ACEEE honors BPA energy efficiency program

Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) announced its energy efficiency program for the Northwest's industrial sector — Energy Smart Industrial (ESI) — was recognized as an exemplary program by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The accolade comes after ACEEE completed its third-ever review of the country's energy efficiency programs late last month. ESI was noted for excellence in industrial and large customer programs.

ACEEE selected energy efficiency programs from numerous nominations received in a national solicitation. The non-profit for advancing energy efficiency previously conducted national reviews of outstanding energy efficiency programs in 2003 and 2008.

The honor comes on the heels of two independent evaluations released in the fall that gave ESI high marks for program performance. According to the results of the process evaluation conducted by Research into Action, eight out of 10 survey respondents from the industrial sector said they were highly satisfied with services through the program.

Survey results based on responses of BPA utility customers indicate 84 percent believe they have been able to offer a comprehensive program for all types of savings opportunities to their industrial customers. Additionally, 76 percent said they've been able to complete more industrial energy efficiency projects because of ESI.

The second evaluation conducted by Cadmus Group verified savings claimed by ESI's energy management program components, which largely promote changes in behavior and operating procedures to drive savings in existing equipment.

Independent evaluators statistically verified 92 percent of the more than 14 million kWh industrial participants realized during the program's first year. The results of a series of cost tests, also reported in the impact evaluation, show ratepayer funds used for energy management make a solid public investment.

Now in its fourth year, the ESI program provides a variety of resources to help regional industries implement energy efficiency. The program serves 99 percent of the public power's industrial load in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. To date, ESI has saved almost 368 million kWh — roughly a year's supply of energy for nearly 30,000 homes.

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