2019 ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence Award Winners

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 a municipal electric utility receiving Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. Austin Energy has demonstrated leadership among Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) partners and is advancing the energy efficiency field, focusing on improving the quality of HVAC installations to address proper sizing, air flow, duct sealing, air balancing, and refrigerant charge.

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Completing 848 projects and achieving 1,526 kilowatts (kW)of gross energy savings; an additional 809 projects and 796 kW in gross energy savings were completed in the low-income program.
  • Implementing a marketing strategy with market segmentation for customers most likely to participate, including digital, print, radio, out-of-home and television advertising as well as two targeted mailings, two targeted emails, and dynamic website content.
  • Adding air-conditioning tune-up measures and direct install offerings to the HPwES program. To generate leads for residential programs, direct install kits with ENERGY STAR LED bulbs, water saving devices, and educational materials were provided at community outreach events.
  • Offering scheduled and on-demand trainings for contractors, emphasizing code requirements, building science, HVAC quality installation, weatherization techniques, duct system design and modification, quality assurance and control (QA/QC), sales techniques, and customer service.
  • Performing inspections on all HPwES jobs and using a third-party to perform QA/QC inspections for a statically valid sample of the projects.
  • Offering an additional $200 from Austin Energy, a $200 discount from the participating contractor, and a $200 discount from the HVAC equipment manufacturer to HPwES customers.

 

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 an electric and natural gas utility and is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. BGE is Maryland’s largest utility and provides 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. Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Supporting the construction of more than 3,000 ENERGY STAR certified homes, for a total exceeding 20,000 homes since joining the program in 2009.
  • Enhancing efforts to engage HVAC contractors by releasing several online trainings and hosting in-depth, in-person trainings for HVAC contractors, builders, and raters on quality design and installation.
  • Using a multi-channel approach to promote a wide array of ENERGY STAR-certified products to residential and commercial customers including lighting, dehumidifiers, clothes washers and dryers, freezers, pool pumps, heat pump water heaters, air purifiers, room air conditions, HVAC systems, smart thermostats and commercial food service equipment.
  • Using Home Performance with ENERGY STAR to successfully drive participation in performance-based incentive programs.
  • Linking financial incentives directly to energy savings resulted in 3,689 completed audits and 994 Home Performance with ENERGY STAR projects in 2018; adding to the 20,112 completed audits and 7,611 jobs completed by the program to date.
  • Increasing customer use of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager through its Building Tune-Up program, which completed 400 projects resulting in 12 million kilowatt hours.

 

Columbia Gas of Ohio

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

Columbia Gas of Ohio is a natural gas distribution company receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. Columbia Gas of Ohio is a leader in energy efficiency committed to incentivizing construction of ENERGY STAR certified homes, performance of energy audits and purchase of ENERGY STAR certified products.

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Supporting the construction of nearly 450 ENERGY STAR certified homes, with 82 builders and 14 home energy rating companies enrolled in the program.
  • Providing industry training for Home Performance with ENERGY STAR with more than 25 participating contractors and program energy auditors, on such subjects as Advanced Air Sealing Techniques, Combustion Safety, and sales training.
  • Promoted and incentivized purchase of ENERGY STAR certified high efficiency furnaces, boilers, and both storage tank and tankless water heaters to residential customers.
  • Partnering with Nest and Ecobee, layering manufacturer rebates with Columbia Gas’ ongoing $75 smart thermostat rebate so that customers could easily receive both rebates, resulting in over 7,700 ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats being incentivized.
  • Increasing the contractor assignment process for the Home Energy Audit and Rebate program by 19 percent since 2018, reducing barriers for customers to have a contractor complete recommended energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Creating a video case study featuring builder interviews and homeowner testimonials that highlight the features and benefits of living in an ENERGY STAR certified home.

