Future of SEM Resources: NEEA Special Funding

Our Ask of Your Organization and Next Steps

Our Ask

NEEA requests feedback from the Strategic Energy Management (SEM) Funder Working Group about moving forward with the partners mentioned below. If the group approves, NEEA will enter into legal agreements with these partners, establish a timeline for the transition and final handoff of these SEM tools and resources, and develop a plan that will be communicated to funders. To help us through this process, please:

  1. Consider the needs your organization have for transitioning its use of these tools. NEEA will distribute a survey and timeline for next steps in January.
  2. Contact Suzi Asmus by Tuesday, Oct. 24, if your organization would like to schedule a one-on-one with NEEA to discuss this proposed path forward in more detail.
  3. Attend the NEEA/SEM Funder Working Group meeting from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (PDT) on Thursday, Nov. 2, to finalize a decision about the proposed partners below. A formal invitation will be sent by mid-October.

Proposed Partners and Plans

After the January 2023 Special Funders Working Group meeting, NEEA reached out to many organizations—including utilities, implementers, and regional and national for-profits and nonprofits—that could be potential future administrators or owners of some or all the available materials. The following organizations have stated their interest:

  • U.S. Department of Energy—in collaboration with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)would like to take over the EMA Tool and make it publicly available along with the LBNL 50001 Ready resources for three to five years before retiring the tool. Additional consideration:
    • The EMA Tool white label (i.e. utility-branded versions) would no longer be supported.
  • North American SEM Collaborative would like to take over the SEMHub.com content, Commercial & Industrial Energy Talk Cards, and online learning videos. Additional considerations:
    • For the foreseeable future, the North American SEM Collaborative will continue to house the tools and make them accessible on their website.
    • The North American SEM Collaborative anticipates they can maintain SEMHub.com content and Energy Talk Cards.
    • Because they are a newer organization, their long-term funding structure is still being determined. At this time, they cannot commit to continued development of new content or refreshing of these tools.
    • New online learning management system (LMS) interactive videos will not be developed, nor will existing content be refreshed. Instead, they will be hosted as-is on the collaborative’s YouTube channel. Some investment will be required to transfer the interactive format of the LMS to a static video-only content.
    • Support for existing white label LMS sites will cease.

A Look Ahead: 2024

During 2024, NEEA will finalize contracts and agreements with the new partners, and execute the transition so by Sunday, Dec. 31, all assets are fully transferred, tested, and supported. NEEA will also ensure all SEM Special Funders are consulted about their future access to the tools and supporting the transition.

Historical Information

In early 2022, NEEA presented to the SEM Funder Working Group about the future of the alliance’s SEM budget, tools, and the NW SEM Collaborative. Mid-year, NEEA interviewed each of the SEM funding organizations to explore their perspectives on the value, use, reliance on, and desired future for the tools and resources. NEEA also interviewed five of the primary Northwest SEM implementation firms and three additional primary users of the tools. In December, NEEA presented the interview results, and reviewed tool-use data and budget constraints. Options for the final two years of the budget cycle and possible future of the tools were also discussed.

In January 2023, the SEM Funder Working Group further discussed remaining budget cycle investments and planning for the future of the tools and resources.

For more information about the SEM tools, roles of the SEM Funder Working Group, or the upcoming transition, please contact Suzi Asmus.

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