NREL report

DOE Publishes Protocols to Determine Energy Efficiency Savings

NREL reportThe Department of Energy has published a new series of protocols for determining savings from energy efficiency upgrades in homes, commercial buildings, and industrial facilities.

Developed in collaboration with leading technical experts under the Uniform Methods Project (UMP), these protocols offer a straightforward approach for calculating energy savings made possible from common residential and commercial efficiency measures in utility-based energy efficiency programs.

Currently, there are differences in the way public utility commissions, utilities, contractors, and energy efficiency program administrators calculate energy savings in different jurisdictions and regions of the country. These differences reduce the overall credibility of energy efficiency programs. Adopting the new protocols, Methods for Determining Energy Efficiency Savings for Specific Measures, is intended to help increase confidence about reported energy savings from energy efficiency programs.

The new protocols follow accepted practices in the energy efficiency evaluation industry and have been vetted by numerous experts. Their development was led by the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and implemented by the Cadmus Group.

The UMP project is a two-phase undertaking. The first report contains protocols for these seven measures, which are primarily applicable to residential and commercial facilities:

  1. Refrigerator recycling
  2. Commercial lighting
  3. Commercial lighting controls
  4. Residential lighting
  5. Residential furnaces and boilers
  6. Residential and small commercial unitary and split system air conditioning equipment
  7. Whole-building retrofit.

These measures were selected because they: (1) represent a diverse set of end uses in the residential and commercial sectors; (2) are present in most energy efficiency portfolios across all jurisdictions; and (3) have a significant remaining savings potential.

In the second phase, the list will be expanded, so the final set of measures covered is expected to represent a significant share of the available technical and economic energy efficiency potential in most jurisdictions.

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