Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification

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. 

Photo of a building.

Key Focus Areas

Effective EM&V can confirm energy savings, verify cost-effectiveness, and guide future energy efficiency investment decisions.  SEE Action has identified three key focus areas in EM&V:

  • Support consistency and transparency for EM&V methods.  Consistency and transparency allows policymakers and regulators to better understand reported savings.  Transparency of the methods used to determine the savings allows stakeholders to understand the assumptions and calculations that impact the reported savings.  Consistency of methods allows similar programs to benchmark against each other.
  • Address emerging issues and technologies. New technologies allow evaluators to develop new ways of measuring savings and to understand better the nature of the savings.  For example, smart meters provide interval (more granular) energy use data, such as time of day the saving occurred.  New hardware and software provides the ability to functionally meter individual pieces of equipment without actually have to place a meter on the piece of equipment.
  • Increase adoption of best practices.  Providing resources on successful EM&V approaches to state and local officials, and other stakeholders, helps improve EM&V practices across the country and ensures the sharing of lessons learned.  

Key Initiatives

SEE Action is currently working on several initiatives that provide regulators, program administrators, program implementers, and evaluators with EMV tools and information to support long-term investments in energy efficiency as a resource.  These include:

  • Guidance on the evaluation process and approaches for determining program impacts; planning evaluation efforts; and key issues associated with establishing evaluation frameworks for improving the efficacy of energy efficiency portfolios, documenting the impacts of such portfolios, and comparing demand- and supply-side resources.
  • A portal of EMV resources to provide stakeholders with a curated set of EM&V resources.
  • Recommended evaluation methods for estimating energy savings impacts resulting from residential behavior based efficiency programs.
  • Examples of new ways of doing EM&V that utilize changes in technology and/or data from interval meters. 

Connect with Us about Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification

Contact our Experts
  • Niko Dietsch, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
    Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification Working Group, Staff Lead
  • Michael Li, U.S. Department of Energy,
    Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification Working Group, Staff Lead

Work Products

SEE Action Guide for States: Guidance on Establishing and Maintaining Technical Reference Manuals for Energy Efficiency Measures

The goal of this guide is to support the development, maintenance, and use of accurate and reliable Technical Reference Manuals (TRMs). TRMs provide information primarily used for estimating the energy and demand savings of end-use energy efficiency measures associated with utility customer-funded efficiency programs.

Energy Efficiency Program Impact Evaluation Guide

The key efficiency evaluation, measurement, and verification resource for novices and experts. Includes definitions, concepts, and steps for calculating savings, avoided emissions, and other impacts.

ENERGY STAR® Retail Products Platform (RPP): Conditions and Considerations in Evaluating Market Transformation Programs and Evaluation Guidance for RPP

The purpose of this guide is to provide a resource for state utility regulators, utilities, the evaluation community and regulatory stakeholders on methods to measure energy savings from the ENERGY STAR Retail Products Platform. The guidelines outlined in this document were developed by evaluation experts.

SEE Action Guide for States: Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification Frameworks — Guidance for Energy Efficiency Portfolios Funded by Utility Customers

This guide describes frameworks for evaluation, measurement, and verification (EM&V) of utility customer–funded energy efficiency programs. The authors reviewed multiple frameworks across the United States and gathered input from experts to prepare this guide. This guide provides the reader with both the contents of an EM&V framework, along with the processes used to develop and update these frameworks.