 

ComEd

ComEd received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

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

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Incorporating ENERGY STAR throughout its energy efficiency program, projecting to achieve net savings of more than 1,700,000 megawatt hours in 2018 and driving energy efficiency excellence among utilities.
  • Continuing to leverage the Energy Usage Data System software to assist customers with the benchmarking of nearly 6,000 buildings and compliance with Chicago’s benchmarking ordinance.
  • Leveraging ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager® metrics to recruit and screen for its Retro-Commissioning offering, resulting in the completion of 217 projects impacting over 67 million square feet of floorspace.
  • Continuing to help customers set contractually enforceable energy performance targets for 23 new construction projects totaling more than four million square feet of floorspace.
  • Launching an income eligible lighting discount initiative, providing increased incentives for ENERGY STAR certified bulbs in 222 stores, with estimated sales exceeding one million bulbs.
  • Participating in numerous ENERGY STAR product promotions, and incorporating campaign identifiers, infographics, video and web page links, email features, and social media posts, as well as supporting the ENERGY STAR Earth Day, Rule Your Attic, ENERGY STAR Day and Holiday promotions.
  • Teaming with utility partners to offer homeowners Home Performance with ENERGY STAR, resulting in 947 homeowners completing projects and receiving a Certificate of Completion documenting improvements for use in future real estate transactions.

 

Consumers Energy

Consumers Energy received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

Consumers Energy is Michigan’s largest utility, providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million residents, and receiving Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. Consumers Energy has integrated ENERGY STAR certification, tools, and resources across its portfolio of utility energy efficiency programs.

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Consolidating related commercial building services into a single ENERGY STAR Programs offering, resulting in benchmarking 250 customer buildings and the ENERGY STAR certification of 118 buildings.
  • Engaging 14 customers in the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry, representing a 40 percent increase from the previous year.
  • Expanding its small business marketplace to create a convenient way to purchase 25 types of ENERGY STAR certified products.
  • Partnering with Feeding America West Michigan and a consortium of Michigan foodbanks to leverage the Light the Moment with ENERGY STAR campaign and donating 200,000 LEDs through the Buy a Bulb Give a Bulb campaign.
  • Saving customers approximately 67,000 megawatt hours of energy from its 2018 ENERGY STAR lighting and appliance programs.
  • Supporting the construction of 800 ENERGY STAR certified homes, totaling nearly 4,000 since joining the program in 2014, and hosting a rater training course to facilitate the addition of 5 new home energy rating companies.
  • Offering Home Performance with ENERGY STAR for the eighth year in a row, completing more than 10,000 whole-home improvements and issuing more than $16 million in rebates.

 

Efficiency Vermont

Efficiency Vermont received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

Efficiency Vermont is an advisor to electric utility customers offering energy-efficiency technical services and financial support, receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. Efficiency Vermont leveraged the ENERGY STAR home performance, products, and benchmarking platforms throughout the year, which enabled them to double their Vermont State Energy Management Program goals.

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Launching an online appliance marketplace to help consumers purchase the most efficient ENERGY STAR certified appliances for their homes.
  • Incorporating ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager metrics to benchmark, set goals, and measure progress throughout its portfolio of commercial building programs, which have improved the energy performance of every hospital and nearly all K-12 schools in Vermont.
  • Promoting a “Home Energy Makeover” contest for Vermonters to compete to win a $5,000 incentive towards a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) project. This contest resulted in 28 video submissions, 25,600 Facebook clicks; and 2,300 unique website visits, resulting in 1.2 million total impressions.
  • Launching a marketing campaign that resulted in 1,700 responses from customers requesting additional information about the HPwES program. This campaign tested multiple messages to determine the most effective for future marketing efforts.

 

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

Energize Connecticut electric and natural gas utility sponsors Eversource and AVANGRID, Inc. are receiving Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. The utilities have developed a comprehensive portfolio of ENERGY STAR branded energy efficiency programs including an innovative heating and cooling program that grew by 180 percent over the past 2 years.

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Designing programs that influence contractor purchasing decisions for energy-efficient products by promoting and educating contractors about the value of ENERGY STAR.
  • Providing incentives for 15,656 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.
  • Partnering with manufacturers to promote the installation of ENERGY STAR certified heat pump water heaters and training installation contractors.
  • Educating the public by displaying ENERGY STAR messages in the Energize Connecticut Center for approximately 6,000 visitors.

 

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 receiving Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. Focus on Energy has demonstrated innovation among Home Performance with ENERGY STAR partners, launching the City of La Crosse Mayor’s Home Energy Challenge and bringing the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program to a new customer base.

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Achieving over 1 million British thermal units in energy savings after completing 1,600 HPwES projects. The number of HPwES projects completed increased by 27 percent compared to 2017.
  • Launching a Home Energy Challenge with the City of La Crosse Planning Development, Xcel Energy, and local employers to encourage home upgrades. The City has reported close to 600 inquiries from customers about making energy improvements in their homes.
  • Developing seasonal marketing campaigns including “Enjoy Summer All the Way” and “Be Chill, Not Chilly” campaign; the latter earned 1,470 customer entries to the HPwES program.
  • Launching the Focus on Energy Ambassador Initiative, dedicated to leveraging realtors to increase awareness and participation in program offerings. The initiative engaged 795 realtors across Wisconsin before it officially started.
  • Collaborating with two home inspection associations on a project to explain to new homeowners and potential customers the value of energy efficiency and how programs like HPwES can help them reduce energy waste and monthly costs.
  • Strategizing to overcome a shortage of qualified contractors by engaging technical schools and contributing to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Career Pathways resources with workforce development resources.

 

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 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. National Grid Rhode Island is receiving Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. The company demonstrated excellence in delivering energy efficiency programs, specifically Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES), completing 2,500 projects for over 5,910 megawatt hours and 20,890 million British thermal units in savings.

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Ranking third in the nation by American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) in energy efficiency policy and programs, earning a perfect score from ACEEE for utility policies and programs in Rhode Island for the fifth year in a row.
  • Increasing the number of contractors in the HPwES program from 27 to 30.
  • Offering incentives towards inline/bath fans and knob and tube remediation to encourage customer participation in the program.
  • Implementing a special offer during the summer months for oil and propane to match electric and gas offer, employing contractors during the summer; the program continued throughout the year.
  • Working with local governments and organizations to align goals while maximizing budget dollars including the Alliance for Healthy Homes, Commerce RI, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, and the Capital Good Fund.
  • Procuring LEDs at lower prices allowing for greater installation of ENERGY STAR labelled LEDs and increased cost effectiveness, providing approximately 20 LEDs per household.

 

Eversource and Unitil (New Hampshire CORE Utilities)

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

New Hampshire Electric & Gas Utilities is a utility consortium receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. New Hampshire Electric & Gas Utilities consistently promotes ENERGY STAR to builders as an essential tool and in 2018 drove market participation to over 20 percent statewide. Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Supporting the construction of more than 750 ENERGY STAR certified homes, saving more than 40 million kilowatt hours over their lifetime.
  • Developing a "Drive to ENERGY STAR" program to educate builders and HVAC contractors about program requirements, resulting in the introduction of 33 new builders to the program.
  • Promoting the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program at home shows state-wide, attracting approximately 15,000 visitors.
  • Engaging New Hampshire residents on the benefits of ENERGY STAR certified homes through traditional and online promotions, including social media posts and monthly bill inserts to more than 400,000 customers.
  • Conducting more than 40 trainings on ENERGY STAR and energy code requirements and 300 hours of trainings for builders, homeowners, and other stakeholders covering topics including Net Zero building, solar installation, and innovative air sealing techniques.

 

New Jersey Board of Public Utilities

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities implements the New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, a statewide program offering financial incentives and services to New Jersey residents, businesses and local governments and is receiving Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities demonstrates leadership among Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) programs, saving more than 106,000 British thermal units.

