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The Northwest Energy Efficiency Council’s (NEEC) Smart Buildings Center (SBC) is proud to announce that it received the 2020 ENERGY STAR® Award for Excellence for its outstanding efforts to promote ENERGY STAR’s mission, products, and the importance of energy efficiency for the economy through its various programs. NEEC/SBC’s accomplishments will be recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 22, 2021.

NEEC, an ENERGY STAR partner since 2002, will be honored for SBC’s work in promoting ENERGY STAR  programs and products that meet ENERGY STAR specifications for energy efficiency through its Building Operator Certification (BOC) program, support of the City of Seattle’s Benchmarking Program with the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® Help Desk, and supporting local jurisdictions with data analytics and visualization tools using building energy datasets from ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

Catering to the interests of local governments, SBC offers innovative energy data analytics and visualization techniques to analyze building performance, address challenges in performance trends, and advance energy efficiency. Over the past several years, SBC has worked with local jurisdictions in supporting quality checks of ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager accounts and utilizing their building energy performance data to provide actionable information for energy savings. SBC specializes in offering customized dashboards, infographics and other visualization techniques using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager’s energy data. These tools are helpful in identifying opportunities for improvement and help evaluate and support smart buildings projects including building tune-up and retrofits.

Since 2011, NEEC has administered the Help Desk for the City of Seattle’s Energy Benchmarking and Reporting Program. SBC coordinates and provides hands-on energy benchmarking workshops, drop-in sessions and in-depth email and phone support to help customers navigate ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to benchmark buildings to meet the City of Seattle’s benchmarking requirements. SBC also collaborated with the City of Seattle on the Building Tune-Up Accelerator Program which was developed to address the specific needs of the small to medium commercial building market and utilized ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to conduct data analysis and monitoring and verification of building performance.

With funding from the Washington State Department of Commerce, SBC created a Benchmark Support Services program that assists efforts to benchmark public and private commercial buildings in the state, better manage the collection and analysis of building performance data, and support state and local jurisdictions who undertake benchmark and disclosure efforts. SBC currently offers a suite of resources that help owners and managers to benchmark a building with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

NEEC also administers the Building Operator Certification (BOC®) program which trains and certifies commercial and institutional building facility staff in best practices for energy efficiency. This includes benchmarking building performance through ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager software tool and in specifying the purchase of ENERGY STAR products and equipment. Over 22,000 building operators have earned a BOC credential across the United States. The national BOC program is administered through a network of licensed providers who train building technicians in BOC best practices in 38 states and D.C. with diverse climate zones in the East, Midwest, Southeast, and Pacific Coast. These providers contributed to the achievements recognized with this award. They include City University of New York, Gwinnett Technical College, Lakes Regions Community College, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Northwest Water & Energy Education Institute, Pennsylvania College of Technology, South Carolina Technical College System, South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource, Santa Fe Community College, Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance, University of Hawaii, and the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment.

“In an industry undergoing rapid transformation, ENERGY STAR remains a trusted name in promoting energy efficient equipment and practices, and NEEC’s Smart Buildings Center is honored to be a long-term partner,” said Kerry Meade, Executive Director of NEEC/SBC. “Our work supporting the City of Seattle in its successful energy benchmarking program and SBC’s ongoing training of building operators rely on ENERGY STAR to underpin success.”

“I salute the 2020 ENERGY STAR award winners,” said Anne Idsal, EPA Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation. “These leaders demonstrate how energy efficiency drives economic competitiveness in tandem with environmental protection.”

ENERGY STAR Excellence awards are given to companies and organizations in recognition of important contributions to energy efficiency. For a complete list of 2020 winners and more information about ENERGY STAR’s awards program, visit energystar.gov/awardwinners.

About Northwest Energy Efficiency Council’s Smart Buildings Center

The Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) is a non-profit business association of the energy efficiency industry headquartered at the Smart Buildings Center (SBC) in Seattle, WA. NEEC’s mission is to promote policies and programs that enhance market opportunities for energy efficiency. The SBC is designed to spur collaboration and innovation throughout the energy efficiency sector — showcasing the opportunities for facility operational excellence when smart meets efficient. The SBC provides a range of services from Energy Benchmarking technical support to training and credentialing through the Building Operator Certification (BOC®) program.

About ENERGY STAR

ENERGY STAR® is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency, providing simple, credible, and unbiased information that consumers and businesses rely on to make well-informed decisions. Thousands of industrial, commercial, utility, state, and local organizations—including more than 40 percent of the Fortune 500 companies—rely on their partnership with EPA to deliver cost-saving energy efficiency solutions. Since 1992, ENERGY STAR and its thousands of partners helped American families and businesses save more than 4 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity and achieve over 3.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions. In 2018 alone, ENERGY STAR and its partners helped Americans avoid nearly $35 billion in energy costs. More background information about ENERGY STAR can be found at: energystar.gov/about and energystar.gov/numbers.

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