Selecting the Appropriate MV Approach

As indicated in the discussion above, the choice of M&V baseline strategy depends, to a large extent, on the nature of the variation of the loads and efficiency, the allocation of contractual risk, and the magnitude and complexity of the project. Within these constraints, a detailed understanding of the system performance can lead to significantly reduced costs with minimal increase in risk. The above post-retrofit load measurement, as opposed to consumption measurement, is a good example. This choice allows the avoidance of extensive computer modeling and baseline adjustment. On large projects, such as a central boiler or chiller renovation or the installation of a cogener-ation plant, the magnitude of project cost and savings often justifies extensive metering. Careful selection of monitored variables and savings calculation methodology can, nevertheless, significantly reduce costs.

Another important decision is whether to employ a one-time or ongoing process. The one-time approach allows for a reasonably good confirmation that savings have been achieved, while avoiding the recurring expense of annual M&V activities. With this, however, the contractor does not bear the risk for degradation of performance over time resulting from normal wear or ineffective OM&R work.

When contractor payments are based on the results of an ongoing savings verification process, the contractor would have to maintain an element of control over ongoing OM&R in order to protect their payment stream. Annual M&V approaches are, therefore, only recommended as part of performance-based contracts when the contractor is also providing ongoing OM&R for the systems being installed. They may also be cost-justified in cases where the collateral value of the information provides operational and additional savings benefits to the host facility. This would be the case when the acquired data and analysis process is dovetailed with ongoing maintenance and performance optimization programs. Observation and analysis of operational trends often allow for equipment to be operating more efficiently and also provides useful data for ongoing preventative and predictive maintenance activities.

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