This project, includes a variety of activities conducted for the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships, Inc. (NEEP) and its Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification (EM&V) Forum (hereafter EMV Forum or the Forum) over the course of many years. Three issues motivated the Forum members’ interest in studying net savings: 1) the prevailing lack of consistency in definitions and measurement in the Northeast; 2) expanded use of energy savings estimates by diverse audiences, particularly with applications to climate change policies; and 3) increasing challenges of determining program “attribution”—that is, demonstrating that an energy efficiency program in a given year caused savings to occur in the face of extensive prior program activity and the existence of additional influences promoting efficient actions.
In 2015 the Forum is developing principles and guidance, building on previous years’ work and two recent webinars (Navigant Consulting and TetraTech, 2015) reviewing fundamentals and current trends.
The project’s 2013-2014 activities focused on monitoring, participation in the US DOE working group, and commenting on US DOE’s Uniform Methods Project (UMP) Net Savings Methods protocol, which was published by DOE in September 2014.
The project’s 2012 report, Definitions and Treatment of Net and Gross Savings in Energy and Environmental Policy (NMR and Research Into Action) summarizes the treatment of energy savings estimates in the policies of various entities in the Northeast. The research is intended to increase clarity and regional consistency in the nomenclature used in describing and reporting gross savings and net savings, and to help inform discussions about whether and how policy goals are aligned with policy metrics.
The project’s 2010 Net Savings Project produced the Net Savings Scoping Study (NMR and Research Into Action, 2010). It reviews how gross savings, net savings, realization rate, and the parameters of gross and net savings are defined and applied in types of programs (e.g. whole house retrofit programs, large C&I custom measure programs and upstream residential lighting programs). It also presents opportunities and barriers to increasing the consistency of and quality in net savings definitions and measurement in the region, based on perspectives from energy and air regulators, program administrators, and energy efficiency and other social science evaluators.