Developing an Evaluation Measurement and Verification Plan for Your Energy Efficiency Project/Program (Text Version)
Ed: Good afternoon and welcome.
Julie: I'm looking at how many people joined. _____.
Ed: Good afternoon and welcome to the webinar on Developing an Evaluation, Measurement &Verification Plan for Municipal Building Energy Efficiency Projects. I'm Ed Londergan, Special Project Manager at Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships. Our presenters today are Julie Michals and Jonathan Kleinman.
Julie is director of the Regional Evaluation Measurement and Verification Forum, a project facilitated and managed by Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships.
As director, Ms. Michals oversees the forum's operations, including facilitating a steering committee represented by utility commissioners from 11 jurisdictions in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions and facilitating the forums project committees represented by utility and air regulatory staff, program administrators and other stakeholders.
With Northeast Energy Efficiency staff, Ms. Michals also manages third-party contractors retained to conduct the forums range of projects covering protocol development and research and evaluation.
Julie holds a B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and an M.A. in Energy and Environmental Analysis from the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at Boston University.
Jonathan Kleinman has 15 years of experience in energy and environmental issues including extensive experience in energy efficiency program design, implementation and evaluation.
This work has included directing an energy efficiency portfolio of programs throughout the State of Texas with a particular focus on the public sector program, Score and City Smart that have extensive measurement and verification requirements.
Mr. Kleinman has also managed and conducted studies of cost-effective energy efficiency potential and its integration with supply side planning utility clients in New York, Connecticut, Ohio and Vermont.
He has a Master's degree in Technology and Policy from MIT and a Bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University.
Before we jump into today's presentations, I'd like to take a few moments to describe the DOE Technical Program or TAP a little further. TAP is managed by a team of DOE's Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
The Department of Energy's Technical Assistance Program provides state, local and tribal officials the tools and resources they need to implement successful and sustainable clean energy programs.
The effort is aimed at accelerating the implementation of Recovery Act projects and programs as well as improving their performance while increasing the return on the sustainability of Recovery Act investments and building a protracted clean energy capacity at the state, local, and tribal level.
From one-on-one assistance to an extensive online resource library to facilitation of peer exchange best practices and lessons learned, the TAP offers a wide range of resources to serve the needs of state, local and tribal officials and their staff.
These technical assistance providers can provide short-term, unbiased expertise in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies as well as program design and implementation, financing, performance contracting and state and local capacity building.
In addition to providing the one-on-one assistance, we're able to work with Grantees at no cost to facilitate peer-to-peer matching workshops and training. We also encourage you to utilize the TAP log, a platform that allows the states, cities, counties, and tribes to connect with technical and program experts and share best practices.
The blog is frequently updated with energy efficiency and renewable energy related posts, and we encourage you to utilize the blog to ask questions of topical experts, show you success stories, and best practices, lessons learned, ____ interact with your peers.
If you have a request for direct assistance, it can be submitted online via the Technical Assistance Center at taceecleanergy.org or by calling 1-877-E-E-R-E-T-A-P. Once a request has been submitted, it will be evaluated to determine the level and type of assistance that TAP will provide.
Now, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships is part of a Team 4 on the TAP program, and it is comprised of nine energy efficiency organizations from around the country that provide expertise and assistance in program design and implementation.
The various team members include the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, Southwest Energy Efficiency Partnerships, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, National Resources Defense Council, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, Southwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and the Energy Futures Group.
We work closely with each other to fulfill the needs of all Grantees regardless of where they're located, and a list of all the regional Team 4 contacts will be at the end of the presentation. If you have questions or concerns, I encourage you to contact your regional coordinator. Julie?
Julie: Thank you, Ed, for that introduction. Hello everyone, this is Julie Michals from Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships. I'm gonna introduce the webinar today with a few slides to give you an overview of what we'll be talking about, and address some basic definitions of our topic of the day, and then I'll be handing the presentation over to Jonathan Kleinman from CLEAResult who will be getting into more of the details.
So we're here today to talk about - this is the second webinar on evaluation, measurement, and verification. We held a first webinar back in November, a primer, on EMV, and today we're gonna go into more depth about EMV, energy performance and specific steps Grantees should consider when conducting their EMV and Energy Performance Management activities and reporting to support their efficiency projects.
And so we're gonna begin by making some distinctions on these terms. There are different interpretations even within the efficiency field and there is overlap on these terms so we thought it would be beneficial for everyone to get a bit of clarity on these different elements.
Then I'm gonna cover a little bit, a reminder of what DOE Guidance currently exists on EMV and Performance Management and reporting. And then we're gonna turn to specifically looking at developing a plan for municipal building efficiency projects, and so that is the focus of today's webinar and Jonathan will be the lead in covering this No. 3 including a couple case studies, and some further resources.
