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​The Pacific Northwest Power Act specifically calls on BPA to pursue cost-effective energy efficiency that is “reliable and available at the time it is needed.” 

Measurement and Verification, or M&V, is a process of planning, measuring, collecting and analyzing data to verify and report energy savings within a facility or facilities resulting from the implementation of energy-efficiency measures. Custom projects require site-specific M&V to support reliable estimates of savings. BPA protocols direct activities and are reference documents for reliable M&V.

In recent rate periods, custom project energy savings are 20%–30% of BPA Energy Efficiency’s overall savings achievements.

​Background

In 2009, BPA's Energy Efficiency program had a vision for regional consistency and creating a reliable framework for reliable savings with custom project M&V. The program worked with regional stakeholders, the Regional Technical Forum and contracted with Research Into Action, Inc. Learn more about the progression of BPA's M&V protocols here

Please note: The Bonneville Power Administration provides the M&V documents posted on this site for free download and use. Please consider referencing or citing these documents when using them for your energy-efficiency program M&V offers.
BPA M&V Protocol Selection Guide

This Protocol Selection Guide assists practitioners responsible for estimating site-specific energy savings of custom projects with selecting an appropriate baseline and M&V protocol.

The BPA Measurement & Verification (M&V) Protocol Selection Guide and Example M&V Plan also aids in designing a plan and:

  • Provides an overview of BPA’s M&V protocols, application and reference guides.
  • Gives direction based on practical considerations and regional M&V experience for the appropriate guide to use for energy-efficiency projects in Section 2. An example M&V plan is in Section 3.
  • Features full citations, including websites for referenced documents in Section 4.
​BPA Fully Adherent International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocols (Comprehensive M&V)

​These documents can be used for custom projects requiring comprehensive International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol-adherent methods with more substantial expected savings — generally more than 200,000 kWh annually — so the amount of savings justifies the efforts and costs of making pre- and post-installation energy measurements.

 Verification by Equipment or End-Use Metering Protocol

  • Intended for measures that change load or operating hours, or load and hours.
  • Appropriate for non-interactive measures and can address interactive measures in limited circumstances. It is adherent with International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol Options A and B. These options are featured in the Core Concepts document.

Verification by Energy Modeling Protocol

  • Intended for measures involving equipment whose energy use is impacted by the measure(s) and multiple independent variables not affected by the measure. 
  • Appropriate for interactions between measures, but the ability to distinguish between savings for each measure is dependent upon the level of sub-metering and the types of measures.
Energy modeling refers to statistical or other data-driven types of models, not engineering models of physical systems. It also involves the development and projection of a baseline energy model, subtracting post-installation use per avoided energy-consumption methods. Energy modeling may also apply normalized savings methods, which create a common set of conditions for baseline and post-project energy models. It is adherent with International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol Options B and C. These options are in the Core Concepts document. 

Verification by Energy Use Indexing Protocol

  • Intended for measures involving equipment whose energy use is impacted by the measure(s) and by a single independent variable, such as production rate, is not affected by the measure. 
  • Appropriate for non-interactive measures and can address interactive measures in limited circumstances.
    This protocol is an application of Verification by Energy Modeling for the simple case of one-variable models. It is adherent with International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol Options B and C. These options are featured in the Core Concepts document.
​Engineering Calculations with Verification Protocol

​This protocol is based on no pre- or post-installation energy measurements, can be used for custom projects with expected savings less than 200,000 kWh annually, and when meeting other requirements and circumstances arise, as described in the Protocol Selection Guide. This protocol provides verification requirements to corroborate the energy-efficiency measure installation and operation, and the engineering calculations underpinning the pre-installation savings estimate.

Engineering Calculations with Verification Protocol

  • Provides guidance to ensure energy savings for qualified changes in existing buildings or new construction projects, using either engineering calculations or simulations, including calculation review and verification of the measures’ potential to perform as intended.
  • It can be used instead of a comprehensive M&V protocol for projects with expected savings less than 200,000 kWh, or projects for which other criteria dictate that total adherence to the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol is not possible or not appropriate. BPA Energy Efficiency engineering staff retains discretion as to whether a project with annual energy savings more than 200,000 kWh may use this protocol and remain consistent with BPA’s Implementation Manual requirements.
​BPA Protocol Appication Guides

​Each of these application guides is unique in their design and intentions, and compliment the above protocols.

End-Use Metering Absent Baseline Measurement Application Guide

  • Intended for energy-efficient equipment without a directly measurable baseline, including:
    • Newly constructed facilities.
    • Major additions to an existing facility.
    • Replacement of failed equipment.

This specific application of Verification by Equipment or End-Use Metering is adherent with International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol Option A, and can be adherent with Option B if the available information provides suitable proxies for needed parameters. These options are featured in the Core Concepts document.

Existing Building Commissioning Application Guide

  • Intended for existing buildings with commissioning projects resulting in multiple measures with interactive effects between measures. This is a specific application of Verification by Energy Modeling and is adherent with International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol Options B and C. These options are featured in the Core Concepts document.

Estimating Peak Demand Impacts Application Guide

  • Provides guidance on the estimation of peak demand impacts. Energy-efficiency projects that save energy during the periods when the electrical system is most constrained also deliver peak demand (kW) or capacity savings.

Peak-demand savings analysis is an exercise in time differentiation. Instead of quantifying how much energy is saved — which is the focus of the other BPA M&V protocols — peak-demand savings analysis asks the question, “When is the energy saved?,” for those specifically interested in the average savings during a very narrow portion of the year.

​BPA M&V Reference Guides
​Each of these reference guides is unique in their design and intentions and compliment the above protocols and application guides.
  • Sampling for M&V provides a simple explanation of sampling terms, principles and methods. Useful for projects comprised of many identical measures, such as lighting.
  • Regression for M&V provides a simple explanation of regression modeling terms, principles and methods. A companion to the Energy Modeling guide.
  • Glossary for M&V provides definitions of technical terms used in the guides.
​Related Resources

Potential Analytics for Non-Routine Adjustments, or NRA, prepared by SBW Consulting and published in 2018, provides a framework for assessing and treatment of Non-Routine Events, including analytics for associated NRA and several examples using different approaches.

BPA is a contributing organizational supporter to the Efficiency Valuation Organization, a non-profit organization whose products and services help people implement and invest in energy-efficiency projects worldwide. Efficiency Valuation Organization maintains the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol, which includes the Core Concepts and several other documents. These documents are available for download here.