Owning and operating a high-performance building is an ongoing process that requires the monitoring of building systems. This section will explain the steps you should take to ensure that your building is operating at peak performance.
Evaluation, Monitoring, and Verification (EM&V)
Once you’ve invested in an energy upgrade of your building, you want to make sure that the technologies are performing as promised. If your new lighting system is supposed to reduce your bill by 30%, how can you be sure that it did? Evaluation, monitoring, and verification (EM&V) of your new energy efficiency investment is essential to ensuring that you achieve the maximum energy savings.
EM&V protocols exist to help identify which building systems is decreasing energy use so you can be sure that the investment you made is paying you back. However, measuring the energy that you don’t use is inherently difficult. Energy use fluctuates on a second-to-second basis, and even if your energy use decreases, can you be sure that it is because of the lighting upgrade, or did it decrease because it was cooler outside and your building used less air conditioning? Because there’s no way to meter how much energy you’ve saved, EM&V systems use advanced computer modeling, equipment measurements, energy bills, tenant and building operator surveys, and assumed savings for certain building equipment to generate an accurate estimate of energy saved.
There are a number of existing EM&V protocols, and you should work with your energy service company or contractor to choose which system suits your particular needs. Below is a list of existing EM&V protocols and resources for your information:
- International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP)
Efficiency Valuation Organization (EVO)
- Energy Efficiency Program Impact Evaluation Guide
U.S. Department of Energy, State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network
- Uniform Methods Project
U.S. Department of Energy
- EM&V Webinar Series
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- EM&V Harmonization Forum
Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership (NEEP)
- Regional Technical Forum
Northwest Power and Conservation Council