NEEA and RETA develop new efficiency certification for industrial refrigeration operators

Organizations in the Northwest gain competitiveness while cutting costs through NEEA's training and certification programs

Feb 06, 2013, 12:00 ET from Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) and the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) have recently partnered to develop a new energy efficiency certification for industrial refrigeration operators.

NEEA continues to successfully increase energy efficiency in the Northwest by partnering with utilities and industry groups to train and certify key professionals in the Northwest.

Certified Refrigeration Energy Specialist, or CRES, gives refrigeration operators, technicians, managers and other refrigeration professionals the knowledge to manage energy usage and find low- and no-cost savings in their plants. CRES certification involves demonstrating understanding of basic refrigeration concepts such as CARO-level knowledge, passing a CRES exam and completing and documenting five low- and no-cost energy efficiency activities. Additional activities and professional development hours (PDH) will be required for recertification.

Industrial refrigeration represents a great opportunity, comprising nearly 9 percent of the Northwest's regional industrial electric energy load. Energy efficiency also helps cold storage and food processing industries improve productivity, product quality, safety, and be more competitive.

"The RETA CRES training and certification is a coordinated, regional effort that will complement and support utility programs and create a market for refrigeration operators trained and certified in energy efficiency best practices," said Susan E. Stratton, executive director, NEEA. "Our partnership with RETA is a key first step in transforming the industrial refrigeration market in the Northwest."

Through CRES certification, refrigeration operators will learn how to optimize energy efficiency of compressors, condensers, and evaporators, track facility energy use, develop energy management tactics, and reduce their company's energy costs.

"One of RETA's goals for the Certified Refrigeration Energy Specialist program is for the hands-on operator to gain more appreciation and respect from their employers by successfully acquiring this credential and making a positive difference to the bottom line where they work," said Don Tragethon, executive director, RETA.

With CRES practices, energy use is reduced by 2 percent to as much as 9 percent over several years, depending on the energy efficiency opportunities found. Operators continuously improve the energy efficiency of their plants by renewing their certification every three years with additional activities and education. 

RETA's Puget Sound Chapter hosted the first six-session CRES demonstration training for operators and technicians from industrial refrigeration companies. Trident Seafoods provided a training location and hands-on opportunities for learning during the four month program.

Attended by more than a dozen participants, including Trident Seafoods, Darigold, Lineage/Seafreeze and PermaCold Engineering, those that complete the training will sit for the CRES certification exam when it becomes available.

Other CRES pilot trainings will follow in Idaho and Central Washington and results of the Puget Sound pilot will be unveiled at the RETA National Conference in fall 2013 in Bellevue, Wash.

For more information on RETA training, visit

About the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) is a non-profit organization working to accelerate energy efficiency to meet our future energy needs. NEEA is supported by and works in collaboration with the Bonneville Power Administration, Energy Trust of Oregon and more than 100 Northwest utilities on behalf of more than 12 million energy consumers. NEEA uses the market power of the region to accelerate the innovation and adoption of energy-efficient products, services and practices. Since 1997, NEEA and its partners have saved enough energy to power more than 600,000 homes each year. Energy efficiency can satisfy more than half of our new demand for energy, saving money and keeping the Northwest a healthy and vibrant place to live.

About the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA)
The Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) is the most recognized organization in the country dedicated to the professional development of industrial refrigeration operators and technicians. More than 4,300 individuals and companies worldwide maintain RETA membership.

Founded in 1910, RETA is an international society of individuals and companies involved in the design, operation and service of industrial refrigeration systems. With a mission of education RETA provides up-to-date information on all aspects of the industry and has a library of instructional materials used by individuals and training organizations.

RETA's certification programs are the only ANSI-accredited program of their kind in the country. With these efforts, RETA ensures that operators and technicians are equipped with the knowledge to operate their equipment safely and efficiently. 

SOURCE Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance