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Certified Refrigeration Specialists Reduce Facility Energy Up to 9%

NEEA logoThe Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) in collaboration with Idaho Power and the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) have piloted a new energy efficiency certification for industrial refrigeration operators in the utility’s service area.

The Certified Refrigeration Energy Specialist, or CRES certification, gives refrigeration operators, technicians, managers and other refrigeration professionals the knowledge to manage energy usage and find savings in their plants. CRES practices can reduce a facility’s energy use by 2 to 9 percent within the first year with continued savings thereafter, according to the partners.

CRES certification involves demonstrating strong understanding of basic refrigeration concepts such as Certified Assistant Refrigeration Operator (CARO)-level knowledge, passing a CRES exam and completing and documenting five low- and no-cost energy efficiency activities.

Through CRES certification, refrigeration operators will learn how to optimize energy efficiency of equipment such as compressors, condensers and evaporators and to track facility energy use and develop energy management tactics to reduce their company’s energy costs. Operators continuously improve the energy efficiency of their plants by renewing their certification every three years with additional activities and education.

Industrial refrigeration represents nearly 9 percent of the Northwest’s regional industrial electric energy load.

Idaho Power partnered with the RETA Boise Chapter to host the six-session CRES demonstration training for operators and technicians from industrial refrigeration companies. WinCo and Heinz provided training locations and hands-on opportunities for learning during the four-month program. More than a dozen organizations participated, including Americold, Darigold, Heinz, Meadow Gold and Simplot. (Those operators that complete the training will sit for the CRES certification exam when it becomes available starting this fall and offered throughout the region).

Other CRES pilot trainings will follow in Central Washington, and results from the Boise pilot and of the Puget Sound pilot conducted earlier this year will be unveiled at the RETA National Conference in fall 2013 in Bellevue, Wash.

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