Measuring Value

The process of evaluation, measurement and verification (EM&V) provides both quantitative and qualitative evidence of the real impacts of energy efficiency programs and measures.

CEE values EM&V as a coherent strategy for determining energy savings, measuring the real benefits of efficiency programs, and justifying and securing public support and funding. Building on their shared perspectives, members contribute their collective expertise in developing credible assessments of program savings.

Considering commonly accepted and reliable methods of tracking program performance and attributing energy savings and non-energy benefits to programs, CEE members track demonstrable program accomplishments. New program approaches like behavior, for example, require revised measurement techniques, just as new connected technologies provide new sources of data. Led by specifically tasked working groups and enriched by the ongoing exchange of resources, CEE supports deep understanding of program performance to inform and transform markets.

Members also work together to identify and remedy gaps in perception and comprehension. As the size of the energy efficiency industry continues to expand in the US and Canada, members are substantiating the value of collective efficiency efforts.

“The EnergyRight Solutions organization at TVA offers energy solution programs that assist 154 local power companies in seven states in their role as trusted energy advisors for their customers.  This requires us to have access to various techniques and approaches in energy efficiency. CEE provides resources that enable us to provide energy solutions to our customers.” Cindy Herron, TVA

Evaluation and Research

Members come to CEE to achieve and claim savings with more accuracy, credibility, and comparability through shared information and research. In 2016, CEE concluded its Evaluation Planning Criteria Project, for which members contributed information on the frequency of use and criteria for program evaluations across their portfolios. Sharing standards and coverage requirements across CEE member organizations enables each to understand how their evaluation planning criteria and coverage compare with those in other jurisdictions. This information can be used to justify existing approaches or support change in ongoing conversations with stakeholders or advocates.

It is notable that some CEE members incorporate non-energy benefits into their own cost-effectiveness screening practices. Sharing the most credible and accepted methods of quantifying non-energy benefits demonstrates the value of efficiency measures and programs beyond energy savings. Collected member case studies provide information on the values of particular non-energy benefits in various jurisdictions, methodology employed, effective arguments used in regulatory proceedings, and good resources to consider. The results have demonstrated that many members have successfully accounted for environmental and health benefits in their cost-effectiveness screening. Members considered updates to practices in their own jurisdictions based on information shared in the case studies.

The Evaluation Committee identifies opportunities for cross-sector synergies and leverages collaborative opportunities to address key topics and challenges common to both evaluators and program staff. In 2016, the Evaluation Committee continued to explore joint opportunities with the Commercial Whole Buildings Performance Committee that would enable members to address topics like EM&V 2.0 and savings estimations for commercial whole buildings. Members will continue to monitor and cultivate joint opportunities to address the potential of advanced analytics and to provide members with the tools needed to successfully integrate such approaches as they see fit.

As the home of the efficiency program industry for the US and Canada, CEE enjoys a trusting relationship with members, who share the key data that measures the industry. Since 2006 CEE has surveyed efficiency program administrators to further document trends in the size and impact of the industry. CEE collected, vetted, and analyzed data from 321 program administrators to compile the CEE 2016 Annual Industry Report. This important document provides a consistent and accurate picture of program expenditures, budgets, and savings across 50 states, the District of Columbia, and nine Canadian provinces.

In addition, CEE successfully collaborated with US EPA for the 17th year on the 2016 survey and analysis for the National Awareness of ENERGY STAR® Report. The analysis demonstrates the successful impact of local and national brand promotion of ENERGY STAR.®

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Members pursue evaluation techniques for behavior programs. Source: iStockphoto

Our analyses are the standard for reliable, actionable behavior program reporting within all sectors. One example is the Behavior Program Summary, with its comprehensive detail on member behavioral programs and evaluation techniques. CEE overviews encompass more than 100 programs each year and are likely the only compilation of energy efficiency behavior programs on such a scale.

CEE continues to shed light on the important topic of persistence by helping members address key questions about the durability of energy savings after behavioral programs end. Enhanced understanding of persistence is crucial, particularly given the implications for cost-effectiveness, program credibility, and resource planning. In 2016, CEE published Keep the Change: Behavioral Persistence in Energy Efficiency Programs in 2016. This members-only document provides an update on current knowledge about energy efficiency persistence and insights about the rates of savings decay—and, inversely, the rates of savings persistence—in recent behavioral programs. CEE also publishes case studies on a variety of behavioral topics, including tried and true programs, those that are particularly innovative, and pilots using connected devices. Case studies focus on programs that incorporate a variety of behavioral insights and demonstrate quantitative energy savings, adding to member understanding of this relatively new field.