What's the Consortium for Energy Efficiency?
CEE is an EPA Climate Protection 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.
What’s an efficiency program?
Most states, the District of Columbia, and seven Canadian provinces have laws establishing a reduction in energy use for a variety of purposes. For example, some states use energy efficiency to avoid building new power plants, while others use it to control peak demand for air conditioning. A program is a planned effort to reduce energy use in a specific arena, such as residential heating or industrial motors. Depending on the law in that state or province, these programs can be administered by utilities, state energy offices, or special entities the state has set up. Their work is for public benefit and together they are known as energy efficiency programs.
What's an efficiency program administrator?
Once a state or province mandates efficiency programs, it also identifies who administers programs for the state or province. This entity can be the local utilities, the state or provincial energy office, or an organization the government sets up. In Canada, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) administers some programs federally.
What do CEE members do?
Early members established the process CEE still follows today. This process leads to CEE initiatives and other CEE positions that create a critical mass of market influence to accelerate market transformation, demonstrably decreasing energy use over time. CEE convenes energy efficiency program administrators to:
- Identify promising energy efficient technologies and services
- Engage industry in production planning for major end use areas
- Analyze each opportunity for program factors such as customer engagement, cost-effectiveness, regulatory acceptability, and demand response capacity
- Consider ramifications of promoting any one product, service, or practice on the many objectives energy efficiency serves
Staff at member organizations work through CEE committees to identify and define the details of each market initiative or exploration devoted to an opportunity such as residential HVAC, commercial data centers, or industrial energy management. When members identify common ground, they engage manufacturers and other market stakeholders to refine and drive industry investment decisions. CEE also maintains professional relationships with major industries, national labs, research organizations, and federal agencies.
Who can be a member of CEE?
CEE membership is extended to all organizations that have a regulatory or legislative mandate to administer energy efficiency programs as well as other public stakeholders in such programs. Such administrators may be utilities or statewide and regional organizations or agencies. Other public stakeholders include national and state agencies, US Department of Energy national laboratories, and public interest groups that advocate for energy efficiency and do not have a significant interest in program implementation. Ineligible firms—regardless of profit status—are those who could have financial interest in CEE initiatives, such as manufacturers, retailers, distributors, energy service firms, or those firms that provide implementation services for programs of others. The intent of such exclusion is to maintain CEE objectivity in its promotion of energy efficiency.
Who is invited to CEE meetings?
CEE meetings are open to employees of CEE members, DOE employees, EPA employees, and guests invited by CEE.
As a manufacturer, service provider, or distributor, I would like to work with CEE. How do I do that?
If you belong to another industry, business, or organization interested in energy efficiency or an opportunity we’ve targeted, we invite you to work with us to contribute your expertise and to learn how to leverage efficiency programs for your own products and services. CEE organizes periods for industry comment, and you may weigh in during these times.
Can CEE promote my new technology to your members?
CEE initiatives are designed to promote energy efficient technologies and practices, not specific appliances or equipment. Determinations made during the CEE process are unbiased by economic interest in the outcome, although information and comment are sought from many sources. CEE does not promote any particular brand or technology.
Can my organization use the CEE logo on our web page or print media?
CEE does not endorse any particular manufacturer or products, so our logo may not be used with products, catalogs, or service descriptions. For more information, see Press Kits or the CEE Terms and Conditions.
Why doesn’t CEE work directly with corporate national accounts?
CEE does not administer efficiency programs. Our members administer programs within their jurisdictions.
I work for a member organization, and I'd like to incorporate CEE copyrighted material into our program.
One of the benefits of membership is that your organization may freely adopt CEE materials for your program needs. If you have questions, please check the relevant area of the CEE Forum or contact CEE so we can direct you to the appropriate staff person for answers.
I don't work for a member organization, and I'd like to incorporate CEE copyrighted material into our program.
Make sure you read the Terms and Conditions for background on CEE copyrighted materials. The next step is to contact CEE with your intended purpose, the benefit to CEE, and a request for permission to use a CEE resource or data. If approved, CEE will send you the correct citation for your particular situation or discuss possible licensure with you.
What's a CEE Specification?
One good market engagement technique is to define energy efficiency for a specific product or service category. CEE often supports initiatives through a specification of energy performance. A specification is one or more advanced levels of energy performance, higher than is normal in a market, for a residential, commercial, or industrial product or service.
CEE specifies levels of savings that help efficiency programs achieve their goals. Specifications, with their tiers of performance, are part of initiatives. These tiers are based on considerations outlined in the initiative that may include, for example, energy savings potential, market readiness or penetration, or technical feasibility.
Specifications are meant to achieve superior energy efficiency without trade-offs in performance or quality. Specifications are voluntarily incorporated by utilities into their programs.
What is the difference between voluntary specifications and minimum standards?
A minimum standard is the lowest level of efficiency that can be legally marketed in the United States or Canada. A minimum standard is imposed by a governmental agency at the federal, state or provincial, or local level. CEE does not establish minimum standards. Voluntary specifications, adopted by CEE members, push the market forward and must be upgraded every few years as the market shifts toward greater efficiency.
How are CEE specifications different from ENERGY STAR® specifications?
CEE is a nonprofit organization supporting administrators of energy efficiency programs, such as utilities, who run efficiency programs that provide education about energy efficiency and may offer incentives, such as rebates, to influence market activities. CEE specifications meet the needs of efficiency program administrators and often have more than one tier of efficiency. The higher tiers are sometimes used by programs with higher savings goals.
ENERGY STAR is a joint labeling program of the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy that works to protect the environment by identifying energy efficient products, buildings, and practices. ENERGY STAR establishes efficiency criteria for many appliances, products, and equipment. ENERGY STAR sets one level for each product category; a product is either ENERGY STAR labeled or not. ENERGY STAR performance levels often align with CEE tier 1 within a product category.
