Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification Resource Portal

What is EM&V?

EM&V refers to the procedures for examining a product, service, or system to ensure that the requirements and specifications are satisfied and the intended purpose fulfilled. For energy efficiency, EM&V is the collection of approaches for determining and documenting energy and non-energy benefits resulting from end-use energy efficiency activities and programs. Effective EM&V can confirm energy savings, verify cost-effectiveness, and guide future energy efficiency investment decisions.

The State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action) Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification (EM&V) Resource Portal is an EM&V resource compendium for energy efficiency program administrators and project managers. The resources focus on tools and approaches that can be applied nationwide, address EM&V consistency, and are recognized by the industry.

This web portal identifies helpful resources in the targeted categories below:

EM&V Guidance for Multiple Sectors

M&V basics–determine savings from energy efficiency projects: The International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) defines standard terms and provides a framework for verifying project-specific energy efficiency savings. Published by the Energy Valuation Organization, the IPMVP is an internationally recognized best practice protocol and is the leading M&V industry protocol in the United States.

Evaluate the impact of energy efficiency programs: SEE Action's Energy Efficiency Program Impact Evaluation Guide  is a definitive EM&V resource for both novices and experts to assist with energy efficiency program evaluation. It focuses on the most common approaches to estimating energy efficiency savings: M&V approaches (based on IPMVP), deemed savings values, and large-scale billing analysis. It includes a comprehensive glossary of EM&V terms, concepts, and steps for calculating savings, avoided emissions, and other non-energy impacts of energy efficiency programs.

Calculate savings for common energy efficiency measures: The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Uniform Methods Project (UMP) establishes easy-to-follow, consistent, and transparent protocols for determining gross savings for a core set of commonly deployed energy efficiency measures in programs of significant scale. UMP is more detailed and specific than the guide above and includes protocols for the following measures:

  • Residential boilers and furnaces, lighting, refrigerator recycling, and whole-house retrofits
  • Commercial lighting, lighting controls, and unitary air conditioning.

Determine savings for demand response programs: Measurement and Verification for Demand Response was developed to fulfill part of the Implementation Proposal for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's National Action Plan on Demand Response. This guide provides methods for M&V of demand response in wholesale and retail markets and is intended for use by designers and operators of demand response programs and market mechanisms, by regulators, and by participants or potential participants in demand response program offerings.

Sector-Specific EM&V Resources

Estimate savings from residential behavior-based programs: SEE Action's EM&V of Residential Behavior-Based Energy Efficiency Programs: Issues and Recommendations provides recommended technical methods to estimate the savings from residential behavior-based energy efficiency programs. These methods will give regulators, program administrators, and stakeholders a high degree of confidence in the validity of energy savings estimates from behavior-based programs.

Measure efficiency progress in government buildings: DOE's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) publishes and maintains M&V guidance for federal agencies to meet energy-related goals and requirements:

Manage energy and validate results in industrial facilities: DOE is developing tools to enable industrial building and facility managers to track progress on efficiency at the facility level and to validate energy management practices consistent with the requirements of the international standard for energy management, ISO 50001. DOE's Superior Energy Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol details the process and necessary qualifications for ISO 50001 compliance certification. Learn more about the Superior Energy Performance Program.

Regional Resources on EM&V Consistency

The Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) Regional Evaluation, Measurement and Verification Forum (EM&V Forum) supports the development and use of common and/or consistent protocols to evaluate, measure, verify, and report the savings, costs, and emissions impacts of energy efficiency. The EM&V Forum developed Common Statewide Energy Efficiency Reporting Guidelines with state-level reporting templates and several process recommendations for consistent reporting of energy efficiency program energy and demand savings and associated costs, avoided emissions, and job impacts across the region. The results from several northeast states can be found in the Regional Energy Efficiency Database (REED).

The Regional Technical Forum (RTF) of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council is an advisory committee established in 1999 to develop common standards to verify and evaluate conservation savings.

Resources on Air Quality Impact Evaluation

Calculate avoided air emissions for energy efficiency program impact evaluation: Chapter 6 of the Energy Efficiency Program Impact Evaluation Guide features a summary of policy issues and methods for calculating avoided emissions from end-use energy efficiency, including discussion of considerations for calculating emissions factors.

