Measuring and Verifying Energy Efficiency
ACHR News, July 13, 2015. Image credit: DomenicBlair
Accurately measuring and verifying energy efficiency not only ensures a job was done correctly, but it also shows customers they’re getting exactly what they paid for. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), providing evidence of real and reliable savings is essential to assuring funding and public support for energy-efficiency programs. Evaluation, measurement, and verification demonstrate the value of energy efficiency by providing accurate, transparent, and consistent assessments of methods and performance, the organization stated on its website.
If you educate the customer, it builds value in the test at the end, because, all of a sudden, they’re like, ‘So, if I don’t look at these things, too, I’m only going to get 70 percent of what I pay for?’” Boylan continued. “That would be like ordering a large 10-piece pizza and, when it shows up, there are three pieces missing. That would not fly in any other industry. So, we have to set that expectation that if you want to get the whole pizza — which is what you paid for — we have to build the pizza this way. Somehow, we have to correlate that so everybody understands that from the beginning it starts with the way we talk to our consumers,” he added. “This isn’t just something we’re trying to sell you. We’re doing this for the right reasons. This is value; this is energy efficiency.”
After completing a bunch of work, testing and verification lets contractors know what type of impact they made, George said. “We go through a house, and, after doing the whole inspection, we’ll give the homeowner an estimate as to how much tighter we think the house could be based on our experience and the areas of leakage that we found. That’s one way for us to gauge how well we did on the backside. So, if we fix it so the homeowner can reduce his or her air leakage by 1,000 cfm, and we retest at the end and get to 1,100 cfm, then that’s great. If we only get 500 cfm, then we might want to go back and look and see if we missed something.”