July 28, 2017

There’s an old saying that you can’t manage what you can’t measure, and while auditors have long been measuring compressed air systems, until now no consensus existed on the essential components of a compressed air system audit. As a result, CEE analysis estimates that of the potential 41,000 GWh of cost-effective energy savings available from compressed air systems, 43% are left unaddressed. Is your portfolio one of the ones leaving low-cost savings behind?

The new CEESM Industrial Compressed Air Systems Initiative provides program administrators with a valuable new tool to start capturing compressed air system savings to benefit your portfolio.

The CEE Initiative includes the CEE Compressed Air System Audit Specification, which defines minimum data collection and reporting requirements that have been developed through program administrator consensus and with input from CAGI and Compressed Air Challenge (CAC). CEE members can use the Audit Specification to support their existing compressed air offerings or as the basis for new offerings.

Members debate compressed air systems. Source: CEEThe Compressed Air Systems Initiative is a product of consensus across efficiency programs and market sectors. It was developed with leaders from BC Hydro, Consumers Energy, Duke Energy, Idaho Power, Puget Sound Energy, Tennessee Valley Authority, and Wisconsin Focus on Energy, and incorporates substantial input, including review of and response to industry comments, from Efficiency Vermont, Energy Trust of Oregon, National Grid, and Xcel Energy. Industry partners include the US Department of Energy, Compressed Air and Gas Institute, and Compressed Air Challenge. Several individual air compressor manufacturers have also reviewed and chosen to support the CEE Initiative and Audit Specification.


The ultimate goal for program administrators and the compressed air industry is to transform the market for compressed air system audits so that customers know what level of service to request and audit providers know what level of service to provide in order to meet program administrator needs. On the industry side, CAGI is supporting market transformation by developing two levels of system auditor certifications to foster consistent, robust expertise among audit providers. This work aligns with the CEE Audit Specification. To help practitioners prepare for the CAGI certifications, Compressed Air Challenge is developing new training courses.

These industry efforts are intended to compliment program administrator demand by creating a supply of qualified audit professionals, and are the result of constructive engagement between CEE members and an industry that recognizes the myriad benefits of improved energy efficiency. However, market transformation also requires the combined effort of the program administrator community, which must signal demand for comprehensive compressed air system audits by publicly supporting the CEE Initiative and Audit Specification and using or referencing these resources in compressed air project offerings. CEE member support for the concept of comprehensive compressed air system audits will push the market to consistently provide a level of system audit service that, at a minimum, meets the requirements of the CEE Audit Specification.

You can gain cost-effective savings while transforming this market through your member participation and endorsement. Taking advantage of the Initiative doesn’t just support compressed air program work and increase the reliability and usefulness of your customer's compressed air system audits—it’s also the first step toward a market consensus that will increase savings far into the future. Contact CEE today to learn more.

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About CEE
CEE is an award-winning consortium of efficiency program administrators from the United States and Canada. Members work to unify program approaches across jurisdictions to increase the success of efficiency in markets. By joining forces at CEE, individual electric and gas efficiency programs are able to partner not only with each other, but also with other industries, trade associations, and government agencies. Working together, administrators leverage the effect of their ratepayer funding, exchange information on successful practices and, by doing so, achieve greater energy efficiency for the public good.