Photo courtesy of the U.S. Library of Congress

How to use the IPMVP Option C method to automatically calculate results from energy efficiency investments like a new compressor for that pony chiller in the mechanical room.

Say your team has worked hard to refine equipment scheduling and to craft an airtight staging sequence for Monday morning startups, or you fought during budgeting season for an LED upgrade, or the team is finally resolving persistent cycling of that pony chiller with a new compressor. How does measurement and verification help you report out on the investment results?

meter and weather data driven measurement & verification

Bringing meter and weather data together with advanced statistical model projections for accurate M&V.

The Efficiency Valuation Organization developed and maintains the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP), the gold standard for energy efficiency M&V.

Savings cannot be directly measured, since they represent the absence of energy use. Instead, savings are determined by comparing measured use before and after implementation of a project, making appropriate adjustments for changes in conditions. – EVO

As part of the recent Snapmeter upgrade, Gridium buildings now have access to the same measurement and verification technology that achieved best-in-class results in a comparative study conducted by the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs.

To run an M&V analysis in Snapmeter, all you need to do is choose an analysis period and a baseline period. Let the algorithms do all of the rest of other work. If your team performed an energy efficiency project in July, select June as your baseline period. The baseline period will include the 52 weeks up to and including the month that you’ve selected. Choose an analysis period where you expect to see the results from your project. The building charted above dropped its Monday morning peak demand charge about 20% (net) with improved scheduling and equipment staging.

Snapmeter builds a modeled projection of energy use–in your building–over the 52 weeks ending at the end of the baseline period selected. It then applies the actual weather data from the analysis period you selected to calculate the expected energy use during your analysis period and compares that expected use to the actual energy use during the analysis period. In this way, Snapmeter is reporting out on what would have been compared to what was.

This new Snapmeter methodology smoothes out the noise from the signal within the baseline period selected. By including in the baseline period 52 weeks of energy and weather data, your measurement and verification calculations will not be overly influenced by power outages, construction projects, or occupancy shifts. The baseline period reflects a more accurate, typical model of your building’s energy use profile.

That said, accurate analytics aren’t magic.

Did a big occupancy shift occur at the end of your baseline period? Or a major tenant moves in during your analysis period. Perhaps a bunch of trucks have been rolling up to your loading dock to drop of servers. We’ve seen it before! In short, beware confounding effects, and keep in mind the overall trend of energy use in your building.

baseload trending for measurement and verification

Snapmeter’s baseload trend sets the context for your interpretation of its measurement and verification calculations.

There are other ways to triangulate the results of energy efficiency projects, including utility bill variance disaggregation and temperature response curves (which we’ll explore later). Let us know of any questions!

About Millen Paschich

Millen has been thinking about the built environment since he was four, when he started with site walks on residential construction projects. He began his career at Cambridge Associates and has an MBA from UCLA. Talk to him about bicycling, buildings, businesses, and green chile burritos!

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