification had not gained sufficient adoption to sustain itself without NEEA’s technical support, marketing support, and upstream incentives, the existence of the specification positioned NEEA to support the adoption of more stringent energy codes for manufactured homes.

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Increase the efficiency of small-to-medium commercial HVAC installations

NEEA HVAC Market Actor Profile

Apex led a research project to support NEEA’s HVAC project group’s efforts to increase the efficiency of small-to-medium commercial HVAC installations. The project drew on online focus groups and in-depth interviews with HVAC installers to understand their decision-making processes and the motivations and business considerations underlying those decisions. The research assessed HVAC contractor decision-making within different types of HVAC installation projects and identified differences in HVAC contractors’ approach to the market that NEEA may be able to use to better target intervention and outreach strategies.