Calculate emissions benefits of energy efficiency for State Implementation Plans (SIPs): The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Roadmap manual clarifies existing agency guidance on incorporating energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and programs into State and Tribal Implementation Plans (SIPs/TIPs). Appendix I of the Roadmap provides information to help jurisdictions determine the emissions quantification approach best suited to accounting for energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and programs in SIPs/TIPs.

Quantify air quality (AQ) benefits associated with energy efficiency for AQ improvement strategies: The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) report, Quantifying the Air Quality Impacts of Energy Efficiency Policies and Programs, provides an introduction for AQ regulators to the rationale and opportunities for using energy efficiency as an AQ improvement strategy, identifies useful data sources, and outlines four basic steps for quantifying the AQ impacts of energy efficiency policies and programs.

Examine projected impacts of on-the-books state energy efficiency and renewable energy policies: EPA provides state-by-state estimates for the projected impacts of "on-the-books" energy efficiency and renewable energy policies not included in Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook. The data in this demonstration serve as illustrative examples of an approach states might employ for projecting energy and emissions impacts.

Estimate the health and economic benefits of AQ policies: EPA's Co–Benefits Risk Assessment (COBRA) screening model is a free tool that helps state and local governments estimate and map the AQ, human health, and related economic benefits (excluding energy cost savings) of clean energy policies or programs. The tool is also helpful for approximating the change in emissions of particulate matter (PM2.5), sulfur dioxide (S02), nitrogen oxides (NOX), ammonia (NH3), and volatile organic compounds at the county, state, regional, or national level.

Estimate the emissions impacts of energy efficiency and renewable energy policies: EPA has developed a credible, free, user-friendly, and accessible tool to estimate emissions impacts of energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and programs so that air quality planners can incorporate those impacts into their National Ambient Air Quality compliance plans. 

The AVoided Emissions and geneRation Tool (AVERT) quantifies the displaced sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and programs within the continental United States (Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. Territories are not modeled). AVERT users can analyze how different types of EE programs, as well as wind and solar technologies, affect the magnitude and location-at the county, state, and regional level-of emissions.

Learn More and Get Involved

Participate in peer exchange and webinars on advanced topics: SEE Action and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's State Climate and Energy Program host the monthly Energy Efficiency EM&V Webinar Series that provides ongoing support and peer exchange for policymakers, program administrators, utilities, and others on a variety of EM&V topics.

Conference with EM&V industry professionals: International Energy Program Evaluation Conference (IEPEC) is an annual professional conference for energy program implementers; evaluators of those programs; local, state, national, and international representatives; and academic researchers actively working in the field of evaluation. The purpose of the conference is to provide a forum for the presentation, critique, and discussion of objective evaluations of energy programs.

Receive EM&V training and certification: The Efficiency Valuation Organization (EVO), developer of the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP), and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) offers training and certification for EM&V professionals.

Other Resources

Explore the concept of developing a national EM&V standard: SEE Action's National Energy Efficiency Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification EM&V Standard: Scoping Study of Issues and Implementation Requirements investigates the scope and requirements of developing a national EM&V standard for end-use, non-transportation, energy efficiency activities.

Examine the scope of issues in creating national databases for sharing EM&V best practices and savings estimates from energy efficiency programs: SEE Action's Scoping Study to Evaluate Feasibility of National Databases for EM&V Documents and Measure Savings assesses the need for national databases that can support best practices in energy efficiency program EM&V and to identify options for meeting those needs.

Review of the merits of current EM&V practices and suggested actions for improving consistency: The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report, Review of Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification Approaches Used to Estimate the Load Impacts and Effectiveness of Energy Efficiency Programs, explores the strengths and weaknesses of existing EM&V methods. The report reviews the practices to evaluate consistency, barriers to improvement, and limitations to scale.

Explore additional resources: Appendix C of the Energy Efficiency Program Impact Evaluation Guide presents key references that comprise a body of knowledge developed over the last several decades of energy efficiency program implementation and evaluation.