Step VII: Perform Proper Measurement & Verification
What is measurement & verification?
Measurement & Verification or M&V is a very critical step in any energy management process. According to Noresco, M&V is defined as follows:
Measurement and Verification (M&V) is a formal, systematic process for determining the functional and energy saving performance of a building’s energy-using systems.
According to the United States Department of Energy, measurement & verification, which is often referred to “Energy Savings Performance Contract” (‘ESPC’), is broken down into a four step process. These steps include.
- Determining baselines and estimated savings.
- Developing the M&V plan.
- Developing the post-installation M&V report, which is part of conducting post-installation M&V activities.
- Performing annual M&V, which is part of the annual M&V activities.
We have already covered creating a proper baseline during the 7 steps to successfully installing LED lighting, so for purposes of this post, we are going to focus mostly on steps 3 and 4.
It is also important to note that according to the Department of Energy there are three phases of the ESPC process.
Developing Post-installation M&V report.
This step in the measurement and verfication process can be quite daunting and therefore it is the step in any energy conservation measure project that is most often skipped or completely overlooked. To properly create an M&V report you may need to complete a number of activities which include:
- On site surveys
- Inspections of the ECM
- Spot measurements
This report should also take into consideration the baseline that was created before the project was implemented.
This report can be as simple or complex as you want. At the end of the day, the thing to keep in mind here is that you are trying to measure the return on investment for your ROI. Unless you have executed your ECM through performance contracting. There is no need to worry about creating an overly complex report.
There are a number of ways to create your M&V report. Many people start with a spreadsheet similar to what was used to create the base line and then update the spreadsheet monthly to see if there are any savings. There are a number of problems with doing it this way, which include weather normalization and data integrity.
The easiest way to create an M&V report is through ongoing energy metering. Energy metering should be a critical step in any energy conservation measure. By having proper metering and an energy management software such as Vitality, you can automatically track and create your own M&V report no matter how complex it needs to be.
Performing Annual Measurement & Verification
At the minimum, the equipment installed during the energy conservation measure should be inspected and maintained properly by either yourself or the company who installed the equipment. During this time the company should create for you their own measurement and verification report.
It is important during any maintenance and inspection that you assign your representative to assist the installing company during their time on-site. This is to help create as independent and unbiased report as possible.
You may also want to consider hiring a third party company to assist with the measurement and verification. Some government incentive and rebate programs require third party M&V, so it is also important to make sure you are meeting all incentive requirements.
By having a comprehensive metering platform with the right energy management software, this whole process can be automated making your measurement and verification processes more simple, allowing you to focus on finding and executing your next ECM.
Review of the 7 steps to a successful LED so far.
- Identify high wattage fixtures and lamps.
- Investigate the possibility of removing fixtures and/or lamps.
- Consider all types of LED lamps and fixtures
- Create a proper baseline.
- Install New LED Lighting and Controls.
- Capture All Available Rebates & Incentives