And we just wanna make note that this webinar is the first of a two-part series. The next webinar will be held specifically to address residential retrofit buildings, and we are planning to take the contents of the webinar today, and translate it into an actual Guidance document for you to use and have available that will be more comprehensive but will cover the key topics that we'll be addressing today.
And then we'll open up a Q&A session at the end and I would just encourage you please to submit your questions via the webinar feature that you have in front of you and we will be addressing your questions at the end. We will do our best to address all questions but if we're not able to we will follow up with posting responses on the technical assistance network blog.
So with that, what's presented here are some basic definitions on Evaluation, Measurement & Verification and Energy Performance Management. And I'm not gonna get into a whole lot of detail here other than to say that measurement and verification involves collection of data before and after the installation of an efficiency measured project or in a facility and this is to support energy savings calculations.
And there are a range of methods to conduct M&V activities; some are more simple, some are more comprehensive. Evaluation aspect of EM&V involves really the analysis of the performance of an efficiency program if you have multiple programs and it typically is applicable to perhaps larger SEP Grantees who have a number of efforts under way or to a collection of projects or even a single project.
And this includes analysis that can be involved looking at billing data and so forth. When we talk about Energy Performance Management, it does involve some of the similar aspects of EM&V including establishing baseline collecting data, but it also is intended to help compare the performance of buildings to each other or to a comparable group to help identify areas for improvement.
It helps you prioritize building systems, technologies and the like to where you should focus your efficiency efforts, and it helps to verify and track progress over time, monitoring the long-term performance of buildings so you can identify further improvements.
And this Venn diagram here is just intended to show you that there is overlap in these different elements where some tools do provide reporting features, and we'll be talking about that in a minute. But just so as not to confuse in the discussion today, sometimes the terms are used EM&V and Energy Performance Management are used interchangeably, but there are some discreet features.
And essentially when we think of conducting measurement verification, it can be something that compliments Energy Performance Management by doing additional analysis on data collected to provide a more precise, accurate savings estimate and we'll be talking about why it's important to do that and what the benefits are.
So this site right here provides an overview of DOE's reporting requirements for EECBG and SEP Grantees, and there are specific links here to each of those Guidance documents. And this is one place where DOE has provided direct requirement to report savings from your projects among other things listed here.
What DOE also provides is some guidance on valuation measurement and verification and emergency Performance Management. DOE does not require specific EM&V as part of a Grantee's award agreement but they do encourage it and provide some specific guidance.
They also provide a calculator that allows a Grantee to do some basic estimates of energy savings from their project, but they make clear in their Guidance documents that this is not intended to replace more rigorous EM&V techniques.
What's new here and highlighted is recent DOE Guidance dated January 21 that provides information on the use of the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager which is a benchmarking-type Energy Performance Management tool.
Importantly, it is designed now that it provides outputs that feed into the PAGE reporting that Grantees are required to undertake. I encourage you to look at these documents, the last document here referenced is applicable to those of you who may be taking on more sophisticated EM&V activities.
Larger SEP Grantees or Grantees that have substantial resources to conduct more rigorous EM&V, there are specific guidance for these efforts in these documents. We'll be referencing Portfolio Manager here as a useful benchmarking tool.
Some of you may be familiar with this and already using this tool. Some of you may be just getting acquainted with it. We encourage you to take a look at this tool and also consider looking into training sessions that may be available to support this tool.
There has been two or three so far provided through the technical assistance solution center webinar series. And the importance of this tool is it allows - it's specific for a commercial retrofit-type projects, and it relies on some basic data collection for your building, it measures and tracks pre- and post-installation at a whole building level and has built in adjustments to normalize for weather conditions.
It can be used and complemented with measurement verification such as a certain M&V approach noted here is referred to as IPMVP Option C or IPMVP is the International Performance Measurement Verification Protocol. We have a link for that protocol later in the webinar here for you to go for more information. Why plan and conduct EM&V?
At this juncture, I'm going to hand this over to Jonathan Kleinman to speak about the importance of EM&V. And I think one thing to note for everyone here on the phone is many of you have already started projects or started thinking about how you're going to address and estimate savings and report them, and for some of you, if you will, the train has left the station and trying to apply much of what we're talking today may be difficult at some level.
Mind you, we're happy to address questions about where you could apply some of these at your juncture. This said, an important point to make here is what we're talking about today and the follow-up Guidance documents we'll be developing is intended to serve as a resource for all of you over the longer term.
As you continue, we hope that states and municipalities and communities will continue to do efficiency after the ___ Grantee funding cycle and that there will be a tool for you to undertake EM&V and Performance Management activities beyond what you may be doing now or are able to do with your current resources. So with that, Jonathan, I'm going to turn over the presentation to you.
Jonathan: Thank you, Julie. And thank you everybody for attending. As Julie noted, what we're talking about here is creating a platform and ability for everyone to successfully manage their energy consumption over time, to identify opportunities that you can pursue to gather the funding and other information that you need to go after those opportunities and then to provide the reporting that's required as conditions for the grants.
