Solving the Problem of Quantifying Efficiency

July 2019


An AEE Educational Series Webinar

The fundamental practicality of energy efficiency has been evident for as long as humans have been harnessing energy to meet their needs. As energy use of all kinds became more prominent in developed countries in the past century, the practicality of energy efficiency became an opportunity for enterprising businesses. Why not make reasonable investments to upgrade systems so that they provide the same or better performance while using less energy? While the logic of efficiency is indisputable, the methods to quantify it are fraught with challenges that often lead to disputes. And how does one quantify the product of an energy efficiency project (aka “savings”)? While it can be simple to measure the system of interest before and after a project, is that enough to determine the success of the project – unequivocally? History tells us… no. From the beginning of the industry, projects and programs ran into trouble when parties could not agree on what evidence should be used to demonstrate the success of energy efficiency investments when environmental and operational conditions are not stable. And conditions are not stable almost all the time. Twenty five years ago the energy efficiency community in the US began to address this fundamental issue by adopting standard terminology and methods for setting up processes to quantify energy efficiency. The general term for these methods became “Measurement and Verification”. The foundation of these methods is a unique M&V plan for every project. The fundamentals of M&V have not changed much since those early days. Whether you are applying ASHRAE Guideline 14, the FEMP Guideline, or the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP), you have choices in the level and duration of measurements that will be used to quantify the efficiency project. But applying the protocols requires adopting standard terminology and adherence to principals. This webinar will provide a brief background on common M&V methods, the latest developments in M&V.

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