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Measurement and verification to support big investment
BACKGROUND

Measurement and Verification (M&V) of energy conservation measures (ECMs) is vital in ensuring a user’s energy reduction targets are realised and investment decisions are sound. After noting a lack of competent and reliable work being done in this field, we decided to lead the way and now boast a team of certified M&V professionals. Whether validating the effect of an investment, or using the same principals to estimate the projected real-world affects prior to investment, we endeavour to ensure value for money is assured and poor investment decisions are avoided.

BRIEF

Following a series of high-value trials of a new technology, one of our US clients wanted to validate the energy savings and appointed our team to help assess the business cases for investment.

PROCESS

The process undertaken involved multiple linear regression analyses and communication channels being set up between various stakeholders. The effect was a higher level of certainty. The form of regression analysis used was a new undertaking for our client and we implemented communication channels between various stakeholders, leading to their supply chain being subject to a higher level of scrutiny. We liaised with contractors and suppliers to decide on the variables to benchmark and analyse energy consumption. The M&V plan was created and quarterly analysis was completed and reported over a 12 month period, with briefing sessions held with the client and suppliers. The quarterly reporting format was also a key part of our service, using an infographic for ease of sharing and communication with non-technical stakeholders.

OUTCOME

Some investments were deemed successful, while some were found not to be meeting the intended level of performance. In some cases, the results were not only lower than expected but the initial forecasted savings (that formed part of the business case) were shown to be impossible. It was decided that many of the processes undertaken through our work would have highlighted these issues, and that these principles should be included earlier in the process to validate the initial decision making. In addition, we identified unforeseen changes in energy consumption, which would have otherwise been hidden and unexplained. These issues were highlighted to and remedied by the supplier, ensuring they did not persist and the optimum energy performance was maintained. As hoped, our graphical reporting promoted a higher level of engagement than is typical and, after seeing the benefits (albeit not always good news), our client is now considering using this level of M&V service across its global portfolio on a wider range of projects.

Consultant’s insight

Sound analysis, when appropriately applied and properly communicated, is fundamental to better decision making and increasing levels of certainty for confident investment choices. Even when the results mean hard lessons need to be learnt, this information is invaluable.

Big investment decision to make? Talk to Livingstone today.