There are multiple ways of doing this and what we're doing is we're talking about two different frameworks; one's called the Valuation and Measurement Verification and the other Energy Performance Management. They interrelate as Julie also already said, and you can go about it both ways in going in either direction you cover elements of either one.
Ultimately, in the hundreds of cities that we've worked with, having some mechanism by which you are tracking what's going on with your energy consumption, identifying projects and verifying the savings that you get, is necessary to really be able to manage your building performance, and so we're covering both angles here.
So why would you plan and conduct EM&V, Evaluation, Measurement &Verification? You're able to track the cost-effectiveness of specific projects, so that you're able to identify whether or not they met the financial conditions that you were hoping to achieve by undertaking them.
You're able to use that information to plan for the future and most importantly, you can develop estimates of jobs created, emissions reduced, other economic benefits basically to articulate to your constituents that you did the right thing by pursuing ___.
Also, it helps you to standardize your approach to monitor and report savings across your municipality and it outlines expectations upfront. So one of the important parts of having a plan is to be able to let everybody know in advance what it is that you're going to be doing.
So why would you develop an Energy Performance Management plan? So related to EM&V, Energy Performance Management starts with benchmarking your buildings and what you get is an estimate of your consumption on a per square foot basis. If you use something like Portfolio Manager, it adjusts it for weather, and then you can compare your buildings with any other similar buildings that are in the database, and you can get a sense from the scores as to how your building is doing.
And the buildings with the lowest scores become priority areas that you can pursue. If you continue to put your utility bill information into the system, you can see changes in operation and also changes in your score, and then if you're looking at a measurement verification approach, Option C as it's called, uses whole building utility bill analysis.
So by using the benchmarking tool, you can satisfy one of the measurement and verification approaches and that way you're able to see over time whether you're getting the savings you expect to get from your projects, and then you can compliment that with EM&V so that you can get more rigorous and precise savings results.
For example, if you want to know what your lighting savings were on the lighting replacement project, that's a function of how many hours those lights are on. It's very inexpensive to buy what's called a light logger, put that in the building and use that over a couple of weeks to track the actual numbers of hours that the lights are operating.
And that a very simple EM&V approach that can really help you pinpoint the savings that you would expect to get. So what do you need to benchmark facilities? To really get a good handle on how your building is doing, it's important to get 12 months of utility energy data.
If you don't have that on file, you can obtain that from your utility or your fuel delivery company and then ideally you track after a project for a similar period in time to determine whether or not you got the result that you were really looking for.
What's the minimum amount of information that you wanna collect to use something like Portfolio Manager? The floor area, operating hours, number of rooms, and because the number of computers really drives your electricity consumption, you need to know how much computing power you have in your building and whether that space is cooled or heated.
So there's ___ on detailed data collection. You can see that there's an evaluation protocol from California, and it can provide a description of services that so if you're looking to outsource this function you can get some assistance here to figure out how to find other people who can do this work for you.
So what's a successful strategy? What's important is that you establish a priority in your organization for data gathering and reporting. If you don't have the top-down commitment, and if you don't have the resources dedicated to it, you'll find people trying to fit this in with their other dozen or so responsibilities that they already have. It will end up falling down to a level of priority where it's just not getting done.
So it has to be established as a priority. You should establish a baseline otherwise it's very difficult for you to determine how much progress you have made. It's also important to define the scope of the energy savings.
If you have an annual utility bill of $1 million, 20 to 30 percent is a pretty good target, so is $200,000, $300,000 per year of potential savings worth this level of investment. It may very well be. Energy consumption is only $100,000 and, you know, allocating a dedicated resource just to achieve $30,000 a year worth of savings may not be worth this level of effort.
So it's important for you to define the scope to get everybody's attention and also to determine what's an adequate level of investment in it. And important is to include the EM&V plan. What is the plan that you're going to use to define the savings that you've ___ on projects so that you can demonstrate that the returns you claimed you would get have actually come in.
And finally, if you have a strategy written up front, and you get senior management endorsement, they have okayed the allocation of the resources to achieve these results and that is really critical in a successful program.
So the EM&V plan should be written before you start projects. If you have started your projects already, okay. Here are the advantages of writing it in advance. It needs to be adaptable and evolving because conditions will change over time.
You can see some of the other important characteristics. It establishes data gathering reporting timelines, it describes all of your facilities, it outlines the projects that you undertake, and then this process can also say, we are going to use utility ___ funded energy efficiency programs to help make these projects happen, and especially to help us gather the data and then report the data.
And utility programs are a very important resource for you to keep in mind as you pursue these projects. We'll talk about that in the case study a little bit later. So there are three approaches that we're describing here for the development of an EM&V plan.
And the first one can be developed where you plan and coordinate funding with utility company, and then the next two occur where there is no utility-funded program available for you to pursue.
And the question is, do you want to do EM&V yourself which is approach No. 3 or find some publicly available resources that you'll then apply. That's approach No. 2.
