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Technology Selection Process

Since 2009, E3T has used a standard process for identifying, screening and assessing emerging technologies. This framework, developed through interdisciplinary collaboration with public power stakeholders, consists of a series of assessment stages, in which our criteria increase in precision and confidence. Each of several "stage gates" provides a decision point for advancing technologies with greatest potential for adoption by energy efficiency programs in the Northwest.

Technology Selection Process

This process supplies the E3T portfolio with well-documented assessments of technologies with potential to provide significant energy savings throughout the Northwest.

  • Identification and Screening
  • Assessment
  • New Program Development

Identifying and Screening Emerging Technologies

E3T is looking for technologies that meet the following requirements:

  • A product or service used by less than two percent of the region's homes and businesses
  • Currently available, and can be widely applied to save electricity, in the Northwest
  • Provides the same or greater quality of service as less-efficient alternatives
  • Has not been assessed and is not included in BPA programs

We rely on several sources for identifying and screening emerging technologies, including Technical Advisory Groups and the Northwest Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap.

Technical Advisory Groups
E3T engages stakeholders of electric power industries in the Northwest to create and sustain a community of experts to guide identification, assessment and dissemination of innovative energy-efficient end-use technologies. This effort results in the formation of Technical Advisory Groups (TAGs), which:

  • Identify and evaluate emerging technologies of interest
  • Coordinate the efforts of organizations in the Northwest
  • Maintain ties to expertise in our focus areas
Technology Advisory Groups

The first two active TAGs, both started in Spring 2009, focused on emerging technologies for lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning. In 2011, a TAG will convene to identify promising technologies for controls and energy management.

To learn more about the work conducted by the TAGs, download the following status reports:

National Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap Portfolio

BPA has been working with national stakeholders from more than 100 organizations to draft and maintain a National Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmap Portfolio. The portfolio identifies key drivers, products and services, technology characteristics, and research and development programs needed to help meet energy efficiency targets in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. These targets include (but are not limited to) the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s goal of achieving 85 percent of all load growth in the Northwest through 2030.

The first draft of the portfolio was released in 2010; in March 2012, BPA staff created an appendix identifying existing research & development programs linked to portfolio roadmaps. In August and September 2012 BPA worked closely with the Electric Power Research Institute, Portland State University Engineering and Technology Management Department, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and Washington State University Energy Program to convene a National Energy Efficiency Technology Roadmapping Summit. Participants from throughout North America contributed their expertise to revise significantly the residential and commercial sector roadmaps and this new content will appear in the March 2013 version of the portfolio.

The BPA Office of Technology Innovation uses these documents to guide their annual solicitation for proposals for research and development projects. Any and all institutions and organizations are invited to use the portfolio to meet their own business challenges.

BPA has facilitated the creation of the portfolio for the benefit of regional stakeholders, national collaborating institutions, and any other organizations seeking to learn more about energy efficient technologies applied to real-world applications. The document is updated and refined as needed, and BPA always welcomes critical review of the portfolio and appendices. The most recent versions of the portfolio and appendices will always be available through the BPA Energy Efficiency Emerging Technology (E3T) webpage.

Assessment and Demonstration Projects

Once a technology has been identified, it may advance through several screening and assessment stages. E3T uses a wide range of research methods to understand the business case for investment - assessing for criteria such as technology risk, regional energy savings potential, and barriers to delivery of cost-effective programs. Assessment methods generally progress from secondary research to primary research and demonstration.

Information on current and completed E3T assessment projects is available on the Projects and Reports page.

Development of New Energy Efficiency Programs

Assessment guides the development of energy-saving measures for implementation by BPA's Energy Efficiency organization. The agency develops a wide range of programs and initiatives that empower customers of public power utilities. These programs are characterized by reliable, cost-effective measures for improving the efficiency of electricity use in the Pacific Northwest.