Progress at the Consortium for Energy Efficiency
April 12, 2010 - 11:36am

Residential Lighting: What is CEE?

Eileen Eaton: CEE is a consortium of energy-efficiency program administrators from the U.S. and Canada. By working together, administrators can leverage the effect of their rate payer funding and achieve greater efficiency for the public.

RL: What is the High-Efficiency Residential Lighting Initiative?

EE: The overall goal is to capture significant energy savings through increased and sustained market share of energy-efficient lighting products. So far, we’ve set specific goals for CFLs and Energy Star®-qualified lighting fixtures: 1) for consumers to understand benefits of energy-efficient lighting products, 2) for retailers to promote energy-efficient lighting products, 3) for manufacturers to produce energy-efficient lighting products, 4) for products to meet consumer expectations in terms of quality and performance and 5) for energy-efficient lighting to become widespread in new construction.

Energy-savings targets are increasing in individual states and provinces and at the federal levels in both the United States and Canada. In 2009, team members spent $5.3 billion in total energy efficiency, and lighting programs represented a very significant portion.

RL: What is CEE’s new LED positioning paper about?

EE: It was put together to help the lighting industry understand what efficiency programs need in terms of LED products. Generally, we’re cautiously optimistic about LED technology. We are very excited about the potential for energy savings there. There are some great quality products on the market. But I’d say there are also some not-so-great products on the market. We want to make sure the consumer has a good experience with LEDs.

RL: What else is new?

EE: We’ve formed a Comprehensive Lighting Working Group of our residential and commercial lighting administrators and industry representatives. At the last meeting, we discussed the barriers lighting programs face. Some claim that market penetration has been reached for some technologies, but we still see a lot of opportunity. The group is working to broaden the scope of programs to include emerging technologies, such as lighting controls, daylighting and energy-saving design.

Our Lighting for Tomorrow competition has added a category within the LED competition: LED replacement lamps. We also launched the first-ever lighting controls competition, which is another area where we see great savings opportunities.

RL: How can showrooms benefit?

EE: Some CEE members have begun programs with individual lighting showrooms. The New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) partners with retailers and offers free sales staff training, point-of-purchase materials, and cooperative advertising to promote energy-efficient residential products.

Another sponsor, Efficiency Vermont, conducted a one-year pilot with Green Mountain Lighting Design with a dedicated Energy Star fixture display. The store made the initial product selection, and Efficiency Vermont paid 50 percent of wholesale fixture cost and provided a small cooperative marketing contribution. Efficiency Vermont also provided an electric meter comparator display and rebate coupons to increase consumer interest in purchasing the products.

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