FHPSB Technical Guidance

Measurement and Verification

General Principles and Commitments

In accordance with DOE guidelines issued under section 103 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct), install building level utility meters in new major construction and renovation projects to track and continuously optimize performance. Compare actual performance data from the first year of operation with the energy design target. After one year of occupancy, measure all new major installations using the ENERGY STAR® Benchmarking Tool for building and space types covered by ENERGY STAR®. Enter data and lessons learned from sustainable buildings into the High Performance Buildings Database.

Technical Guidance

Introduction

Measurement and verification (M&V), sometimes known as monitoring and verification, is a means for gauging performance using measured data. M&V processes are typically applied to substantiate savings from energy efficiency, water conservation, and emissions reductions projects. The two primary purposes of M&V are: 1) risk management, related to performance-based financing mechanisms, by verifying actual savings achieved from implementing performance-based measures; and 2) identifying anomalies in system performance that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. In addition to identifying when performance problems are occurring, M&V data can also be used to diagnose where the problems lie and give clues as to how to correct the problems.

A metering plan must include a strategy for using the installed metering system to extract useful information and realize the benefits. Reports of utility use should be delivered to those with a need for the information, such as budgeting and maintenance staff. A system to collect, analyze, archive and report on the meter data must be set up within the organization or contracted through a provider of such services, which may be a very cost effective way to extract value from the M&V program for a small organization.

For many projects, savings may be verified with a minimum of measurement and at a minimum cost. Other projects call for a more rigorous approach to measurement and verification. In general, the more rigorous the verification requirements, the more expensive the verification process will be.

Factors that affect measurement and verification costs include:

  • Level of detail and effort associated with verifying baseline and post-installation surveys
  • Sample sizes (number of data points) used for metering representative equipment
  • Duration and accuracy of metering activities
  • Confidence and precision levels specified for energy savings analysis
  • Number and complexity of dependent and independent variables that are metered or accounted for in analyses
  • Availability of existing data collecting systems
  • Degree to which the data collection, analysis and reporting are automated
  • Contract term

Major Resources

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