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2020-2024 NEEA Strategic and Business Plans Approved

Created 1/14/2019 by Veronica Marzilli
Updated 1/22/2019 by Stephanie Lane
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After a two-year collaborative outreach process, NEEA’s Board has voted unanimously to approve the 2020-2024 Strategic and Business Plans. The approved Plans allow the alliance to sustain a portfolio of initiatives and support functions to transform the market for energy efficiency in the Northwest.  

The Board took a bottom-up approach in developing the Strategic and Business Plans, seeking feedback and input from energy efficiency stakeholders across the region to develop the most comprehensive plans possible. While the alliance’s top priority in the 2020-2024 business cycle remains advancing energy efficiency, these Plans enable NEEA to mitigate risks for its funders by acting regionally to move with the market, expand the energy efficiency pipeline and continue innovating.

The 2020-2024 Business Plan includes an overall budget of $187.8M, including an electric budget of $159.4M and a natural gas budget of $18.9M in core spending with additional special projects available for funding, as well as $9.5M for the regional End-Use Load Research study. 

So, what’s in this Business Plan? Here are some of the highlights:

  • Natural Gas Integration: The 2020-2024 Business Plan is the alliance’s first dual-fuel integrated Business Plan, incorporating natural gas with broad support from the Board. This includes NEEA’s first dual-fuel initiative, Next Step Homes.
  • New Purpose and Strategic Goals: The Plans replace the alliance’s mission and vision with a primary purpose: To pool resources and share risks to transform the market for energy efficiency to the benefit of consumers in the Northwest. This purpose is supported by two strategic goals, to:
  1. Sustain a portfolio of initiatives and support functions that enable more cost-effective efficiency to occur sooner, in larger amounts, and/or at lower cost than otherwise expected; and
  2. Continuously improve organizational culture and performance efficacy, ensure accountability and transparency, and strive for innovation in service to the
    benefit of all stakeholders.
  • Demand Management Options: The Plan includes work that will enable demand management options in complementary and additive ways to the alliance’s core energy efficiency work.
  • Special Projects Process: The Plan includes a Special Projects process to explore optional and emerging opportunities for the region. The following three Special Projects were approved for exploration and potential funding as part of the plan: Industrial Technical Training, a Multi-Family Building Stock Assessment and Strategic Energy Management work. Other opportunities will be explored through guidelines discussed in the Business Plan.
  • Downstream Marketing Pilot: The Board has included a pilot that outlines new principles for downstream marketing to ensure market transformation marketing activities are complementary to local utility marketing efforts. Through this new pilot, funders can choose to participate, exempt or self-deliver downstream marketing activities on a campaign-by-campaign basis.
  • Energy Savings Metrics: Due to the long-term nature of the alliance’s work, previous investments are phasing out while new programs are forecasted to phase in, resulting in a lowered savings projection for the 2020-2024 Business Plan. The Plan mitigates the risk this presents by ensuring a balanced portfolio of programs in numerous markets to maximize emerging opportunities and reduce risk to energy savings in specific markets that may experience disruption. In addition to energy savings, the Board has included other metrics in the Plan that help provide a comprehensive view of the alliance’s progress toward its goals.
  • Conduit: When developing this plan, the Board had to consider difficult tradeoffs to balance emerging technology and electric energy savings work with the preservation of organizational capacity to deliver this work. Based on these tradeoff discussions, the online community aspect of Conduit will sunset effective 2020. 
Conduit as a resource sharing entity for regional activities such as Efficiency Exchange conference, alliance workgroups and tracking emerging technology projects may continue, pending further evaluation by NEEA's Board.

Want to read more? View the entire Plans here, along with a summary of the region’s feedback and input.

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