Heating, Airconditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI) announced today the formation of the Center for Energy Efficiency Optimization (CEEO).

The CEEO will be a subsidiary of the HARDI Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization dedicated to researching wholesale distribution’s role, contribution, impact, and opportunities to advance the adoption of energy-saving technologies and practices in residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial applications, including renewable energy technologies.

The CEEO will not be trade-specific, but rather provide a central hub and vehicle for any wholesale distribution interests to explore, quantify, and grow their role in driving energy efficiency in their respective industries. It is the goal of the CEEO to become the central and predominant source for cutting edge research on wholesale distribution’s influence on the adoption and use of energy-saving technologies.

"HARDI believes wholesale distributors- especially within the HVACR channel- play an integral role in the success of energy efficiency incentive programs but there’s been very little research or quantification of that role to date," said executive vice president, Talbot Gee. "I’m excited about the CEEO’s formation because for the first time those responsible for managing the billions of energy efficiency program dollars will have a single source knowledge base on how to maximize energy savings in just about any vertical sector."

The first Center for Energy Efficiency Optimization research project will focus on quantifying HVACR wholesale distribution’s impact in and opportunity with residential HVAC efficiency programs.. The research project is scheduled to begin mid-July and is being conducted through a strategic partnership with the nonprofit organization Vermont Efficiency Investment Corporation (VEIC), a leading authority on energy efficiency incentive programs.

This initial CEEO research project is designed to provide a better understanding of the dynamics between distributors and contractors as well as the supply chain barriers to residential HVAC efficiency program success. Surveys and research will be conducted to identify how successful residential HVAC efficiency programs are currently and the role that HVAC distributors are, could and should be playing to maximize those programs’ effectiveness.

"This opportunity for the Foundation reinforces HARDI’s ongoing efforts to assist members frustrated with the difficulties of dealing with energy efficiency programs in their respective markets. The mission of the Foundation to support research in the HVACR industry provides an excellent means to advance yet another valuable contribution to HARDI members." stated Don Frendberg, HARDI chairman.

The Vermont Energy Investment Corporation is a mission-driven nonprofit organization, founded in 1986, dedicated to reducing the economic, social, and environmental costs of energy consumption through cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies. VEIC has consulted in 28 states, 6 Canadian Provinces and 7 countries outside North America to design programs that reduce energy use through energy efficiency and renewable energy. In addition, VEIC operates Efficiency Vermont – the nation's first statewide energy efficiency utility – as well as other implementation services across the country. For more information: www.veic.org.

The HARDI Foundation, founded in 2003, exists to launch and support educational and research programs within the HVACR industry designed to reinforce and strengthen the role, value, and effectiveness of wholesale distribution