To accomplish the goal of accelerating technologies to widespread adoption, ET has established a process that is comprised of four stages:
Stage 1: Scan
During this stage, ET scans the landscape for the most promising new energy saving technologies. ET collaborates with both regional and national organizations to cast a broad net during the search. A diverse panel of experts shares their knowledge of what is currently available and what other R&D activities are underway.
Stage 2: Screen
During this stage, technologies are prioritized based on energy savings estimates, cost, and ease of adoption. Additional screening criteria are also considered at this stage, including whether a technology can help BPA and Northwestern utilities accomplish strategic goals and whether a technology offers other benefits to customers or the electric grid. Those technologies with the greatest promise move on to further assessment.
Stage 3: Assess
During this stage, products are evaluated in the laboratory and in the field to confirm that actual performance lives up to expectations. BPA often partners with its utility customers in field tests as part of these assessments. Field testing can also help us understand non-energy performance criteria, like enhanced comfort and improved user experience, or excessive noise and difficult operation. These non-energy criteria influence the likelihood of a new technology being adopted by consumers.