Numark Associates Inc.

Measurement and Verification of Energy Savings

In cooperation with our affiliate, Econoler, NUMARK provides independent assistance in the development and evaluation of energy-efficiency projects. From determining baseline energy consumption to accelerating the contract negotiation process and verifying energy savings and greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, the NUMARK-Econoler team serves much like financial auditors by putting large energy users and their energy-efficiency contractors on solid footing when they state how much energy they have saved.

The measurement and verification (M&V) process begins at an early stage of project development when decisions are made on what type of energy-efficiency measures will be undertaken and how much energy savings and GHG reductions can be expected from them. We act as an independent third party, assisting with each step in the process. We can also assist with the preparation of bidding documents:

  • Preparing the request for Expression Of Interest (EOI)
  • Preparing the Request For Proposals (RFP)
  • Negotiating with the selected energy service contractor
  • Establishing baseline energy consumption levels
  • Monitoring of energy efficiency project implementation
  • Training of operations & maintenance staff
  • Selecting the method for measuring and verifying the performance of energy-efficiency measures

Why is measurement and verification important?

Energy efficiency projects do not always perform as anticipated for a variety of reasons. So it is important to accurately determine how much energy has actually been saved. This can be done in part through metering and sub-metering of facilities and equipment. But correct interpretation of the metered data is essential and involves adjusting the data for such things as temperature variations, changes in building occupancy and use, and the installation or removal of energy-consuming equipment. The final energy consumption figures are compared to an accurately determined baseline of energy use to come up with the energy savings figures.

Why is measurement and verification important for U.S. government agencies?

Executive orders require federal agencies to improve energy efficiency. In most cases, agencies contract out the work. Often, the agencies enter into energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) or utility energy service contracts (UESCs) in which contractors guarantee energy savings and are paid based on achieving those savings. Agencies often rely on the energy-efficiency contractors to document their own energy savings even in these cases where the contractor’s payment depends on achieving a certain level of savings. An independent set of eyes helps ensure that energy savings and GHG reductions are accurately measured and calculated.

How the NUMARK-Econoler team works with facility owners and energy service providers

We work with both the facility owner and the energy service provider at the front end to reduce misunderstandings, disagreements and delays in project negotiation and start-up. We develop an energy consumption baseline and an M&V plan acceptable to all parties. Based on internationally recognized and proven M&V protocols, we verify the energy savings achieved or reported compared to what was projected or anticipated. The verification process includes appraisal of the equipment installer’s calculations and suggesting improvements or modifications based on best practices. Typically, this entails both routine and special adjustments to the daily operations of a project.

Measurement and verification is particularly important as components of performance contracting agreements with Energy Service Companies (ESCOs). The contracts often do not specify how baselining, measurement, and verification of energy savings and GHG reduction will be conducted. In such circumstances, an independent third party can provide an unbiased determination of energy savings and GHG reductions.

NUMARK-Econoler offers a full range of M&V services, including:

  • Documenting baseline energy use data
  • Designing a user-friendly, real-time energy use data base for all energy usage
  • Developing project performance indicators for use in subsequent M&V activities
  • Applying internationally accepted protocols (IPMVP) for the measurement and verification of energy savings (www.evo-world.org)
  • Post-installation inspections of contractor work to ensure equipment has been properly installed and is operating optimally
  • Designing an energy savings tracking and reporting system linked to the baseline energy use data base
  • Validating the reports produced by the selected ESCO

What you get from a NUMARK-Econoler team:

  • Seasoned experts in the M&V industry (CMVP certified)
  • Extensive expertise with ESCOs and performance contracting
  • Member of the board of EVO, overseer of the International Performance Measurement & Verification Protocol (IPMVP)
  • Comprehensive training for facilities staff
  • Extensive experience in government, industrial, commercial and institutional sectors

Training for project managers, facility managers, and energy managers

We lead customized training workshops on the design and financing of energy-efficiency projects. Training can focus on how to:

  • Design, prioritize and manage energy-efficiency projects
  • Apply software tools to appraise the economic viability of various energy efficiency options, including the projection of project savings over time
  • Finance the project and identify sources of free or low-cost investment capital
  • Apply international protocols to measure and verify energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions
  • Prepare an RFP and review bids for an energy-efficiency performance contract

Examples of where NUMARK-Econoler have provided independent baselining, measurement, and verification (M&V) services for government agencies, utilities, hospitals, and industrial firms include:

  • Client: St. Johns University, New York (2009-2011) - We designed an M&V plan for the university’s energy service contract with an energy performance contractor. This involved analyzing the investment grade energy audit; proposing an approach to conducting M&V; reviewing the ESCO’s M&V approach and developing a series of recommendations on each energy and water conservation measure to verify savings in compliance with international protocols; and preparing an M&V template for tracking all energy consumption, energy savings, and related cost reductions.
  • Client: Hydro-Quebec Distribution, Canada (2009) - We evaluated energy savings achieved under the utility’s energy-efficiency program. This involved designing an M&V plan; conducting pre- and post-implementation energy consumption measurements; and analyzing and adjusting the consumption data to determine actual energy savings
  • Client: Toronto Hydro-Electric System Ltd., Canada (2011) - We drafted evaluation plans for the utility’s energy conservation and demand management program. This involved drafting an M&V plan; preparing a program logic model; projecting expected outputs and results; developing guidelines for verifying energy and peak savings; and developing metrics to track program progress.
  • Client: Demtroys Inc., Canada (2010-2011) - This company developed a technology to limit space heating over-capacity in buildings. We evaluated the performance of this technology. This involved review of Demtroy’s M&V plan; conducting site visits to compare two large buildings – one modified with the technology and the other serving as the reference building; analyzing and comparing the data from the two buildings and related heating degree days; comparing results from the analysis of the two buildings; and producing three savings reconciliation appraisals over the course of the 6-month test.
  • Client: CIMA+, Canada (2010-2011) - This company designed a large “green” expansion for the Societe des alcohols du Quebec (SAQ) and wanted an appraisal of the energy savings. We created an energy baseline through a simulation of the expansion with proprietary software; projected energy consumption for a baseline case and the green design case; developed an M&V plan to monitor savings; and measured energy consumption after the project was built.

Energy and Enviroment Expertise