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 ascertaining energy savings, measuring the real benefits of efficiency programs, and justifying and securing public support and funding. Members contribute their collective expertise in developing credible and consistent assessments of program savings and benefits for emerging opportunities. The bottom line: demonstrating the value of new technology and advanced analytics.

Working together to share commonly accepted and credible methods of tracking program performance and attributing energy savings and non-energy benefits to programs, CEE members track demonstrable program accomplishments. New program approaches, for example, behavior, demand revised measurement techniques, and new connected technologies offer 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 collaboratively identify and remedy gaps in perception and comprehension, developing new modes of introspective learning. As the size of the energy efficiency industry continues to expand in the US and Canada, the 2015 CEE Annual Industry Report quantifies and demonstrates the value of our collective efficiency efforts.

Evaluation and Research

Members come to CEE to achieve and claim savings with more accuracy, credibility, and comparability through shared information and research. In 2015, as part of the ongoing Evaluation Planning Criteria Project, members contributed information on the frequency of use and criteria for program evaluations across their portfolios. Sharing standards and coverage requirements with CEE member organizations enables members 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. A report on these findings is expected in 2016.

It is notable that 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 have been disseminated, providing information on the values used for 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 Working Group identifies opportunities for cross-sector synergies and leverages collaboration opportunities to address key topics and challenges common to both evaluators and program staff. In 2015, the Evaluation Committee joined forces with the Commercial Whole Buildings Performance Committee to develop joint breakout sessions at both CEE Program Meetings; they addressed topics like

“Members benefit from formally sharing research and information. By seeing more deeply into each others’ processes and understanding applications to specific sectors, we come away with new perspective on our jurisdictional differences and ideas for improvements.”Carol White, National Grid
“EM&V 2.0” and savings estimation for commercial whole buildings. Evaluation Committee members provided ongoing input into a draft savings estimation toolkit for commercial buildings to ensure that the content would be credible and implementable by the evaluation community.

As the home of the efficiency program industry for the United States and Canada, the Consortium 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 inform Consortium work and document trends in the size and impact of the industry. CEE has collected, vetted, and analyzed data from 347 program administrators. The compiled CEE 2014 Annual Industry Report provides a consistent and accurate picture of program expenditures, budgets, and savings across 50 states, the District of Columbia, and nine provinces.

Every year, the survey tool is refined and additional information is collected. Given member interest in connected devices that can serve both efficiency and load management, CEE is now capturing pertinent data with a more comprehensive demand response reporting questionnaire. In addition, CEE successfully collaborated with US EPA for the 15th year on the 2014 survey and analysis for the Household Awareness of ENERGY STAR ® Report. The analysis demonstrates the successful impact of local and national brand promotion of ENERGY STAR.®

Behavior

Our analyses became the standard for reliable, actionable reporting within all sectors. One example is the Behavior Program Summary with its comprehensive detail on member behavioral programs and evaluation techniques. These overviews include more than 100 programs each year and are likely the only compilation of energy efficiency behavior programs on such a scale. An analysis was presented to acclaim at the Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference (BECC) in October and through a SEE Action Webinar in December.

CEE also publishes case studies on a variety of behavioral topics, including innovative programs in schools and pilots using connected devices. These case studies focus on programs that incorporate a variety of behavioral insights and demonstrate quantitative energy savings, adding to members’ understanding of this relatively new field.

The original behavior framework for efficiency programs is continually updated to offer tangible know-how and include feedback devices. In 2015 CEE published Behavior Insights and Tools: How Social Science Has Been—and Could Be—Applied to Connected Programs to provide new insight. This members-only document features an overview of new findings on human behavior that social science has gathered over the years. It also cites tangible examples of how this knowledge is currently being applied in connected pilots and programs. Behavior Insights and Tools is designed to aid CEE members in applying social science research to increase the effectiveness of their current and planned connected programs and to assist with the development of innovative new program designs. It will also facilitate the incorporation of specific behavior change techniques that might be particularly effective in increasing the savings impact of connected devices in programs.