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Measurement & Verification

M&V provides the proof that an energy savings plan works

The field of measurement and verification (M&V) of energy savings has matured in the last decade. Quality Energy has found that any discussion of monitoring energy savings must address both objective and subjective issues raised in the evaluation of an energy conservation measure (ECM). The recently revised and updated International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) provide our customers with good information and a safe method for verifying energy savings.

A good M&V plan starts with an analysis of the proposed ECM, but must also include a choice of one of the IPMVP options to be applied. Selecting an IPMVP option also helps to isolate the variables to be metered along with the duration and frequency of such measurements. These options include:

- Partially Measured Retrofit Isolation
- Retrofit Isolation
- Whole Building Method
- Calibrated Simulation
- End Use Metering

M&V has two components-cost and precision. Cost includes metering and the analysis required to measure savings. Precision is an issue for the calculations or metered values. Technological advances have reduced the cost of metering building energy systems. However, the complex nature of the performance of some systems requires more than just metering.

There are many reasons to use measurement & verification strategies properly applied, measurement & verification can:

- Define the baseline performance
- Accurately assess energy savings for a project
- Allocate risks & reduce uncertainties to reasonable levels
- Ensure that the customer only pays for realized savings
- Monitor equipment performance & verify savings guarantee is   met
- Find additional ongoing energy & process savings
- Improve operations & maintenance
- Allow for future adjustments & ongoing improvement

Quality Energy works with the most current best practice techniques available for verifying results of energy-efficiency and renewable-energy projects. Determining energy savings, in most circumstances, is not a precise exercise. It always requires a tradeoff between accuracy and cost. The set of guidelines outlined in the IPMVP can help when developing a cost-effective strategy for determining energy savings for a variety of energy efficiency projects.

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