Baseline and Performance Measurement

An optional additional step in the implementation process is the development of a savings verification program. This can serve to document the success of the project over time in generating projected savings or meeting anticipated operational goals. In various types of performance-based contracts, savings verification programs establish the basis of payments made by the host to the project financier or prime contractor. Even when not a contract requirement, savings verification programs provide much meaningful data to the analyst and operators, and ultimately to the host/owner. They also provide feedback on the accuracy of the study originally used to justify the investment. Moreover, the system performance data gathered can also provide collateral benefit as part of preventative or predictive maintenance programs.

Generally, verification plans set up resource use evaluation procedures, typically using direct metering of energy and other resource input to the affected process or building area. Sometimes, the metering and data collection system is linked to the overall energy management control system and provides operating data that is used to optimize system performance and indicate when service is required.

The type of verification process used will vary widely. Savings verification programs are designed with specific M&V protocols. Protocol selection will depend on several factors, including project complexity, metering complexity, magnitude of costs and savings, the level of interactivity with other measures, and contractual allocation of risk associated with performance factors not controlled by the contractor. Also considered is the collateral value of the M&V installation with respect to other uses for the data and metering systems.

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