February 27, 2006

Nominations open for Energy Star market transformation awards

Nominations are due by March 6, 2006 for Canada's Energy Star Market Transformation Awards. These awards are presented annually to companies and organizations that have surpassed the competition in offering Canadians the most energy-efficient product, technology or service available on the market. Winners will be announced at the next Energy Star Participants' Recognition Awards dinner in Toronto on May 4, 2006.

The Market Transformation Awards are part of a special series created by Natural Resources Canada's Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE) to acknowledge significant energy efficiency actions and achievements at the sectoral level. Unlike Canada's Energy Efficiency Awards (also run by the OEE) which extend across all sectors of the economy, these "tier two" awards are specific to OEE programs and celebrate innovative solutions to overcome market barriers, change consumer behaviour, increase product availability and ensure a sustainable market.

Awards are available in three broad categories: Energy Star Manufacturer of the Year, Energy Star Retailer of the Year (national and regional), and Energy Star Advocates. The Advocates category includes: utilities (large and local distribution companies), general participants (e.g. governments, non-government organizations) and recruits.

To be eligible for an award, the company or organization must be a registered and active participant in the Energy Star program in Canada, and must be in compliance with the Energy Star labelling guidelines. The energy performance of the product or technology must have been verified, based on the requirements of the technical specifications. And the product, technology or installation must meet applicable standards, codes and industry guidelines. Energy Star participants may nominate themselves or other participants.

Nominations are assessed on the basis of how the nominees have addressed the "Five A's" of market transformation:

1. Availability: Is the product or technology readily available in the market? Are its energy efficiency benefits/savings adequately documented and demonstrated? Is information on the product or technology easily available?

2. Awareness: Is the market aware of the product/technology/information? Have the energy benefits/savings been adequately promoted and demonstrated? Is there information on the product's packaging to raise awareness of its quality and performance? Is the market being made aware of practices governing the product/technology (e.g., standards, guidelines, policies).

3. Accessibility: Is the product/technology/information easily accessible to the end-user? What marketing tools and distribution channels are being used to distribute the product/technology/information widely and meet sales objectives?

4. Affordability: Is the product/technology affordable to the end-user? Are consumers satisfied with its benefits/savings (can this be documented)? Is the product or technology cost-competitive with similar products on the market?

5. Acceptability: Is the product/technology popular among consumers (e.g. documented through surveys and other research)? Did the organization do anything special to gain consumer acceptance or buy-in?

Nominations must be accompanied by supporting documents such as promotional materials, advertisements, photographs, testimonials or market research reports. Full details may be found on the OEE Web site, http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/energystar/english/, or requested from Julie Doucet at OEE, 613/947- 2319.

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