So let's say you're going to coordinate with the utility. So the first thing to do when you are considering whether to pursue a project is to determine for the utility that provides that energy, whether it's electric, natural gas or otherwise, is there an energy efficiency program that can help me.
And there can be free services available to analyze your data, to actually benchmark your buildings, to provide training workshops, and then cash incentives. And utilities are required to file savings of projects to commissions to justify the expenditure of the ___ dollars on those projects.
That means that they're also collecting the information that you can use to report on the success of your projects. And that's an important thing for you to take advantage of if it's available.
And if you have an assigned utility account manger, that's the person to get in touch with to try to initiate those services. We'll talk in the case study about the City of the Grand Prairie in just a little bit.
So here's a step-by-step approach that you can take. The first thing ideally is that you start by collecting your baseline data. That should take a month of two depending upon the accessibility of that information.
You contact your utility program to get support for those projects, and then you work with the utility company to identify project opportunities. That can take a couple of months after the benchmarking is complete.
During project identification you talk to your utility about the EM&V approach that you will take on that project. It can be what are called ___ savings which means you basically multiply the savings times the number of widgets that are installed.
It can be simple EM&V like the light logger example I talked about before or full M&V as in having your benchmarking data before and after the project and comparing to claimed savings. And then what you do is you specify the data to collect and the timeline you'll do it during.
After the EM&V approach you have to collect the project data according to what the utility says is necessary. It could be equipment counts, it could be simple or full M&V. And then that can take weeks to months before the project.
If it's a very complicated project that has different patterns of operation during different times of year, like at your wastewater treatment facility, then they'll really get a good picture of what the project does.
You might need the meter or collect information for four months before the project, possibly longer, but the utility will let you know what's required. You then implement the project then you collect post-project data again according to the plan.
It could be weeks to months, and then you re benchmark your building or re?benchmark your facility to verify that you got the savings. And that can take up to 12 months for you to be fully able to determine what the impact of that project is on your facility.
If there's no opportunity to coordinate, then you can either use what are called deem savings values. In other words, the utilities in your state, even if they may not be providing you with service, may have these deem savings values that are available for you to use to estimate project savings or you can hire an engineering firm to develop the savings for you.
You can also use the DOE Benefits Calculator. Strongly recommend that you complement this with use of a benchmarking tool to verify that the savings have actually occurred. And then approach No. 3 is that you use the benchmarking tool and you do some metering yourself. And we'll talk about an example of that with the Natural Gas Efficiency Projects.
So here's what this looks like. It's very similar to the other case expect that instead of working with the utility you work with your contractor, like an energy service company, to identify opportunities and solicit bids, and then you establish an EM&V approach.
You can research deem savings, use the calculator, you can do it independently or you can contact the TAC, the assistance is provided through the Department of Energy to help develop your EM&V plan.
You establish a project-specific plan and collect the data. You collect the data before the project. You implement the project, you collect the data after the project, and then again we strongly recommend that you re?benchmark afterwards to verify the savings realization.
So what are the key EM&V plan steps? Step 1: Define the baseline conditions. Step 2: You develop a project-specific plan. The plan should have a description, what you're gonna use to calculate the savings, what data you need, and what additional supporting documentation is required.
You the commission the systems to make sure the equipment was installed. You then verify savings afterwards, and then Step 5 which is called regular interval verification, one way of doing is that is benchmarking using Portfolio Manager so that you're able to continually track the performance over time.
Here's the link to the International Performance Measurement Verification Protocol. There's a new version 2010 that is out and is available for free download. And then these steps are provided in greater detail at the link below by the Department of Energy.
So here's a flow diagram that takes everything we've been talking about before and puts it into various steps. You can see at the top this is where you establish your baseline and then identify your opportunities.
Then you get to this balloon in the middle that asks, "Does utility support the project?" If the answer is yes, you head over to the right. You work under Approach No. 1, and you figure out with your utility which way you're going to go to claim the savings.
If there is no program, you then go down and you work on engineering estimates or your own M&V approach to determine your savings. Both of those end up down below where you report your savings.
Now, one of the things that we're trying to stress through an EM&V approach or an energy performance management approach is that we really recommend that you don't consider yourself done once you report the savings to the Department of Energy because the savings that you thought you were gonna get from the project may or may not show up on your utility bills.
Something should, but if they don't show up then there may be reasons why not. The equipment may not have been installed appropriately, the controls may not have been sequenced properly, the hours of operation may not be there or something might have changed in your building that you're not aware of.
So we strongly recommend that you are going to see whether the savings you're expecting shows up in ongoing cost monitoring. If it does, keep monitoring and then reprioritize your projects. If it does not, then you need to contact your contractor to make sure that the installation was done according to your specifications.
If there's an issue, work on correcting the problem. If there's no issues with the equipment then you need to look at your facility to identify what might've changed. Are people putting in space heaters? Have you added a new data center in the facility? Have you annexed a garage all of the sudden?
