The Complexity of Measuring Impact of Energy Efficiency Projects

The Complexity of Measuring Impact of Energy Efficiency Projects

As reported on some of our previous blog posts, quantifying and measuring the impact of energy efficiency projects is one of the main barriers in investing into energy efficiency. 

It is extremely complex to quantify with accuracy the impact of an energy efficiency ‘opportunity’. This is because new technology or changes to how existing systems are controlled can have a knock-on effect on other site consumptions. 

Even a replacement of the lighting system from fluorescent lamps to light emitting diodes (LED) comes with its own complexities. Quantifying the existing power absorbed by the old light fittings and their number to obtain the lighting load to be compared to that of new, more energy efficient option multiplied by the running hours might not give you the correct energy savings. 

What if the operational hours of the area that undertook the lighting retrofit changed? 

What is the impact of a reduced lighting gain on the building heating or cooling load? 

How do you assess the change in the heating and cooling load without compensating for the weather conditions and other changes to the internal air T setpoints? 

These different variables all have an impact.

It is obvious that measurement, quantification and verification is a complex procedure and this is why the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) was created. 

The protocol is not prescriptive and there is not just one method of quantifying savings on energy efficiency projects.

Instead, the protocol aims to establish a consensus approach between parties to reduce barriers and develop transparency on energy efficiency activities and projects.

IPMVP provides a framework to confirm if a project generates savings and how to quantify these. Their consultants are professionally trained to mediate between contractors and clients on how to assess the cost and energy reduction associated with an energy efficiency project. 

The same also applies to ESCOs (Energy Service Company) where a client pays for the service provided by an energy efficiency project funded by the contractor. 

In case of an ESCO, IPMVP would be useful for the client to protect its interests and avoid being overcharged by the contractor, or to evaluate whether it is worth going down the ESCO route or to obtain funding for the project.

At Watts-ON Consultants we have developed our platform to support the work and the IPMVP framework for contractors or clients undertaking energy efficiency projects. 

The ability to monitor a buildings internal and external conditions, alongside the operational regime of building services, occupancy and the monitoring of fiscal and sub-meters makes Watts-ON the perfect solution. 

Watts-ON is a powerful tool to set up the agreed protocols to quantify the impact of utility projects.