News & Press: RETA News

NEEA and RETA Launch Certification Program

Thursday, September 12, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Mark Alpert

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) recently partnered to develop a new energy efficiency certification for industrial refrigeration operators across the Northwest and the US.

Certified Refrigeration Energy Specialist (CRES) gives 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-start CRES in the Northwest, NEEA held three demonstration trainings for refrigeration operators and technicians in the Seattle, Boise and Yakima areas. The trainings 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 nine percent of the Northwest’s regional industrial electric energy load. Typical cost reductions are about three to seven percent 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 expanded 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.

Find more information on the CRES certification program at

About the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance - The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is an alliance of more than 100 Northwest utilities and energy efficiency organizations working on behalf of more than 13 million energy consumers. NEEA leverages its strong regional partnerships to effect market transformation by accelerating the adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices. Since 1997, NEEA and its partners – including Avista Utilities, Bonneville Power Administration, Chelan County PUD, Clark Public Utilities, Cowlitz PUD, Eugene Water & Electric Board, Energy Trust of Oregon, Idaho Power, NorthWestern Energy, Pacific Power, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, Snohomish County Public Utilities, and Tacoma Power –have saved enough energy to power more than 600,000 homes each year. Energy efficiency can offset most of our new demand for energy, saving money and keeping the Northwest a healthy and vibrant place to live.

Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association
Toll Free: 844.801.3711 · Phone: 541.497.2955 · Fax: 541.497.2966
1725 Ferry St SW, Albany, OR 97322