2017 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year and Promotion Award Winners

ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year

Ameren Missouri

Ameren Missouri received the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award. Ameren Missouri is the state’s largest electric utility, serving 1.2 million customers throughout the central and eastern regions of the state. Ameren Missouri is receiving ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year recognition for implementing a comprehensive approach to program delivery, which has led to ENERGY STAR market transformation across a diverse service territory. Key 2016 accomplishments include:

  • Expanding its efficient lighting program to provide customers instant discounts on eligible ENERGY STAR light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which influenced customers to upgrade to highly efficient lighting and resulted in rebating more than 385,000 certified LEDs.
  • Establishing a broad retail partner network, working with major retailers and non-traditional restore/thrift stores to educate customers on rebates available for ENERGY STAR certified products, including heat pump water heaters, pool pumps, room air conditioners, and room air purifiers.
  • Promoting the benefits of ENERGY STAR certified lighting and products by developing attractive, educational materials, in addition to a comprehensive media and outreach campaign comprised of digital advertising, email advertising, radio advertising, social media, direct mail, on-bill messaging, and consumer local community events. Participating customers were entered into a contest to win St. Louis Cardinals tickets, as well as Cardinals-specific promotional materials.
  • Sponsoring local community events to promote energy efficiency, which were attended by thousands of people in the greater St. Louis metro area, increased customer awareness of ENERGY STAR while offering customers the opportunity to take home certified LEDs.


Austin Energy

Austin Energy received the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award.

Austin Energy is the third largest municipally-owned electric utility in the United States, currently serving more than 448,000 customer accounts in a city with approximately 1 million residents. Austin has offered whole house energy-efficiency programs 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 recognition for its leadership in energy efficiency and commitment to HPwES. Key 2016 accomplishments include:
  • Implementing a marketing campaign focused on educating customers about building science, and explaining the benefits of completing improvements at the same time.
  • Conducting focus groups of actual and potential customers to determine program awareness, potential interest in the program, barriers to participation, marketing preferences, and quality of information provided by participating contractors.
  • Lowering the demand on Austin Energy’s grid by 1400 kilowatts (kW), moving the city one step closer towards its goal of saving 900 megawatts (MW) by 2025.
  • Partnering with Velocity Credit Union to substantially lower its HPwES program interest rate from 3.99 percent to 1.99 percent and lowering the minimum qualifying credit score to 600.
  • Providing technical training to partnering heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors on duct system improvements. This focus has exponentially improved the quality of work for the entire HVAC industry in Austin.
  • Integrating the HPwES program in the Austin real estate market and local requirements for energy audits for all homes prior to sale.


Eversource Energy, The United Illuminating Company, Connecticut Natural Gas, and Southern Connecticut Gas

Eversource Energy, The United Illuminating Company, Connecticut Natural Gas, and Southern Connecticut Gas received the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award.

Eversource Energy and AVANGRID Inc. subsidiaries The United Illuminating Company, Connecticut Natural Gas, and Southern Connecticut Gas implement Energize Connecticut, the state’s energy efficiency initiative. The utilities are receiving ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year recognition for their energy efficiency programs and promotion of ENERGY STAR. Key 2016 accomplishments include:
  • Supporting 157 municipalities and boards of education in Connecticut to actively track the energy performance of 2,900 buildings with services that include electronic transfer of data into Portfolio Manager. Municipalities and schools are encouraged to use a suite of ENERGY STAR tools and resources to pursue a strategic approach to energy management.
  • Bringing their income-eligible residential energy efficiency offering into the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES) program, expanding energy efficiency to a population that is often faced with barriers in taking advantage of these services.
  • Transitioning HPwES contractor participation to an open-market model where any qualified contractor meeting program standards can participate.
  • Collaborating with the Weatherization Assistance Program to help maximize customers’ savings through cost sharing of the overall project.


National Grid (RI)

National Grid (RI) received the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award.

National Grid US is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that serves nearly 7 million customers through its networks. National Grid Rhode Island is receiving ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year recognition for its leadership in energy efficiency and commitment to Home Performance with ENERGY STAR (HPwES). Key 2016 accomplishments include:
  • Recognizing and adapting to market barriers faced in 2016 (a warm winter and low fuel costs) by making creative modifications to program offerings and marketing. They ensured a successful HPwES program.
  • Seeking out potential customers by scrubbing the project cancellation list, reviewing customer characteristics to make a profile of homes to target, and creating additional HPwES marketing materials.
  • Requiring all new HPwES contractors to identify a project lead before joining the program. This secured projects for veteran contractors who faced new competition from contractors that joined the HPwES program to supplement their business during the temperate winter with low fuel costs.
  • Offering sales training to HPwES participating contractors where they learned to sell to customers’ overall needs as opposed to single measures (e.g., insulation).
  • Equipping all field staff with a laptop or tablet, and eliminating paper files to allow for centralization of all files and better communication.


Excellence in ENERGY STAR Promotion

National Grid

National Grid received an award for Excellence in ENERGY STAR Promotion.

National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Upstate New York and is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern United States. National Grid is receiving ENERGY STAR recognition for its comprehensive, multi-channel marketing campaign featuring ENERGY STAR to promote certified products and energy-saving behavior among its customers, in addition to its ongoing support and participation in ENERGY STAR product and seasonal campaigns. Key 2016 accomplishments include:

  • Increasing the awareness of and demand for ENERGY STAR certified products through an integrated, multimedia consumer awareness and product marketing campaign that resulted in:
    • More than 5.4 million ENERGY STAR certified lighting products sold through instant price discounts, direct online sales, and the online catalog.
    • About 10,300 ENERGY STAR appliances and electronics sold through partnerships with retailers using mail-in rebates and incentive programs that also included the recycling of about 5,270 refrigerators and freezers.
    • Promotional activities in nearly 2,000 retail partner stores that included training, events, and distribution of point-of-purchase materials.
  • Engaging millions of consumers in a meaningful way through multi-channel education featuring ENERGY STAR and its energy, money, and environmental benefits that resulted in 92 million radio impressions, 17 million Pandora Radio impressions, 317,000 digital clicks to website and more than 5 million total lighting and products sold.
  • Participating in EPA’s Brighten a Life with ENERGY STAR campaign through a successful partnership with the military nonprofit group Operation Stand-Down to support Rhode Island veterans secure housing, health benefits and job assistance. Participation resulted in sales of about 2,600 6-packs of camouflage ENERGY STAR certified light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs through an online portal.


View the accomplishments of the Sustained Excellence Award recipients.

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