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Completing 3,268 HPwES projects in 2018, 1,039 of which were multifamily projects.
  • Honoring 8 home performance contractors with the Century Club Award, an award for participating contractors that complete 100 or more projects in a calendar year. One contractor completed 1,255 jobs in 2017 and ranked seventh in the nation while another company ranked 19th in the nation with 648 jobs.
  • Utilizing outreach account managers to recruit new participating contractors and expand the HPwES contractor base in New Jersey, exhibiting and speaking at 127 events promoting the program.
  • Developing a 90-minute workshop presentation for vocational students on building science and HPwES. Eleven New Jersey vocational schools are interested in receiving the workshop.
  • Hosting four trainings specific for participating contractors on the Home Performance market, business planning, quality and service and marketing and sales. The trainings brought in 36 attendees, while technical trainings brought in 552 attendees.
  • Collaborating with the New Jersey Institute of Technology to develop a digital customer journey, which is being used as an educational tool and featured on NJCleanEnergy.com. The goal is to illustrate the importance of achieving comfort, safety and durability in homes and stress the health benefits associated with energy efficiency.

 

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

NYSERDA works with stakeholders throughout New York to enable residents to benefit from energy efficiency and renewable energy and is receiving Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. NYSERDA’s market development activities reduce costs and accelerate consumer demand for energy efficiency and clean energy solutions. NYSERDA, an ENERGY STAR partner since 2001, uses ENERGY STAR serving as the foundation for its residential programs.

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Completing a cumulative total of 87,364 Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) projects.
  • Continuing to offer a 50 percent discount for households with an income of 80 percent or less of the area median income.
  • Incorporating ground source heat pump incentive program in the residential finance program. Since 2014, it received 47,486 applications and closed 23,636 loans. Approximately 28 percent of all participants in the HPwES program are using program financing.
  • Adopting the national data standard HPXML, which standardizes home performance data across all projects. With this standardization, the program automated many administrative functions and reduced approval process times for contractors.
  • Earning 14,026 sessions on the HPwES marketing microsite from paid search campaigns; 3 percent of traffic signed up for an assessment.
  • Supporting the construction of more than 2,100 ENERGY STAR certified single-family homes and multifamily apartments, for a total of nearly 34,000 since joining the program.

 

PECO Energy Company

PECO Energy Company received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

PECO Energy is an electric and gas utility receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence Recognition. PECO Energy is being recognized for its sustained excellence in promoting a vast array of ENERGY STAR certified products to residential and commercial customers, as well as ENERGY STAR certified new homes.

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Promoting ENERGY STAR certified heating and cooling (HVAC) equipment including central air conditioners, air source heat pumps, and ductless heat pumps. Through direct outreach to customers as well as enhanced interaction with contractors/trade allies, about 1200 ENERGY STAR certified HVAC units were rebated in 2018, saving customers more than 2,300 MWh.
  • Working with 333 retailers, small and large, to promote the sale of ENERGY STAR certified lighting, as well as 114 national and regional retailers to promote the sale of ENERGY STAR certified appliances including air purifiers, ventilation fans, clothes washers and dryers, refrigerators and freezers, room air conditioners, pool pumps, and water heaters. Estimated savings from these efforts through October alone are nearly 45,000 MWh.
  • Supporting the construction of 376 ENERGY STAR certified homes, representing a 27 percent increase from 2017. The program also implemented online search and social media advertising to increase homebuyer awareness of ENERGY STAR certified homes, generating more than 200,000 impressions and more than 1,800 visits to PECO's new homebuyer’s webpage.
  • Working with commercial lighting distributors to promote instants savings on LEDs, including seven ENERGY STAR certified lighting measures—approximately 25 percent of program induced purchases were for ENERGY STAR certified products. PECO also leverages ENERGY STAR certification for commercial food service equipment incentives.
  • Tying into the ENERGY STAR Challenge for Industry by educating challenge participants about rebates that could help them achieve their goals. A recent email campaign delivered a 19 percent increase in unique open rates and direct response from 90 participants interested in PECO incentives.

