BELLEVUE, Wash. – Puget Sound Energy has joined several other regional utilities that provide natural gas service to hundreds of thousands of customers to develop a 5-year regional natural gas market transformation initiative.
The focus of this Collaborative effort is to advance the development and market adoption of energy efficient natural gas products, practices and services in future years, and to help customers save on energy costs.
The initiative, which is the first regional collaborative in the nation and begins this year, will be coordinated by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA). This initiative is funded by utilities that provide natural gas in Washington and Oregon, including PSE, Avista Utilities, Cascade Natural Gas, Energy Trust of Oregon, and Northwest Natural Gas.
“For more than 30 years, PSE’s Energy Efficiency department has been at the forefront in reducing PSE customers’ energy costs,” said Bob Stolarski, director of Customer Energy Management for PSE and NEEA Board member. “We’re excited to participate in the NEEA natural gas collaborative and broaden the scope for natural gas energy efficiency together as a region. We expect that the success of the initiative will have meaningful benefits for our customers.”
The Collaborative’s business plan focuses on five key programs that are anticipated to yield cost effective savings:
- Gas-fired heat pump water heaters: A pilot program is already testing these units. A number of sites — including one located in PSE’s service territory — have been chosen to test how the product works in real-life situations.
- More efficient fireplaces
- Commercial rooftop HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) units
- Combined space and water heat gas systems
- Gas clothes dryers
The overall portfolio of measures will result in some savings during the first five years. As these products are adopted by the marketplace, the savings are expected to ramp up, increasing their cost effectiveness from year to year.
NEEA is an alliance of more than 140 utilities and energy efficiency organizations working on behalf of more than 13 million energy consumers. NEEA is the only organization in the U.S. dedicated to accelerating both gas and electric energy efficiency.