DOE Publishes Methods for Estimating Energy Efficiency Savings

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published a series of protocols for estimating savings from energy efficiency programs titled Methods for Determining Energy Efficiency Savings for Specific Measures

The protocols, developed in collaboration with leading technical experts, provide a straightforward method for evaluating gross energy savings for a number of the most common residential and commercial measures and programs offered by utility ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in the United States. They will also be useful for non-ratepayer energy efficiency programs.  The Alliance to Save Energy serves on the Steering Committee for this effort.

Evaluation, measurement and verification (EM&V) of energy efficiency programs faces a number of challenges, as discussed in Alliance work on the topic. Differing and inconsistent methods for estimating energy savings across different jurisdictions is among the most important challenges. DOE believes the protocols will increase the credibility of energy savings from energy efficiency programs, which, in turn, could lead to increased investment in energy efficiency.

Using a single protocol to calculate the energy savings from a particular measure or program will increase the credibility of the reported savings.  This consistency will give utility regulators, policy makers, and other stakeholders a greater level of confidence about reported savings.  Over time, DOE believes that adopting these protocols will reduce the cost of EM&V for energy efficiency programs. Adoption of the protocols will also improve the quality of technical reference manuals used by various energy efficiency programs for estimating savings.

DOE developed the protocols under the Uniform Methods Project. Protocol development was led by the DOE National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and implemented by The Cadmus Group, involving various technical experts and a Steering Committee comprised of an array of stakeholders, including the Alliance.  Additional protocols are being developed in 2013.

Questions about the protocols can be directed to:  ump.protocols@nrel.gov.

The Alliance’s EM&V Factsheet provides an overview of EM&V and links to related resources. Questions to the Alliance on EM&V can be directed to Rodney Sobin at rsobin@ase.org.