Partners who have received ENERGY STAR® recognition for multiple years and have gone above and beyond the criteria needed to qualify for recognition are honored with the award for Sustained Excellence. The following CEE members were honored with ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year—Sustained Excellence awards.

Austin Energy

Austin Energy received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

Austin Energy is the third largest municipally-owned electric utility in the United States, currently serving more than 448,000 customers in a city with approximately one million residents. Austin Energy has offered a whole house energy-efficiency program since 1982 and has been a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® (HPwES) partner since 2004. Austin Energy is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence recognition for its consistent HPwES leadership and for providing residential utility customers with comprehensive energy efficiency improvements. Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Transitioning the Weatherization Assistance Program into a HPwES program for low-income customers in order to provide consistently branded services to all income segments and the trust, quality, and comprehensive approach of HPwES to more customers.
  • Using HPwES to lower the residential demand on Austin Energy’s grid by 1,748 kilowatts, delaying the need for acquiring expensive power generation.
  • Implementing a marketing campaign that includes digital, print, radio, and television advertising directing homeowners to a redesigned website with improved navigation.
  • Eliminating carbon dioxide emissions by 1,152 metric tons, nitrogen oxides by 0.80 metric tons, sulfur dioxide by 0.73 metric tons, and carbon monoxide by 0.56 metric tons.
  • Achieving a 92 percent customer satisfaction rate for HPwES contractors and a 92 percent customer satisfaction rate for Austin Energy rebates.
  • Partnering with Texas Gas Service and Velocity Credit Union to provide rebates for 761 HPwES projects; the fund provides 3.99 percent financing for HPwES projects.
 

 

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE)

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) is Maryland’s largest utility, providing service to more than 1.25 million electric and 655,000 gas customers. Since 2009, the BGE Smart Energy Savers Program® has offered a portfolio of ENERGY STAR programs in support of the EmPOWER Maryland initiative that allows their customers to understand, manage, and reduce energy use. BGE is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence recognition for its leadership in promoting ENERGY STAR across multiple programs. Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Generating more than 2.5 billion ENERGY STAR media impressions across the Smart Energy Savers Programs, focused on increasing consumer awareness about energy efficiency.
  • Cultivating new relationships with dollar and hardware stores, offering pop-up retail experiences at community and business-sponsored employee events, and providing free ENERGY STAR certified LEDs to limited income families through local food banks, while increasing fixture sales by 145 percent compared to 2016 and encouraging customers to purchase more than 28 million ENERGY STAR bulbs to date.
  • Surpassing program goals to drive increased awareness and sales of ENERGY STAR certified heat pump water heaters and pool pumps.
  • Paying incentives on more than 1,700 ENERGY STAR certified homes, for a total of more than 16,000 homes since joining the program, and introducing a new smart thermostat incentive.
  • Increasing customer awareness of and eligibility for ENERGY STAR commercial building certification as part of the Building Tune-Up program, which gave out more than $400,000 in incentives and saved more than 3 million kWh.
  • Successfully implemented a new incentive structure to encourage more comprehensive Home Performance with ENERGY STAR projects, resulting in increased energy savings.
  • Promoting proper recycling in accordance with EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal program and encouraging customers to upgrade to more efficient ENERGY STAR appliances. The program recycled more than 6,000 appliances in 2017, for a total of more than 61,000.

 

Columbia Gas of Ohio

Columbia Gas of Ohio received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

Columbia Gas of Ohio, Inc. (Columbia Gas) is a natural gas distribution company serving approximately 1.4 million residential, commercial, and industrial customers. The company has partnered with ENERGY STAR® on its energy efficiency programs since 2009. Columbia Gas is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence recognition for promoting energy efficiency and supporting the ENERGY STAR residential and certified products programs.

Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Saving 170,000 million cubic feet of natural gas across multiple ENERGY STAR programs, equivalent to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
  • Paying incentives on nearly 500 ENERGY STAR certified homes, with 67 builders and 14 Home Energy Rating companies enrolled in the program.
  • Designing an ENERGY STAR-focused Homeowner Welcome Letter to deliver ENERGY STAR messaging to homeowners, promoting the brand and building awareness.
  • Launching a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program to differentiate its home performance program in the market and to encourage multiple-measure projects, while offering an ENERGY STAR certified thermostat with its home energy audits and assessments.
  • Promoting ENERGY STAR certified furnaces, boilers, storage tank water heaters and tankless water heaters to achieve natural gas savings and help transform the market for energy efficient products. The program works with more than 180 contractors and distributors, educating them on the benefits of ENERGY STAR certification.
  • Being among the first utility partners to require that smart thermostat incentives be exlusively tied to ENERGY STAR, which became eligible for certification in 2017. More than 9,200 smart thermostats were incentivized.

 

ComEd

ComEd received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

ComEd, a unit of Exelon Corporation, serves 3.9 million customers in northern Illinois, and educates consumers regarding their energy usage. ComEd is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year– Sustained Excellence recognition for its expanding commitment to using ENERGY STAR tools across its portfolio.

Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Discounting the 100 millionth ENERGY STAR certified light bulb since 2008, for a total of more than 12 million LED bulbs and fixtures.
  • Promoting ENERGY STAR certified products, including appliances, pool pumps, Most Efficient central air conditioners, and geothermal heat pumps. ComEd projects fulfilled more than 170,000 rebates valued above $13 million, more than triple the amount in 2016.
  • Marketing ENERGY STAR in a variety of media and participating in ENERGY STAR promotions including Light the Moment, Laundry Made Better, and Upgrade Now and Warm Up to Savings.
  • Completing 813 residential weatherization projects that earned Illinois Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) certifications, nearly a 70 percent increase over 2016, while also participating in the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s HPwES program
  • • Using ENERGY STAR Target Finder and Energy Use Intensity (EUI) project targets to grow its new construction services’ annual electric savings from 1.6 million kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2009 to 52 million kWh per year in 2017.
  • Leveraging ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager and EUI scores during recruiting and screening for its Retro-Commissioning offering, helping to increase the number of participants in the program by 70 percent compared to 2016 and reaching an all-time high of 94 buildings.
  • Continuing to leverage the Energy Usage Data System software to support commercial and multifamily customers to comply with Chicago’s benchmarking ordinance, benchmarking more than 1,250 buildings.

 

Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest utility and provides natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million residents. Consumers Energy is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence recognition for its successful and sustained integration of ENERGY STAR certification, tools, and resources across its portfolio of programs.

Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Supporting the construction of 780 ENERGY STAR certified homes, a projected 15 percent increase since 2016.
  • Expanding the reach of its ENERGY STAR lighting and appliance program through additional partnerships with regional retail partners that serve lower income and rural customers. Estimated 2017 savings from sales influenced by the program are approximately 83,000 megawatt hours.
  • Launching innovative outreach strategies to promote its ENERGY STAR certified lighting program including participation in the Light the Moment promotion with an area food bank resulting in a donation of 150,000 LEDs.
  • Benchmarking and evaluating 198 customer buildings through Building Performance with ENERGY STAR in 2017, up from 145 buildings in 2016.
  • Helping ten Consumers Energy customers participate in the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry, representing a five-fold increase from the previous year.
  • Completing more than 9,250 whole-house improvments and enrolling 150 participating contractors through its Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program since inception, an average of more than 1,300 improvements per year.

 

Efficiency Vermont

Efficiency Vermont received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

Efficiency Vermont, an ENERGY STAR® Partner since 2002, offers a variety of programs to residential and business customers at the forefront of energy efficiency. Efficiency Vermont is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence recognition for promoting multiple ENERGY STAR programs.

Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Managing a network of 50 Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) participating contractors, and recruiting 18 new contractors during 2017.
  • Piloting a Home Energy Advisor program to guide homeowners through their energy efficiency decisions to address and prioritize the energy needs of the home and enhance the HPwES program experience.
  • Offering trainings for the Building Performance Institute’s Healthy Home Evaluator credential and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score to provide HPwES participating contractors additional tools to educate homeowners on the importance of energy efficiency.
  • Working with Vermont state buildings, schools, and hospitals to adopt ENERGY STAR building certification as their building performance standard, a goal that is assisted through Efficiency Vermont’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® web services that allows direct transfer of energy consumption data from Efficiency Vermont to Portfolio Manager.
  • Leveraging ENERGY STAR certification for its programs across a wide range of ENERGY STAR products, including commercial food service equipment, lighting, heat pump water heaters and dryers, while providing in-depth consumer education on how to choose energy-efficient lighting.

 

Energize Connecticut in partnership with Eversource Energy and AVANGRID, Inc. subsidiaries UI, SCG, and CNG

Energize Connecticut in partnership with Eversource Energy and AVANGRID, Inc. subsidiariesUI, SCG, and CNG received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

Energize Connecticut is the state’s initiative to help consumers save money and use clean, affordable energy. Programs are implemented by Eversource Energy and AVANGRID, Inc., with United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas, and Connecticut Natural Gas as subsidiaries. Energize Connecticut is receiving ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence recognition for promotion of ENERGY STAR products and noteworthy participation in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program. Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Expanding the HPwES program to include multifamily and low income properties.
  • Observing the highest volume of single family and multifamily HPwES project activity since 2014. Year-over-year production rose 69 percent after adding their multifamily and low income programs to the HPwES program.
  • Offering the Home Energy Score as the initial in-home assessment. Since the launch of the Home Energy Score in Connecticut, on April 1, 2015, the Companies have scored over 25,000 homes. Currently there are over 200 trained Home Energy Score Assessors in the state.
  • Partnering with entities such as the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Community Action Agencies, and the Home Performance Alliance of Connecticut to further the HPwES program.
  • Promoting ENERGY STAR certified heating, cooling and water heating equipment in partnership with 99 percent of distributors and most water heater retailers statewide.
  • Influencing the sale of nearly 14,0000 ENERGY STAR certified furnaces, natural gas boilers, natural gas water heaters, heat pump water heaters, ductless heat pumps, air source heat pumps, and central air conditioning units representing 13,545,339 net annual kilowatt hour savings.

 

Focus on Energy

Focus on Energy received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities’ statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program partnering with 108 utilities. Focus on Energy has extended the geographic reach of the ENERGY STAR® with an emphasis toward rural and under-represented populations. Focus on Energy is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence recognition for its promotion of ENERGY STAR certified products and participation in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program. Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Increasing the HPwES budget by more than 20 percent in order to target projects in rural areas in 2017 and 2018. More than 10,000 rural customers have already been directly engaged though this effort.
  • Recognizing a demand for lower-cost energy assessments and training contractors to offer the Home Energy Score. The company integrated the Home Energy Score in to its software and increasing the number of contractors qualified to offer the Home Energy Score by 125 percent since 2016.
  • Reaching more than 850,000 Wisconsin residents with Get the Feels and Big Red Door marketing promotions, highlighting the comfort and safety benefits of having an energy efficient homes and the blower door test.
  • Developing materials for Spanish-speaking customers including a Spanish-language HPwES website, hiring bilingual customer service and contractor staff, and having a Spanish-language radio presence.
  • Being among the first efficiency programs to focus incentives on ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats, a new specification that became effective in 2017.
  • Incentivizing ENERGY STAR-certified LED bulbs to make them cost competitive, saving an estimated 3 billion kilowatt hours, and avoiding 2.25 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

 

National Grid (RI)

National Grid (RI) received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

National Grid is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly seven million customers to vital energy sources through its networks and has participated in ENERGY STAR® programs since 2006. National Grid is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence recognition for meeting energy savings goals and for participation in the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program.

Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Achieving high HPwES customer satisfaction ratings; more than 99.5 percent of customers would recommend the program to a friend or relative.
  • Realizing a 31.6 percent conversion rate from assessment to completed HPwES project, an approximate increase of 3 percent from 2016.
  • Piloting the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score for integration as an in-home assessment for the HPwES program.
  • Earning word-of-mouth referrals as the main source of HPwES program leads. More than 43 percent of customers heard about the program through a friend or neighbor, which is 8 percent higher than 2016.

 

Eversource and Unitil (New Hampshire CORE Utilities)

New Hampshire CORE Utilities received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

The New Hampshire (NH) CORE Energy Efficiency Team is comprised of four electric and two natural gas utilities that have effectively promoted ENERGY STAR® for the past 15 years. The Team collaborates extensively with builders, Home Energy Raters, and trade associations to successfully implement the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program across the state. The NH CORE Energy Efficiency Team is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence recognition for its successful implementation of the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program. Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Providing incentives for 610 units, for a total of nearly 7,400 since joining the program, and helping to grow market share to approximately 20 percent in the state.
  • Saving more than 29,790,000 lifetime kilowatt hours.
  • Promoting the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program at home shows across the State, attracting approximately 15,000 visitors.
  • Increasing participation to include 70 different builders and 5 Home Energy Rater companies, and holding 40 trainings about ENERGY STAR and local energy code compliance.
  • Promoting ENERGY STAR on social media and engaging NH residents through many other avenues, including in-person trainings, monthly bill inserts, and receiving hundreds of thousands of market impressions.

 

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), an ENERGY STAR® partner since 2001, helps New York residents reduce costs and accelerates consumer demand for energy efficiency. NYSERDA’s diverse energy efficiency programs are part of a comprehensive effort to increase the use of renewables and save energy. NYSERDA is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence recognition for its ongoing support of numerous ENERGY STAR programs. Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Achieving a 30 percent assessment-to-Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) project conversion rate, conducting more than 12,900 energy assessments, and completing 6,334 HPwES projects with 179 contractors.
  • Capturing 2,445 megawatt hours in electric savings and 155,055 million British thermal units (MMBtu) in fossil fuel savings across all program areas.
  • Offering extensive financing for HPwES projects. In 2017, 29 percent of customers used program financing.
  • Reaching low-income customers with the EmPower program; 2,421 households received electric reduction services and 6,551 homes received combined electric reduction and heating efficiency services.
  • Conducting groundbreaking research into the energy savings potential of smart home devices, using a novel technique to estimate savings in real homes.
  • Verifying more than 2,000 ENERGY STAR single-family and multifamily certified units, for a total of 31,000 units since joining the program.

 

PECO Energy Company

PECO Energy Company received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation serving 1.6 million electric and 518,000 natural gas customers. Since 2009, PECO has leveraged ENERGY STAR® in its Smart Ideas program, encouraging businesses and residents to look to ENERGY STAR to save energy, money and protect natural resources. PECO is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence recognition for notable support of the ENERGY STAR Certified Products and Certified Homes programs. Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Saving its customers more than 2.7 million megawatt hours through ENERGY STAR- related program offerings over the past eight years.
  • Promoting the sale of more than 1.8 million ENERGY STAR certified LED bulbs and saving 76 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy through instant discounts on qualifying bulbs and fixtures at the point of sale.
  • Building an informed trade ally network to educate consumers during critical sales opportunities, with nearly 10,000 certified appliances rebated by the program for estimated annual savings of 6,698,000 kWh.
  • Paying incentives on more than 270 ENERGY STAR certified homes, a 92 percent increase since 2016, while saving more than 1,000,000 kWh.
  • Increasing the number of participating builder partners to 17, a 112 percent increase since 2016, and re-designing the program to include multifamily units.
  • Leveraging the ENERGY STAR Flip Your Fridge promotion to cross market its recycling and refrigerator incentives and prominently display the ENERGY STAR promotional mark. PECO’s appliance initiative led to the recycling of more than 12,000 older refrigerators, freezers and room air conditioners.

