Tracking Energy Efficiency with Measurement and Verification Plans

Contributor: Swinerton Blogger   |   December 28, 2016   |   Image Gallery »
Tracking Energy Efficiency with Measurement and Verification Plans

Measurement and Verification (M&V) is an increasingly common term being used within the energy efficiency and environmental communities. In simple terms, it is the process used to track the performance of a piece of equipment, a system, or an entire facility. In more technical terms, it is a “process of using measurement calculation and/or modeling to reliably determine actual energy/utility savings achieved within a facility by an energy management, energy conservation or energy efficiency project or program.” The industry standard for M&V is the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) which defines standard terms and suggests best practice for quantifying the results of energy efficiency investments. The IPMVP is a coalition of international organizations led by the United States.

The key to the success of any M&V project is the M&V plan. It defines how the savings analysis will be conducted. The plan compares the performance of a particular piece of equipment, system, or building to the performance of the same piece of equipment, system or building at an earlier time. It may also compare the performance to a predicted simulation. The plan encourages better project design, which results in better building operation and accounts for increased energy savings and reduced emissions.

An M&V plan should include a table or listing of the project’s energy end uses (electricity, including lighting, gas, chilled water, hot water, domestic water, and irrigation); a determination of which of the energy end uses are monitored; location of all monitoring devices; specific information regarding the baseline conditions established for the project; specific information regarding the method/frequency for data collection and analysis; specific information regarding the corrective action strategy if measured data deviates from the anticipated performance; and confirmation the M&V period covers a minimum of one year post construction.  

Swinerton Management & Consulting is currently assisting a community college district in implementing an M&V project. The scope consists of designing and constructing a replacement Energy Information System (EIS), upgrading the Building Management System (BMS) including replacement of controllers; installing approximately 167 meters (water, gas, and power); creating energy monitoring dashboards; and analytic services. When complete, the project will provide key upgrades to the existing systems and add necessary hardware/software systems to monitor, trend, analyze and control utility use across the District.