As energy efficiency is becoming a crucial part of property management, the need for proper savings documentation has never been more important. The International Performance Measurement and Verification (IPMVP) works to standardize this process and lay out the framework for M&V analyses. It has become increasingly in everyone’s interest to be informed of the predicted savings and achievements of these savings, especially:
- Energy users and managers who need structured methods to verify their achievements in projects and maintain their certifications
- Potential purchasers of energy efficiency project equipment who have expectations and goals before investing
- Those who have already implemented energy conservation measures and want feedback on the effectiveness of their efforts to know if adjustments need to be made
- Governments, utilities, and investors need to know that the reported savings from these projects are backed by an industry accepted protocol
Overall, following a process where energy savings can be reported with transparency is vital to the acceptance of energy efficiency project proposals.
Overview of IPMVP Options:
To actually determine and quantify the savings, there are four IPMVP options (A, B, C, D) pertaining to the needs of the M&V analysis and reporting. If performance reporting needs to be at the facility level, option C or D is favorable. On the contrary, if only the performance of the specific isolated energy conservation measure (ECM) retrofit needs to be reported, options A, B, or D are more suitable. The four options provided are:
IPMVP Option A:
Retrofit Isolation (Key Parameter Measurement) – Savings are quantified by field measurement of only the key performance parameter(s) which define the energy use of the systems affected by the ECM retrofit. Parameters not selected for measurement are estimated through the use of historical data and engineer recommendations. Adjustments can be routine or non-routine.
- Example application: Lighting retrofits where the key performance parameter is the power draw, and hours of use is estimated through facility schedules and occupant’s behaviors
IPMVP Option B:
Retrofit Isolation (All Parameter Measurement) – Savings are quantified by field measurement of the actual energy use of the systems affected by the ECM retrofit. The frequency of measurement ranges from short-term to continuous, depending on what variations are expected throughout the reporting period. Adjustments can be routine or non-routine.
- Example application: Variable-speed drive and controls added to a motor to monitor pump flow. A kW smart meter installed on the motor to measure electric power every minute. Meter stays in place over the length of the entire reporting period to signal any variations in power use.
IPMVP Option C:
Whole Facility – Savings are quantified by measuring energy use at the whole facility or sub-facility over a given reporting period. Measurements are recorded continuously throughout the length of the reporting period. Adjustments can be routine or non-routine.
- Example application: Energy management program affecting many different systems in the facility. Energy use is measured with the utility meters over a twelve-month baseline period and throughout the reporting period.
IPMVP Option D:
Calibrated Simulation – Savings are determined through a simulation of the energy use of the whole facility or sub-facility. The simulation aims to demonstrate and model actual projected energy performance.
- Example application: An energy management program will affect many different systems in the whole facility, but there have been no meters installed in the baseline period.
Determining which IPMVP option is best for your energy efficiency project is based on the individual project conditions, analysis, budget, and various project-specific characteristics. Do you want to measure the facility or the ECM performance? Are you able to isolate the ECM with meter(s)? Do you know the significance of all energy driving independent variables? IPMVP offers a suggestion chart to decipher which option works for your M&V needs:
Understanding the IPMVP guidelines can be challenging without the help of industry professionals. EnergyWatch offers M&V services to its clients and partners through our watchwire platform, where meter readings and any necessary independent variable(s) data are integrated and analyzed to automate your M&V calculations and simplify your energy savings reporting.