 

Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco)

PEPCO received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, provides electric service to the Washington, DC metropolitan area and serves 815,000 customers. In support of the EmPOWER Maryland Energy Efficiency Act of 2008, Pepco launched both residential and commercial programs. Pepco is receiving ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence recognition for its dedication to the ENERGY STAR program across multiple areas.

Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Paying incentives on nearly 400 ENERGY STAR certified homes, saving 80 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy.
  • Working with more than 50 retailers to promote ENERGY STAR-certified lighting to customers, and adding marketing innovations such as geotargeted web banners to inform mobile phone users about in-store discounts when in proximity to participating retailers.
  • Leveraging the ENERGY STAR Light the Moment campaign and educating customers through in-store and pop-up lighting events on the benefits of ENERGY STAR certification for lighting.
  • Saving customers more than 660 MWh in energy consumption through rebates on more than 2,800 appliances including ENERGY STAR certified dryers, clotheswashers, refrigerators, heat pump water heaters, and pool pumps.
  • Partnering with EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal program and providing incentives to customers to properly recycle old inefficient appliances and upgrade to ENERGY STAR where applicable.
  • Implementing a successful new incentive structure designed to encourage more comprehensive Home Performance with ENERGY STAR projects, and increased energy savings compared to the previous program structure.
  • Installing ENERGY STAR certified lighting at commercial and industrial sites through the EmPOWER Maryland program, citing ENERGY STAR branding and name recognition as a critical component of its success.

 

Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District

SRP received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

Salt River Project Agricultural Improvement and Power District (SRP) is the nation’s third-largest public power utility, serving one million customers. The utility has been committed to delivering a comprehensive portfolio of energy efficiency programs to its customers for nearly a decade. SRP is receiving ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence recognition for substantial achievements in the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) programs. Key 2017 accomplishments include:

  • Supporting the certification of nearly 5,500 ENERGY STAR certified homes, bringing the total number of homes certified through the program to more than 21,000 since 2012.
  • Promoting the ENERGY STAR certified homes program and label in a comprehensive marketing campaign including consumer brochures, billboards, digital media, and model home collateral material.
  • Leveraging ENERGY STAR throughout SRP's portfolio of customer programs and marketing campaigns to educate nearly 1 million customers.
  • Educating customers and offering discounts on a broad assortment of ENERGY STAR certified lamps with sales of more than 600,000 products and estaimated annual savings of 24 million kilowatt hours.
  • Collaborating with other local organizations to offer HPwES, and improving the conversion rate for the HPwES program by nine percent compared to 2016, reaching a cumulative 50 percent conversion rate.

 

The Lighting and Products Sponsors of Mass Save: Cape Light Compact, Eversource Energy, National Grid, and Unitil

The lighting and products sponsors of Mass Save received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

Mass Save®, an initiative sponsored by Cape Light Compact, Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil and in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, has helped residents and businesses save money through the adoption of ENERGY STAR® certified lighting and products for more than 20 years. Mass Save is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year–Sustained Excellence 14 recognition for collaborative efforts to educate consumers about energy efficiency and for successfully increasing the adoption of ENERGY STAR certified products.

Key 2017 accomplishments include:

 
  • Incentivizing the sale of more than 9.6 million ENERGY STAR certified lighting products, through negotiated cooperative promotions, instant price discounts, and direct online sales, representing, approximately, a 30 percent increase compared to 2016.
  • Executing a media campaign through New England Cable News featuring five custom developed videos as well as digital articles and banners focused on the benefits of ENERGY STAR certified LED lighting. This campaign delivered more than 2.5 million digital impressions across the state.
  • Developing new educational content to communicate the superior performance and cost-saving potential of certified products, including more than 40 short videos, 20 blog articles, and enewsletters distributed to more than 50,000 contacts.
  • Engaging with customers at events, hosted in coordination with local communities and retailers, where representatives discussed the benefits of certified products, including 34 dehumidifier recycling events and as many as 90 pop-up retail events for ENERGY STAR certified LED light bulbs.
  • Continuing to build ENERGY STAR awareness and recognition with customers through social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

View the accomplishments of the Partner of the Year Award winners.

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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.