The importance of consistent and reliable M&V – Enter IPVMP

Tuesday 12th December 2017

As a company we discovered the world of measurement and verification through requirement – we wanted to show our customers that energy saving projects that we had completed were delivering visible savings.  Particularly around the time of the 2008 downturn, when many of our industrial customers were struggling to find a budget for energy improvements, clients wanted to see investments delivering savings, and rightly so.

We started off by simply saying that we would check savings using the sub-meter data.  This sounds fairly foolproof, and in many cases gave clear savings data.  But quickly we began to come across anomalies.  In some cases the causes and subsequent adjustment for these were obvious, such as using degree day data for heating or cooling projects.  For others it took more investigation, such as finding that a user has made changes to set points.  Analysis on a case by case basis became time consuming, and would sometimes lead to stakeholders from all sides contributing information that were possible causes of an anomaly – all after the event.

IPMVP (the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol) is rare in the world of standards in that it addressed all of the issues that we were having, without adding more issues of its own!  It is very much designed with all stakeholders and users in mind, useful calculation methods for the verifier, as well as boundaries and agreements to provide managers carrying out the energy saving projects with peace of mind and simplicity.  Needless to say, it is a very useful piece of guidance for us.  E2 will often complete energy saving projects on a ‘share of savings’ basis, where project management fees are paid based on the savings achieved over the subsequent year.  This gives our clients reassurance that not only will we ensure savings are being made at the time of installation, but where possible we will monitor the performance in order to catch any issues in the months following.  Having an IPMVP framework in place to measure the savings that has been agreed upon by all parties is invaluable.

During our recent outing to MAVCON, the annual Measurement and Verification Conference, we were reminded that, whilst growing, the world of energy measurement and verification is still fairly small.  There were names from big facilities and controls companies and small independents alike, but it became clear that most participants were on familiar terms with the event organisers – mostly through having received training with them.  Although this made for a very friendly and open debating atmosphere, it highlights that there aren’t that many of us measurement and verification nuts out there.

So this month I have started wearing my M&V badge with pride on my email signature – Abby Davey, CMVP!

For more information on energy saving projects and measuring savings, and how E2 can support you, please see the Services section of the website.