CEE and ENERGY STAR do work together, and in many cases their specifications are the same; however, this is not always the case. For questions about ENERGY STAR programs, levels, or labeling of products, please contact ENERGY STAR directly.
How are the CEE qualifying products lists compiled?
Some CEE initiatives refer to ENERGY STAR qualifying product lists. ENERGY STAR has their own process for pulling together product lists; this section describes what CEE does. Each initiative specifies the tests and requirements a manufacturer provides in order to be listed. CEE relies on these advertised claims of performance; CEE does not verify manufacturer claims of efficiency.
The compilation of qualifying products lists varies depending on the initiative. For some, such as commercial lighting and residential appliances, manufacturers submit product data that they assert meet CEE specifications. If the products meet the corresponding CEE specification, they are added to the qualifying products list. For others, such as residential and commercial gas water heating, CEE obtains data from the Air-conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) and uses that data to determine which products meet the specifications and should be included in the qualifying products lists.
CEE compiles manufacturer submissions into qualifying product lists for members to use. That’s why it’s wrong to say that a product has been certified or rated by CEE, or to indicate in any way that CEE has checked the actual efficiency of the appliance. Manufacturers may state in plain text that their product meets or qualifies for a CEE tier. You can read more in the CEE Terms and Conditions.
How can I get my product on a CEE list?
CEE initiatives that address a market for highly efficient products are usually supported by specifications of efficiency for that product category. Manufacturers are requested to review the current, relevant specification to see whether your products may qualify.
CEE accepts direct submissions from manufacturers for residential appliances and commercial lighting only. If you believe your products meet CEE specifications, please fill out the submission form found with the specification.
For some CEE initiatives, the qualifying product list is compiled by ENERGY STAR or from data obtained from the Air-conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). For residential HVAC, both gas and electric, please contact AHRI. Other organizations that provide data are the California Energy Commission, the PG&E Food Service Technology Center, and EPA Water Sense.
How often are qualifying product lists updated?
Some qualifying product lists are updated on a monthly basis, others on a quarterly basis.
Why isn't my model listed on the qualifying product list?
If your model is not listed on the CEE list, but you have compared the performance data to the appropriate CEE specification and you believe it meets the specification, make sure you are viewing the most recent version of the list. Based on the CEE specification, if you still feel that the model should be on the CEE list, it is likely that the manufacturer has not submitted data for that model to CEE, or that CEE has not yet processed this data. Please contact CEE to confirm the status of your model.
Why are there no qualifying product lists for industrial equipment?
There are a variety of reasons why this is the case. First, standards are lacking to test, measure, and report the energy performance of many types of industrial equipment, such as pumps, fans, and boilers. As a result, there is no central source of data on industrial equipment energy performance for CEE to use as a basis to establish CEE tiers or energy performance levels. In addition, there is little standardization of equipment size, type, and operation across all the end use applications within the industrial sector. This lack of standardization reflects the multiple uses of energy in industrial plants across the United States and Canada.
Although CEE isn't set up to work directly with consumers, we are happy to provide the general guidance below that may help you save energy and money. CEE does not sell or manufacture products, nor do we recommend specific brands or administer rebates. Our members each conduct their own rebate programs.
If I see my model on a CEE list, does that mean I get a rebate?
Not necessarily. Each rebate program is different. CEE members adopt CEE initiatives voluntarily and decide on their own whether and how any one product is incentivized. The efficiency program in your area determines the models that qualify for its rebates. Please contact your local program to confirm product eligibility.
How can I find out about rebates in my area?
Typically, energy efficiency programs are run by your local utility, but the best way to find out who is administering programs in your area is by contacting your state or provincial energy office. Most states and provinces have designated organizations to administer energy efficiency programs. For example, Mass Save and Gas Networks administer many of the energy programs in Massachusetts. These organizations can be very helpful.
I applied for a rebate and I haven't gotten it, or my rebate has been rejected. Can CEE intervene?
CEE does not administer rebate programs, and we do not intervene between program administrators and their customers. The only people who can answer rebate questions are the authorized staff at your local rebate program.
Why is a CEE qualifying products list featured on my utility's website?
CEE is a nonprofit with members across the United States and Canada. Many CEE members incentivize efficiency, usually through rebate programs. CEE works with its members, the ENERGY STAR® program, and others to develop efficiency specifications that utilities may choose to adopt in their incentive programs. Use of these specifications and participation in the incentive program is voluntary.
Qualifying product lists are one service that CEE provides to members. Some efficiency programs link to these lists on their websites to provide their customers with the most recent listing of efficient products; however, CEE is not responsible for the administration of any rebate programs.
How do I apply for a rebate?
CEE does not administer energy efficiency programs or offer rebates, but your local utility may do so. CEE members are running programs in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and seven provinces, so there's a good chance your area is in one of these jurisdictions. Some utilities also offer financing, tax credits, and planning assistance.
Find out if there is an energy efficiency organization in your area. Most states and provinces have designated organizations to administer energy efficiency programs. For example, Mass Save and Gas Networks administer many of the energy programs in Massachusetts. These organizations can be very helpful.
Where can I purchase energy efficient products?
Find out through the ENERGY STAR® program. ENERGY STAR is a federal program that promotes energy efficient products and services. On the ENERGY STAR website, there are lists of energy efficient products and equipment, along with information about finding a store or dealer in your area. The ENERGY STAR site also includes information about residential new construction programs and improving home efficiency.
Do you have information about home heating and cooling?
CEE has developed procedures and protocols for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, including both equipment and guidelines for quality installation of that equipment. Quality installation means getting maximum efficiency from your HVAC system through proper sizing and installation. Visit the CEE Directory of Efficient Equipment for details.