Measurement & Verification & IPMVP: Promoting Energy Efficiency Throughout Projects

Posted by Brian Thumann on

Measurement & Verification Planning is conducted in the Energy Efficiency Planning, Install, as well as Maintain Phases of and energy savings project lifecycle.  Attendees to the course Energy Savings Measurement & Verification (M&V) and IPMVP (International Measurement Verification Protocol), will explore various energy management and building operation techniques which can be used by building owners, operators, energy managers, energy engineers, M&V data analysts, facility managers and energy efficiency project investors to bolster energy efficiency implementation and for the following value-added purposes:

  • Increasing Energy Savings and Energy Efficiency Implementation:
    Accurate determination of energy savings gives building owners (end users), and facility managers valuable feedback on their energy efficiency measures.  This feedback helps them adjust energy efficiency retrofit design (partial or whole facility energy efficiency retrofits) or building operations to improve energy savings, achieve greater energy efficiency savings over time by continuous systems improvement, and lower variations in savings.
  • Improve Engineering Design and Facility - Building Operations and Maintenance (O&M):
    The preparation of a good pre-implementation project M&V Plan encourages comprehensive project design by including all M&V costs in the project’s economics. Good M&V also helps managers discover and reduce maintenance and operating problems, so they can run facilities and systems more effectively. Good M&V also provides feedback for future project designs and further energy efficiency measures.
  • Energy Savings Performance Contracts, Energy Efficiency, and the role of M&V
    For some projects, the energy efficiency savings are the basis for performance based financial payments and/or a guarantee in a performance contract (energy savings performance contract ESPC). A well-defined and implemented M&V Plan can be the basis for documenting performance in a transparent manner and subjected to independent verification. For many ESPC, M&V is often a required component of the contract terms which may be long term in nature.  Long term ESPCs, often implement additional energy efficiency measures as technologies advance, new innovations come to the marketplace, the operations of the facilities or buildings are optimized, and as the needs of the end user change over time.
  • Enable Financing for Energy Efficiency Projects:
    Project financing is often a challenge for energy professionals to implement or start even the best energy efficiency projects.  A good M&V Plan increases the transparency and credibility of reports on the outcome of energy efficiency investments. This credibility can increase the confidence that investors, financial firms, and other stakeholders and sponsors have in energy efficiency projects, enhancing their chances of the energy efficiency project being financed.

    Best energy management practices involve the integration of the M&V efforts into the process of identifying, developing, procuring, installing, and operating energy efficiency measures.   Identifying energy efficiency project synergies and establishing roles and responsibilities of the parties involved during the project planning will support a coordinated team effort.   Properly integrated, each M&V task serves to enhance and improve energy efficiency measures, a facilities overall performance, building operation including O&M, and to foster a culture of continuous energy efficiency and sustainability improvements.

IPMVP: International Performance Measurement Verification Protocol

Energy Savings Measurement, Verification, and the Importance of the IPMVP

The International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) owned, maintained, and updated by the non-profit organization - Efficiency Valuation Organization (EVO) is a framework for evaluating the performance of energy efficiency projects. It is designed to provide a global common language and set of standards for measuring, verifying, and reporting the performance of such projects. This makes it possible for all stakeholders in the energy efficiency market, including energy users, utilities, energy service companies, and state energy offices, to compare the performance of different projects and make informed decisions about investments in energy efficiency.  NOTE: Only authorized EVO Training Providers may utilize the IPMVP and deliver M&V training based on the IPMVP and related documents (no other organization may utilize or distributed the IPMVP as it is copyrighted materials).

Energy Savings Measurement Options-

The type of measurement boundary selected generally aligns with one or more of the four IPMVP Options, shown below, and impacts the granularity of the savings reported and the measurements required. The purpose(s) of the M&V reporting must be considered when selecting an Option.

If the purpose of reporting is to verify the savings from equipment affected by the energy efficiency project, a measurement boundary should be drawn around that equipment, and measurement requirements for the equipment within the boundary can then be determined. Energy consumption and/or demand may be directly measured or determined by direct measurement of key variables that can be reliably used to calculate demand or energy consumption. The approach used is a Retrofit Isolation Option (Option A or B).

If the purpose of reporting is to verify and/or help manage total facility energy performance or verify the savings from multiple EEMs with interactive effects, the meters measuring the supply of energy to the whole facility can be used to assess performance and savings. The measurement boundary, in this case, encompasses the whole facility. The approach used is Option C: Whole Facility.


If the Baseline Period or Reporting Period data are unreliable or unavailable (e.g., new construction), energy data from a calibrated simulation model can be applied for either a portion or all of the facility. The measurement boundary can be drawn accordingly. The approach used is Option D: Calibrated Simulation.

Another benefit of the IPMVP is that it promotes transparency and accountability in the energy efficiency market. By establishing a common set of standards and guidelines for measuring and verifying energy savings, the IPMVP ensures that all stakeholders have access to the same information and can make informed decisions about their investments.

Energy Service Performance Contracts - energy savings performance contracts typically require measurement and verification to ensure that the energy savings goals outlined in the contract are being met. This typically involves using specialized equipment such as metering and techniques to accurately measure and track the energy savings achieved through the implementation of the contract. The exact requirements for measurement and verification will vary depending on the specific details of the contract and the regulations in place in the area where the contract is taking place. 

The IPMVP also helps to support the development of the energy efficiency market by providing a framework for determining the value of energy efficiency projects. This can help to attract additional financial investments in the sector, ensure confidence and drive further innovation and growth.

Overall, the IPMVP provides a valuable tool for energy users (commercial, governmental, industrial, institutional), utilities, DSM program managers, ESCOS, performance contractors, state energy offices, and other stakeholders involved in the energy efficiency market. By enabling accurate measurement and verification of energy savings, promoting transparency and accountability, and supporting the development of the market, the IPMVP can help to drive progress towards a more sustainable efficient energy system and foster additional projects and project financing.