Today's ICP Technical Forum call provided a format to examine some procedures and documentation specified by the ICP Protocols which may not represent common business practices for some project developers. The call was attended by over 30 participants, The following are highlights from the discussion:
Baselining - should non-normalized baselines be allowed for some projects?
-The ICP Team
- Many programs require normalization of the baseline utility data to independent variables. This is standard practice for many energy efficiency projects as well, and typically involves normalization to weather data, although other independent variables may be more appropriate.
- It is sometimes difficult to develop a correlation between building energy use and weather data, or other independent variables. Developing an energy-use equation to appropriate variables can be challenging, and may involve more "art than science" in some cases. However, typically, a correlation between specific variables and energy use can be determined.
- Normalization of baseline data using spreadsheets is not overly complicated, and there are free applications available to assist with normalization. However, all cases require some skill on the part of the practitioner to develop a meaningful relationship between independent and dependent variables, even if the process is automated.
- Weather normalization or normalization to any independent variables may not be appropriate for some projects. Even if the process is not complex, this could still be seen as "over-kill" for some project or measure types. Examples of measure in which this may not be necessary might include: pressure booster pumps, domestic hot water production, exterior lighting, process applications, etc.
- At least for Targeted Protocol, suggest considering non-normalized baselines for projects or measure-types that can justify this approach. Care needs to be applied, however. Interior lighting, for example, affects heating and cooling loads as well. These interactive effects should be accounted for in a project's analysis, and these affect systems that are (commonly) weather-dependent.
- Many programs require that project developers share open, live spreadsheet calculations, so these can be thoroughly reviewed, regarding methodology, assumptions, etc. This is an important element of project development and review, and provides confidence between the investor and the project developer. Represents a key component to the underwriting process.
- While project developers may be "protective" of their calculation tools, this is a very necessary element - an open book approach. NDAs are a common tool used to address concerns, and can be used between the quality assurance provider, investor, and project developer to help mitigate concerns.
- OPV, OM&M and M&V represent critical components that help ensure the success of an energy efficiency project. While OPV and OM&M plans are optional during the Underwriting period under the Targeted protocol, they are required under the Standard and Large protocols.
- The plans need to be as concise as possible, and focus on the measures involved with the project. (ICP's use of the term "Operational Performance Verification" in place of commissioning is intended to highlight this differentiation: commissioning practices applied only to the measures and system involved with the project, and not commissioning of the entire building).
- The ICP team has developed templates for concise OPV plans and OM&M plans. These represent "living documents." They can be filled out during the underwriting process, before projects are well-defined or before a contract has been signed, with minimal effort (but still include project-specific details). And can be revised / added to as the project develops during construction and into the performance period.
- All stakeholders are invited to review these documents (plan templates), and provide feedback, or use them for their ICP projects.
- Similar efforts are being applied to develop M&V plan templates. The IPMVP committee is in the process of developing M&V Plan adherence criteria, and will share these with the community and use these to develop IPMVP-compliant M&V plan templates. Their efforts will be supported by the ICP team, to develop M&V plan templates for various Option types and measure / project types.
- The NYSERDA Multifamily Performance Program (MPP) is currently performing a side-by-side comparison of the MPP and ICP requirements, to evaluate ICP requirements that enhance the MPP requirements, and evaluate the additional costs or resources associated with these items.
- The ICP team is similarly working with Pilot Projects to evaluate the ICP required elements, and what resources are required to incorporate ICP protocols into best-practices.
-The ICP Team