PORTLAND, Ore. — Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) have partnered to develop a new energy efficiency certification for industrial refrigeration operators in the Northwest with the possibility of expanding nationally.

Training to become a Certified Refrigeration Energy Specialist (CRES) is designed to give Northwest refrigeration operators, technicians, managers, and other refrigeration professionals the skills and capabilities to optimize the energy efficiency of their plants, discover low- and no-cost savings, gain a competitive edge, and differentiate themselves in the marketplace.

To kick off CRES in the Northwest, NEEA held three demonstration training sessions for refrigeration operators and technicians in the Seattle; Boise, Idaho; and Yakima, Wash., areas. The training helped participants gain the knowledge and hands-on capabilities needed to meet RETA’s CRES requirements, including passing an examination and completing and documenting five energy management activities.

NEEA and RETA are also exploring options to develop RETA CRES certification into a national program for all RETA members and refrigeration professionals.

“RETA couldn’t have gotten CRES launched without NEEA as a partner in the Northwest. NEEA brings key players together to get big things done,” said Don Tragethon, RETA’s executive director. “Our members will be able to help their companies be even more sustainable, competitive, and safe.”

Industrial refrigeration comprises nearly 9 percent of the Northwest’s regional industrial electric energy load, said the organization. Typical cost reductions are expected to be about 3 to 7 percent in refrigeration electricity use after a year or more of consistent effort by a CRES certified operator. Operators must complete additional energy management activities every three years plus continuing education to maintain certification.

“During the certification process, our industrial customers can implement low-cost, no-cost types of energy efficiency improvement based upon the technical training they received,” said Randy Thorn, engineering project leader in Idaho Power Customer Operations. “By partnering with NEEA, we’re able to bring more knowledge and experience into our service area and leverage that knowledge and experience to our customers.”

Results of the CRES pilot will be unveiled at the RETA 2013 National Conference in Bellevue, Wash. The annual conference brings RETA members together from around the world and includes educational programming, new technologies, and scholarship programs for end-users, operators, and technicians.

NEEA will also premiere a video that helps illustrate the advantages of CRES certification, the enthusiasm of participating companies, and how participants are increasing their energy efficiency knowledge and competitive edge.

“NEEA, our partners, and our utility funders are leading the way for the region’s industrial refrigeration operators to better manage and save energy in their facilities, across the Northwest, and potentially the entire nation,” said Lori Rhodig, initiative manager, NEEA.

To find out more about the CRES certification program, go to neea.org/CRES.

For more information on the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, visit www.neea.org. For more information on Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association, visit www.reta.com.

Publication date: 11/4/2013

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