 

Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco)

PEPCO received the ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award.

Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, has been providing electric service to the Maryland and Washington, DC area for nearly 120 years, serving 842,000 customers and is receiving Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. Pepco demonstrates leadership in the energy efficiency industry by offering ENERGY STAR New Homes, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES), and promoting ENERGY STAR certified products and the ENERGY STAR certified buildings program.

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Continuing to deliver HPwES to customers with immediate energy savings, increased by 40 percent since 2018, to the sum of 11,080 megawatt hours (MWh). This was partially achieved through the installation of 144,000 ENERGY STAR certified LEDs.
  • Transitioning to a performance-based incentive where incentives are based on the energy savings generated by the job. Project scopes of work increases energy savings by nearly 30 percent.
  • Adding ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats, air purifiers and dehumidifiers to an already robust list of ENERGY STAR appliances rebated through its appliance program. Through the third quarter of 2018, the program estimates saving 440 MWh of energy from smart thermostats alone; Pepco also launched the ENERGY STAR Retail Products Platform.
  • Developing a series of new reports that highlight performance metrics granularly for HPwES participating contractors. The program provides courses, mentoring, and progress tracking to improve performance.
  • Supporting the construction of over 600 ENERGY STAR certified homes and achieving a 4th consecutive year over year increase in the number of homes certified.
  • Increasing building energy performance through the Energy Savings for Business Program by installing ENERGY STAR certified commercial products and requiring the use of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager in multiple programs.

 

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 a natural gas utility serving one million customers, receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. SRP is the nation’s third-largest public power utility and has been committed to delivering a comprehensive portfolio of energy efficiency programs to its customers for nearly a decade.

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

  • Supporting the construction of over 5,400 ENERGY STAR certified homes, for a total of more than 28,000 since 2012.
  • Promoting the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program through a comprehensive marketing campaign, including consumer brochures, billboards, digital media, and model home collateral material.
  • Utilizing ENERGY STAR lighting criteria successfully for its product incentive program. As a result, 87 percent of SRP customers reported they have at least one energy efficient lamp in their home.
  • Collaborating with other local organizations to deliver the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program; participating contractors completed over 800 projects and saved 260,000 kilowatt hours of energy. This is attributed to creative marketing campaigns that included cinema advertisements, print media, bill inserts, and social media.

 

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®, sponsored by Cape Light Compact, Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil, helps consumers discover savings through the adoption of ENERGY STAR certified products and is receiving ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year-Sustained Excellence recognition. The Sponsors of Mass Save successfully executed an omni-channel retail and recycling initiative that resulted in 295,000,000 kilowatt hours in annual energy savings.

Key 2018 accomplishments include:

 
  • Supporting the sale of more than 8,500,000 ENERGY STAR certified lighting products through Negotiated Cooperative Promotions, instant price discounts, and direct online sales.
  • Driving sales of more than 60,000 ENERGY STAR certified appliances and electronics. In the process, Mass Save removed more than 20,000 old, inefficient refrigerators, freezers, and dehumidifiers from the grid, and had them recycled in compliance with the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal program.
  • Engaging with customers at 182 events, including 37 dehumidifier recycling events, 87 pop-up retail events, and 58 community education events, where representatives communicated the value of ENERGY STAR.
  • Generating excitement, interest, and demand for ENERGY STAR certified products through 12 limited-time, online sales promotions and two sweepstakes offering ENERGY STAR certified prizes.
  • Maintaining a strong, digital presence that drove viewers to the Mass Save website and other online Mass Save assets providing information on and facilitating sales of ENERGY STAR certified lighting and appliances. Mass Save also sent over 820,000 emails and achieved more than 540,000 engagements through paid social content.

 

View the accomplishments of the Partner of the Year and Promotion 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.

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