Have you ever wondered how utilities and energy agencies run energy efficiency programs for installing recommended products such as variable frequency drives and LED lighting? Evaluation, Measurement and Verification (EM&V) is a crucial part of evaluating energy efficiency programs. EM&V provides an assessment of how well the program is performing. This goes beyond assessing the performance of the installed energy efficient measures; it also provides an assessment of how customers perceive and use the program. EM&V makes energy programs sustainable by providing feedback through multiple and diverse sources of information.
The Value of EM&V Feedback
The information provided by EM&V allows utilities and public agencies to continually improve the effectiveness of their energy efficiency programs.
Diverse Sources of EM&V Feedback
An example of one source of information is metering of energy efficient measures installed as part of an efficiency program. Metering provides data on the amount of energy or fuel being used by that measure. In addition, it also provides a detailed account of when and how that measure is being used. The “when and how” can be just as important as the amount of energy that was metered. The same efficient measure can be used differently across different industries. A variable frequency drive (VFD), for example, can provide a completely different amount of savings when used on a chilled water pump versus being used on a water pump for a car wash. An efficiency agency could then take this information and decide to offer different VFD efficiency programs for different industries or end uses.
EM&V provides information from the customer through tools like owner surveys or interviews. Valuable information can be acquired from these tools to help efficiency agencies remove barriers and improve the process of the energy programs. This can lead to increased behavior change, improved program performance and an enlarged customer base for the program.
I have only touched on a couple of many EM&V components in this blog post to help illustrate the importance of EM&V for efficiency programs. If you have a project that requires EM&V, please contact us.