There's a ton of things that can go into changes in the way that you actually see the utility bill information. If you're not collecting it, you won't know.
So what are typical obstacles? Common obstacles include the costs, you know, Energy Performance Management or EM&V requires an investment of resources. And the question is whether those resources are available. Are people available?
Everybody in a municipal local government organization has a lot of responsibilities already. Is this being layered on to those existing responsibilities. How many people do you have? Especially where budgets are getting tight for everybody, this is becoming a greater and greater concern.
Do you have access to your energy data? How easy is it for you to have that utility bill information? Are you getting an email? Can you easily get your utility to provide that information or is it a bunch of paper files that you need to track down.
You know, it takes somebody who's been perhaps in the business for a little while to understand the differences between a kilowatt hour and a kilowatt, what the rate structures are, and so if you have a utility-funded program, they're available as a resource to help you work your way through this.
And then what software are you gonna use? Do you just wanna use an Excel spreadsheet? You can go to Portfolio Manager. There are other software packages available that can make this easy for you. The question is, what's appropriate given what you're trying to accomplish, and how many facilities you have to track.
So let's talk about one case study. The City of Grand Prairie in Texas participated in a utility-funded program called the Government Facilities Program, the City Grants Program for Encore electric deliver.
This is a city that is around the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and so the first thing that they did was they defined their baseline conditions. They worked with the program to benchmark 42 city-owned buildings and they provided 12 months' utility data.
It took about two months to do this, and again, this is a service that the program provided. They also participated in an Energy Master Planning Workshop which worked with all the stakeholders in the local government to identify the importance of energy efficiency and to cover financial data tracking, organization barriers, and how they were gonna address those barriers to pursuing energy efficiency projects.
And then they worked with their energy service company, in this case it was McKinstry. They worked with the ESCO to identify projects that included lighting retrofits and HVAC equipment replacement.
So Step 2 is to develop a project-specific M&V plan. Now, the Oncor programs have deemed savings methods for lighting and HVAC projects that are approved by the commission here in Texas.
What that means is there's a saving calculator that's been built and the only thing that you need to provide are the counts of the different types of equipment and then verification that those are legitimate data entries, and so there's a lot of photo documentation requirements that have to go into submitting the calculator.
So the efficiency program staff and municipal staff and the energy services company completed a full equipment inventory. That took two to three months and then with scheduling, an inspector comes out to verify the accuracy of the submitted equipment data. That's another month.
Now, four months may seem like a lot of time to gather data, but both the utility and you want to know that the project that is supposed to happen does happen, and you want to verify - this is part of the verification process - that's it's really occurring.
And so it's an insurance policy on the expenditure of your funds towards these projects, but this is also a program requirement, so a lot of these services were picked up by the utility itself. So Step 3 then is the project installation and the system commissioning.
Post-installation verification. All the data collection has to happen after the project again, and Oncor sends out an inspector to verify the accuracy of the data. And then we are in discussions right now with the City about re?benchmarking those facilities meaning that they continue to send their data to the Efficiency Program, and then we enter the data to determine whether the savings that are estimated are realized.
The project estimate based on deem savings was 250 kilowatts and over 1.2 kilowatt hours per year. That's about $120,000 a year and then financial incentives were also paid by the utilities for the project.
Can you go back up one slide. So if we look at Case Study No. 2, this is a natural gas project and there is no utility-funded program. You may be in a jurisdiction where natural gas utilities are non-implementing programs
Let's say that you have an old steam boiler with an old distribution system and what you wanna do is you wanna put in a high-efficiency hot water boiler and you use the existing distribution system and you need to re-pipe in some places to make that work.
And there's no utility program, and you're also not making any significant changes to the building's energy use. So the way to go about this project you use Portfolio Manager or some other tool to define your baseline conditions; 12 to 24 months worth of information.
Then you develop a project-specific M&V plan. Two options here. The first is you can ask your contractor to estimate the system efficiency, the existing system and the proposed one, and just estimate savings. That will only take about a month.
Now, if it's a bigger project and you really wanna make sure that you know what you're getting into, you can hire a local engineering firm to develop a project savings estimate.
The problem is that that can take three to six months depending upon the bid process to hire that firm and also their availability. But you will get a more precise estimate. Again, Step 3 is project installation and commissioning.
Going back, then you verify the data by continuing to collect the data, putting into benchmarking system and tracking whether or not the savings were realized. And Step 4 is where you confirm installation of the project according to the specifications.
And then you track it over time with additional benchmarking data. So that's a sample M&V approach, EM&V approach you can take if there is no utility-funded program in your territory.
Julie: Okay. Jonathan, thank you very much. You covered a lot of ground there, and laid out, I think, the key steps that comprise the EM&V planning and implementation process.
And what you see here now on your screen as I noted earlier that a next step is for us to take information from this webinar and translate it to a guided document.
