What is Measurement and Verification?
Measurement and Verification (M&V) is the process using metered energy use data, trending, and sub-metering to test and validate the energy performance of a project once implementation has been substantially completed. The M&V process can provide important feedback to a building owners and operators on the relative “success” an energy efficiency or savings project was by documenting actual results. A number of published protocols exist and are often followed so that actual results documentation can be considered as verified savings performance. Depending on the project, the M&V process can involve pre-project performance documentation, documentation of performance during implementation and construction, and post-completion documentation.
M&V Protocol and Value Proposition
A key element to providing valuable information to a client during the M&V process is by using a clearly defined testing and measurement protocol. The International Performance Measurement & Verification Protocol (IPMVP) is a generally accepted set of M&V protocols. Often, individual utility energy efficiency programs will reference IPMVP, ASHRAE, or their own specific protocols. In general, SEG follows one of these referenced protocols to create an acceptable basis of accurate measurement and replicable M&V methodology.
In today’s market, the value proposition for M&V can vary greatly from project to project. We have found the following value statements to be most meaningful in our experience.
1. Ongoing M&V related feedback can help insure maximum performance for both new construction and retrofit projects. Feedback during construction can often result in performance-related adjustment to controls and final balancing that help insure that design energy goals are met.
2. Verified post-construction savings documented through a M&V process are often the most meaningful and understood performance metric for project owners and decision-makers. For an institutional owner of multiple buildings, verified savings on one project can be the basis for ongoing organizational commitments to energy efficiency in future projects.
3. M&V is a requirement for some projects, associated with the external program context in which the project is being funded and built. Delivering this M&V effort in a reliable and time-effective manner is essential to satisfying this requirement in a way that delivers high value to the project.
4. M&V activities are a logical integrative element of comprehensive commissioning and re-commissioning efforts. Market acceptance and acknowledgement of this potential integration is still relatively rare, but offers value in setting up energy efficient buildings to continue to improve their energy and environmental performance over the life of the building.
Recent M&V Projects