BTRL ribbon

Objective Measurement Verification of Energy Savings

Principal Investigators:
Dr. Afshin Afshari, Professor of Practice, Engineering Systems and Management, Masdar Institute
Dr. Peter Armstrong, Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering, Masdar Institute

Savings cannot be measured directly. Accurate savings verification requires direct measurement of the load(s) in question before and after a demand-side management (DSM) activity, be it operation and maintenance (O&M) or retrofit.
Further, for weather and occupancy sensitive measures, a weather and occupancy normalizing model is needed. Because of these difficulties DSM programs often use simplified measurement and verification (M&V) procedures (ASHRAE Guideline 14-2002).

It is desirable when launching a new DSM program to provide the most rigorous M&V procedure to a sample of target buildings sufficient to statistically validate and characterize the uncertainty inherent in the simplified procedures. Such measurement-based M&V can also reveal procedural engineering or installation errors in the program’s implementation of a particular DSM action. This is especially important in a region where energy efficient buildings and systems are an alien concept and where tradespeople, even after initial training, lack solid on-the-ground-experience and have never worked on a performance-based contract. Existing and new M&V procedures, adapted particularly to Gulf conditions, will be developed for this purpose.

Similar to the load research, improved M&V helps to identify and prioritize DSM activities iteratively as on-the-ground experience with the CCP accrues to help reach a larger fraction of the truly cost-effective actions while avoiding the bad, marginal or risky investments.

A set of DSM activities within the CCP for which M&V uncertainties are significant are being identified. For these activities the uncertainties using simplified and rigorous M&V procedures will be estimated and on this basis the required sample size for application of the appropriate rigorous procedure will be determined.  To the extent possible, these procedures will be tested in the buildings in which end-use metering is deployed. The realized savings and uncertainties will be estimated and compared to the pre-retrofit engineering estimates of the expected savings. From this analysis recommendations for simplified M&V (applied to all treated buildings) and rigorous M&V methods and sampling rates (for subset of CCP participants) will be developed. These results will be presented at a workshop for all stakeholders involved in CCP program design and implementation.

Abu Dhabi energy subsidies currently represent the largest single government expenditure. Incentives for DSM participation can result in dramatic savings if properly implemented and monitored. Without proper monitoring these programs typically cost more than the present value of achieved savings and result in achieving 50% or less of the potential cost-effective savings.