We expect that will be out by the end of March and then we will add to that document - first we'll hold a webinar on residential retrofit projects.
That date tentatively is scheduled for March 29, and that will be posted soon to the schedule, and we'll follow up by adding information regarding residential retrofit projects to this Guidance document so that we cover both municipal buildings and residential retrofit projects laying out the EM&V and Energy Performance Management topics we discussed today.
We're gonna open it up to questions now, and there's a few here posted to the webinar. I'm just gonna take one minute though to let you know one of the overarching questions that a number of listeners have asked is, "Will this webinar be made available?" And yes, it will. It will be posted to –
Ed: The DOE Solutions Center site within a couple days.
Julie: Within a couple days. And what you'll see here is on the last slide, there are several slides starting on Slide 37 and on, these are actually information that we shared earlier in our webinar back in November on the EM&V primer and there are more just additional resources and references for more background information in EM&V.
We've not gonna get into detail on these now, but we encourage you to look at them and lots of links here and information, and then Ed noted earlier that the last slide here includes Team 4 contacts and you can contact these people for follow-up information, and upcoming webinars are also listed here to make note of. So this webinar will be posted in a couple days, but we are gonna spend the next 15 minutes or so addressing some questions.
So one question addressed here is "What is the best way to benchmark energy use for metered areas with lighting only, no buildings? We are retrofitting our parking lot lights, and have estimated for utility rebates, but is there an easier ENERGY STAR-type database we can use?" And I think this is specific to California.
Elizabeth: This is Elizabeth Titus from NEEP and I have to say I am not familiar with any ENERGY STAR-type database for this purpose, but one of the things we will do is a little bit of research and post some Q&A for these questions as a follow up.
Jonathan: Elizabeth, I know that - well, let's see, two things on parking lot lighting. One is that new buildings institute, I believe, has recommended watt per square foot targets for parking lot areas because it's very - design will typically over-light those areas.
You only need a few foot candles and frequently you will get more. But in terms of estimating savings, the utilities savings estimate should be pretty good depending upon the wattage of the fixture, there's very little variation in the power consumption of the fixture, and then if you assume that they're on all night and you get, you know, basically half of the year in terms of operation, it's not a complicated energy savings calculation, so I don't think it merits sub-metering it in order to get better data.
Elizabeth: Thank you.
Julie: Thank you. Okay. A second question asked here is asking specifically, "The city in live in entered into a contract with an energy service company to make energy efficiency improvements and fund these through cost savings.
The trouble is the city has no prior record of energy consumption because energy accounting has been non-existent. They are starting to do this, but was it a mistake to enter into this energy service contract without the history?" And this person is seeking advice.
Jonathan: Okay. That's a great question. So energy performance contracts are good if you have a good contract and a performance contract can be a challenge if you have a not-so-good contract.
What's important is to determine whether your contractor's being very transparent in what they're doing. A good performance contractor will tell you what your utility bill history is because to give you the savings guarantee, they need to determine what your current level of consumption is.
If you're getting a lot of information from them, it means that you're likely going to be entering into a good contract. And so that should be the first thing that they are doing as they establish their baseline.
If they're not doing it, it's something that you should request, and if they tell you that the contract doesn't require their doing it, I would, to be honest, I think you need to have an honest conversation with them about how they're going to establish the savings estimate if they haven't provided you with a baseline.
The contract that you have signed to get them underway will typically have some penalties if you leave it early, so it requires a careful review.
That said, the performance contractor should be developing this baseline for you and that is information that you should be getting. And check and make sure that you're having open and honest and transparent conversations with them and you should be fine.
Julie: There are multiple ways of developing a baseline, so there should be someway to get an estimate. Thanks, Jonathan, for that helpful answer.
There's a question about whether there is a need to have an M&V for each Sub-Grantee or "can we do a unified regional M&V plan? We will be using a standard software system for Energy Performance Management data collection and reporting."
So the question here is whether it seems like if there's a broader region that's using - it's not completely clear if all the Grantees are using the same data collecting reporting - is that how you read that - okay, so do they need to have a unique M&V plan or should it be a unified regional M&V plan?
Elizabeth: This is Elizabeth again, and my answer is it depends. If we can assume that the goals and the nature of the project of each Sub-Grantee are similar enough that they can be handled in an overarching M&V plan, then I think you may get some economies by having that unified regional approach.
If they're wildly different and require lots of custom arrangements, then there may not be so many advantages to it.
Jonathan: Elizabeth, this is Jonathan, and a question for you. If, let's say there are, you know, 40 or 50 buildings that are being done with different scopes, but 30 of them are having lighting retrofits done for example, would it make sense to try to group M&V plans by project types at a regional level and then you could just implement that M&V strategy for that kind of project consistently across the board?
Elizabeth: I would think that there would be economies from that approach, yes. And there would be benefits to having a consistent methodology and consistent reporting.
