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What is IPMVP?

  • April 18, 2018

Whether you have invested in new equipment or just implemented a new energy efficiency operational strategy, it is wise to measure and verify your energy savings.  Measurement and Verification (M&V) is the process of planning, measuring, collecting, and analyzing data for the purpose of verifying and reporting your energy savings within your facility resulting from the implementation of energy conservation measures (ECMs).  Many projects have ambiguous outcomes or ones that do not directly lower an energy bill, thus resulting in being considered a failure.  However, this is often not the case.  In an effort to tackle this issue and spur investment in energy efficiency, the Department of Energy partnered with the Efficiency Valuation Organization (EVO) to develop the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP).  It provides a framework and standard for M&V and has become the most widely recognized protocol in the world.  So what exactly is IPMVP and why should your facility be participating?

Principles of IPMVP:

Savings are difficult to measure directly since they signify energy NOT being used.  IPMVP determines savings by comparing measured consumption or demand before and after implementation of a program, making suitable adjustments for changes in conditions (e.g. occupancy, widget production, weather, etc.).  A comparison of unadjusted invoice or meter data would just illustrate the raw increase/decrease over the period you are analyzing, without accounting for other changes that may impact energy consumption.  Savings, or avoided energy use/cost avoidance, tells you how much less you have used than you would have without implementing your energy conservation measure.  To determine savings, IPMVP uses the equation:

Savings = (Baseline Period Energy – Reporting Period Energy) ± Adjustments

IPMVP

Adjustments can be routine or non-routine:

  • Routine Adjustments – for any energy-governing factors, expected to change routinely during the reporting period, such as weather or production volume. A variety of techniques can be used to define the adjustment methodology. Techniques may be as simple as a constant value (no adjustment) or as complex as a several multiple parameter non-linear equations each correlating energy with one or more independent variables.
  • Non-Routine Adjustments – for those energy-governing factors which are not usually expected to change, such as: the facility size, the design, and operation of installed equipment, the number of weekly production shifts, or the type of occupants. These static factors must be monitored for change throughout the reporting period.

Benefits of IPMVP:

The purpose of IPMVP is to increase certainty, reliability and the level of savings, while also reducing the level of transaction costs by providing a measurement and verification plan.  It aims to provide a basis for negotiating the contractual terms to ensure that an energy efficiency project achieves its goals of improving efficiency and increasing energy savings.  Overall, it simplifies the M&V process and improves the credibility and attractiveness of energy efficiency projects.

How to get started with IPMVP M&V:

EnergyWatch uses guidelines outlined in the different IPMVP options to act as a neutral third party and help our clients and partners measure and verify efficiency projects to validate that the savings proposed are being generated within a certain degree of confidence.  Even with the installation of sensors, advanced meters, and building control systems, the data provided is often in different (or unusable) formats and multivariate regression models are beyond the scope of most internal energy teams.  EnergyWatch’s M&V service is delivered via watchwire where meter, weather, occupancy (and any other trackable independent variable), and invoice information is fully integrated and M&V performance is accessible via the cloud to all interested parties.  We will handle the analytics so you can ensure your energy efficiency projects are meeting your goals (or if not, we catch it early enough so adjustments can be made).

 

Sources:
International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol: Concepts and Options for Determining Energy and Water Savings Volume 1, EVO, January 2012.
https://evo-world.org/en/products-services-mainmenu-en/protocols/ipmvp
https://evo-world.org/en/m-v/purpose-of-m-v