Independent reports reach same conclusions on the future of energy efficiency evaluation, measurement, and verification
Lexington, MA, December 16, 2015 - The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) released new reports today that analyze the current and future impacts of information and communications technologies (ICT) on evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) practices. EM&V demonstrates the value of energy efficiency programs by providing accurate, transparent, and consistent assessments of their performance. Both reports provide similar conclusions regarding the potential of advanced data analytics and the availability of data to provide more timely feedback on program results and efficacy, and reduce costs associated with EM&V.
“The ACEEE report illustrates the potential of ICT to not only sustain the existing efficiency program models, but to transform them,” said Ethan Rogers, senior manager of the Industrial Program at ACEEE. “Programs may look very different in the future as a result of our ability to collect and analyze energy performance in near real-time.”
“The NEEP Changing EM&V Paradigm report presents the potential for how advanced data collection and analytic tools can increasingly support EM&V activities, and provides guidance on key opportunities and challenges in advancing the use of automated measurement,” said NEEP Regional EM&V Forum director Julie Michals.
Both reports focus on the ability of ICT to support and improve existing EM&V practices, as well as create new methods that can be built into an efficiency program’s design. One important advance is the use of comparison groups of customers that are not participating in a program but are similar in their energy use to those that are. Automated and advanced analysis of comparison groups with program participants improves the accuracy and timeliness of energy savings reports, allowing programs to scale more easily and at lower costs.
ACEEE and NEEP also examine the barriers to broader use of ICT in project and program evaluation. The NEEP analysis focuses on where and how new data analytic tools and better data availability interface with current program impact evaluation core elements, and identifies opportunities for streamlining the ”traditional” evaluation process. The ACEEE analysis focuses on the current uses of ICT to identify opportunities and measure savings in the commercial and industrial sectors and discusses the long-term implications of ICT to do the same for all sectors.
NEEP’s report, which was developed for the Regional EM&V Forum by DNV GL, includes several case studies of advanced data analytic tools that provide services to program administrators with program experiences and results. The report calls for standardized protocols for automated analysis, and describes important testing efforts underway by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
The ACEEE report examines the potential of ICT to transform the nature of energy efficiency by facilitating greater participation from the financial sector in funding energy efficiency. The report also explores participation by programs and third parties in energy capacity markets such as those run by ISO New England and the PJM Interconnection.
Both reports conclude that the rapid evolution of automated EM&V tools are not necessarily aligned with many current state public utility commission energy efficiency program evaluation policies. The reports identify key barriers that need to be addressed, and suggest collaborative efforts to support scaling up the use of ICT-enabled EM&V. Both note that these efforts will be challenging but will ultimately result in better efficiency programs that have lower administrative costs, provide real-time performance feedback, and produce greater energy savings.
“Both ACEEE and NEEP’s reports are important contributions to the existing body of knowledge of EM&V,” said Dian Grueneich, senior research scholar with the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University and commissioner emeritus of the California Public Utilities Commission. “The ICT-enabled advances and recommendations for next steps outlined in the reports will increase confidence in the results of efficiency programs and drive investment to create a more energy-efficient economy and a cleaner environment for all Americans.”
Click here to read ACEEE’s report, How Information and Communications Technologies Will Change the Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification of Energy Efficiency Programs.
Click here to read NEEP’s report, The Changing EM&V Paradigm: A review of Key Trends and New Developments, and Their Implications on Current and Future EM&V Practices.