For Good Measure

 A Look at the Benefits of Measurement & Verification

January 2013

During construction, buildings generally undergo energy modeling to predict how much energy the building is going to consume. However, he energy predictions are often not validated after the building is opened and facility owners miss out on major energy savings.

United States Green Building Council LEED Logo"Facilities are usually projected to have reduced utility usage, but building operators often don't know if their building is living up to its potential," says Reed Tarkington, Vice President of Four Seasons Environmental, Inc. "As such, we recommend all facilities implement Measurement and Verification (M&V)."

The M&V approach requires building operators to record the actual energy use over the course of several months and compare the data with the estimated energy use that was predicted during the design phase. This process ensures all systems are performing as specified, and can pinpoint any anomalies in equipment or facilities operations. Through M&V, building operators can reduce energy costs, assist with commissioning, and document and improve the efficiency of energy conservation measures.

"Between moving, getting to know a new facility, technical issues and other competing problems, it's difficult for building operators to realize the hour-by-hour, or even day-to-day, energy use," explains Reed. "The M&V credit has helped many building owners achieve their energy goals, not only by showing the actual energy usage in comparison with the design estimates, but also by helping operators pinpoint problem areas."

The long-term energy savings can be extremely impressive. In addition, by finding and fixing system problems as they occur, it can help extend the life of equipment and save maintenance personnel time on emergency repairs.

To learn more about Measurement and Verification, visit the Measurement & Verification Portal on the web at http://mnv.lbl.gov/.