Julie: Okay. There's quite a few questions here. I'm gonna just keep going down thorough them. "Is there a list of engineering firms listed by state that have expertise in EM&V and Energy Performance Management implementation?"
Jonathan: This is Jonathan. I'm not aware of one, but the utilities will often have information about where to do to get that kind of support, but I'm not aware of any centralized database that lists that.
There is an organization called the Energy Services Coalition that is a national non-profit organization dedicated to performance contracting by public sector entities, and it's assembled for the benefit of the public sector entities.
There are a lot of great resources in there like templates to use for performance contracts. You can look at the member list and try to identify potential teaming partners that way, but that's the only national-type database that I'm familiar with.
Elizabeth: Yes, there are other organizations. I'm not sure whether they have databases, but an example is the AESP and they're the Association of Energy Service Professionals at www.aesp.org and many of its members would provide some of these services.
Jonathan: You can also check the Association of Energy Engineers. They're the ones who certify a Certified Energy Manager and I believe that there's a member database there, and that is AEE Center, so www.aeecenter.org.
Julie: Okay. There's a question here about "Is there any funding available from DOE to initiative EM&V projects or programs?" From what I understand, and I believe we might have DOE staff online who can correct me if I'm wrong.
There is guidance provided as far as the Grantee awards that you receive, there is guidance suggesting a certain percentage of that grant be dedicated or put towards EM&V activities, and I believe it's between 2 and 5 percent. So I don't believe there's a separate fund per se, but a guidance on using some of your funds specifically for this purpose.
There's one question regarding the EECBG project. "Which type of energy savings methodology are we to report on our performance report and how soon after installation should we start. For example, deem savings, energy bills or other?"
Is Nick on the line; could I ask Nick? Or Keith Dennis, are you on the phone? I believe that there's - again, there's no specific requirement for a methodology to be used and reported, but "how soon after installation should we start?"
I think I'm not completely clear on if you're asking how soon after installation should we start reporting performance. I think some of these we're gonna follow up on the blog to answer and we may ____ confer with DOE on some of these questions.
There's a question here saying, "Is it appropriate to use deem savings for one project in a building that saves energy, but perhaps servers are concurrently being added to the data center. If we were just looking at utility bills, the savings may be hidden."
Very good question. Yes, that's the point, so you're right. You would want to adjust your utility bills to account for that added load or just use deem savings, either one. Jonathan, do you have a comment on that one.
Jonathan: I agree.
Julie: If your load's getting larger.
Jonathan: Yeah, the advantage of having the deem savings estimate is your ability to not get confused by things that happen on the meter, so you'd have to do M&V on one of two things, either on the project or the servers in order to figure out what's happening there.
So I would use the deem savings numbers and then kind of verify - basically, if nothing changes and you think that your project should've provided you more savings than the servers add, that's a red flag for you to look at either the servers or the project, so it's why you should be doing M&V as well benchmarking, I guess is my point.
Julie: Can I jump in. There's another question that asks, "What about weather correction for M&V, and I just wanna bring that up now because that's yet another assessment that is important to take into account when your looking at utility bills particularly for some kinds of measures.
Jonathan: Right. Portfolio Manager handles weather normalization and should be keeping track of the weather files. The deem savings values are based upon historical averages.
And every deem savings value is a conservative estimate because since you're not going to any actual field measurements, they pick the most conservative estimate that you would find, and evaluations of deem savings often find that the savings that are seen in the field could be 20-25 percent higher.
That said, if you install a new chiller and it's very cool the next summer, then you won't see the savings that you were expecting. And there are software programs that help with that normalization by finding the most reasonable weather files.
Julie: Let's see There is a question here regarding the difference in definitions - accounting - the differences between energy accounting and EM&V and Energy Performance Management. And Jonathan, my take would be that's there's overlap with energy account and Performance Management, but maybe -
Jonathan: Not only because it's complicated and one of the reasons to bring in discussions of energy accounting or Energy Performance Management is because EM&V can mean so many different things.
Energy accounting and Energy Performance Management are very similar. Energy accounting is the process of collecting and analyzing the data.
Energy Performance Management includes the identification of the projects and also the development of an EM&V plan to be able to true up what you expected to see in terms of savings from a project in the actual data you're collecting through energy accounting.
The saying from one of the folks who helped develop energy master plans is that you can't manage what you don't measure, but you can't fatten the pig just by weighing it.
So the energy accounting, the data tracking in and of itself isn't sufficient, EM&V is what gives you the information to determine what you think should be happening, and then Performance Management overall is a longer term framework by which you are able to drive the energy performance of your facilities to a higher level.
Keith: Julie, this is Keith Dennis, can you hear me?
Julie: Okay. I'm also seeing here that some of these questions are being answered live also by DOE staff so that's helpful. Let me see here, we've got a couple minutes left.
Just generally, because we are gonna run out of time, as we noted, the webinar, there are some more questions about the webinar posting.
The presentation will be posted and the questions asked, with answers, that we have not addressed, will also be posted to the blog. There is a question about how long that stays on the blog. Do you know Ed?
Ed: I don't think it comes off.
Julie: Okay. I think it's there for -
Ed: The foreseeable future.
Julie: - foreseeable future.
Keith: Julie, this is Keith Dennis, can you hear me?
Julie: Yeah, hi, Keith.
Keith: Sorry, I just got my audio working. I did want to just address that question about funding for EM&V from the EECBG program. Actually, in the new Guidance that you mentioned in the webinar, we talk a little bit about how funds can be used from the EECBG program and there's a couple different scenarios.
One is that you build it into the energy audit category of your program. Another, it would ___ as an energy efficiently program under Category 6, and additionally if you're using EM&V to generate information for reporting on your grant such as ___, you can use administrative expenses, I mean, if you have some left over; there's a 10 percent limit on administrative expenses.
But we are also encouraging people if things come under bid or were over bid and come in under what the bid price was that you can use some of your remaining funds to do the benchmarking and do EM&V and we strongly encourage that.
In terms of the Reporting Guidance, the way that the reporting works is that you do the report savings as they happen as projects are implemented which is one of the reasons why in many cases our Grantees are using deem savings.
We're also, through our Guidance and through webinars like this, encourage that people measure and track the savings and do the EM&V on the projects to make sure that they're getting the savings that they anticipate. So I just wanted to address this question.
Julie: Okay. I think I'll take one more question here because it was very specific to some things we reference in our presentation. This is coming from someone who is assisting a housing authority to implement an energy performance savings contract and their projected electric savings from lighting upgrades is projected to be less than 10 percent of total pre-installation electric use.
The question is, is whether this project is a good candidate from M&V Option C, whole building utility reading. And I'll let - generally, the Guidance is 10 or more. It would not be ideal.
Jonathan: I agree. And lighting is fairly, you know, lighting is a function of the hours of operation and so if you're able to get a relatively good estimate of the number of hours that the different light fixtures are on, it should be straightforward to take the difference in wattage for the fixtures and multiply that by the hours of operation.
So I would not do whole building data analysis either. And the reason they say 10 percent is because from one year to the next, that can account for more than a 10 percent variation, so it's very difficult for you to tell whether that one project has actually generated the savings if it's less than 10 percent.
Julie: Okay. And this goes a little bit to a question on baselines. There's a request for clarification on retrofit baselines especially the use of - as found, what was in place versus code baselines for early replacement projects.
Keith: It's a very good question. A number of utility-funded programs will not use the as-found equipment as the baseline because the projects would not be cost-effective according to the test that they have to follow.
But what that means is that the savings that the utility will report to you is less than what you should see on your utility bill and as a consequence, if you use the deem savings to report your savings, you will under report what you're actually causing to happen.
A different example might be a lighting garage where there isn't enough light currently and so you do a lighting retrofit with a more efficient lighting system; however, now you have enough light, so the energy savings may not be that great because what you've done is adequately illuminated the space.
The utilities should be able to provide you with information both on what they're going to claim as well as what they think that you should see, but Julie, it's a good question from a DOE programmatic standpoint, do you want them to be reporting in the case of a retrofit the change in energy consumption based on actual equipment versus what's installed because that, you know, that may or not pass the utility cost-effectiveness test, but that's not necessarily what an EECBG grant recipient has to pass.
Keith: Yeah, that the case. The difference between the old equipment and the new equipment and general Guidance that we give. We don't have the same requirements that a utility would. We have a much more simplistic requirement.
Julie: Okay. Thank you for that Keith. I have one closing question here before we adjourn, and this goes to a question regarding what level of support the Technical Assistance Program can offer recipients who haven't yet implement an EM&V plan or program, but who have already started their projects. So maybe I can ask Keith to speak to that specific question.
Keith: Sure. Well, the best way to see what level of support you can get is to contact through the TAP network. It really depends. The basic level of support that we give obviously are these webinars and the resources we have, but there also is some ability to give hands-on support.
There's kind of an analysis that's done when you submit a request looking at what your exact request is, and what we can provide. We also have some resources to help with benchmarking in Portfolio Manager and the best way to find out about what types of resources are available to you given your grant situation which may be based on size, it may be based on where you are, it may be based on the ease of helping you get unstuck would be to contact your regional coordinators in the TAP network.
So there's a lot of variables that go into it. It's tough to say. If you come with a blank slate you may be in a different position than if you just wanna have some information about what type of programs are available or a specific question on a specific technology. So the best way to get into that technical assistance request network.
Julie: Okay. Good to know. Please keep that in mind, and thank you everyone. Again, we'll have all this material posted, including the webinar and the responses to questions, and we look forward to your participation at our next EM&V planning webinar that's currently scheduled for March 29 and that we will have a forthcoming Guidance document to support the material that we've covered today. Thank you everyone. Take care.