Establishing a platform to harmonize ISO 50001 energy performance improvement measurement and verification protocols

Panel: 3. Energy management: The nuts and bolts

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Authors:
Peter Therkelsen, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA
Graziella Siciliano, Environmental Defense Fund, USA
Paul Scheihing, United States Department of Energy, USA

Abstract

ISO 50001:2011 requires that organizations demonstrate verifiable improvements in energy performance. To encourage organizations of all levels of complexity and resources to take up the standard, ISO 50001 is flexible and does not specify the method by which an organization must conduct the measurement and verification (M&V) of energy performance improvement and if energy performance improvement must be demonstrated for the facility boundaries or for part of the organization within. This flexibility allows for the valid use of any number of M&V methods. As guidance, ISO 50015 and ISO 50047 together outline a process of measuring and verifying energy performance improvement in the form of normalized energy savings based on a "top down" facility-wide approach. However, these standards are not intended to be used for certification as they do not include specific requirements.

While flexibility in how energy performance improvement is measured and verified is advantageous for individual organizations, the ability to define energy performance improvement in any number of ways is problematic for the purposes of comparing energy savings between organizations, particularly as part of national ISO 50001 based programs. To ensure credibility in reported energy performance improvement, harmonization between M&V protocols used to determine facility wide energy savings for the purpose of demonstrating ISO 50001 energy performance improvement should be based upon ISO 50015 and ISO 50047.

To encourage a dialogue for harmonization of M&V practices, this paper identifies eight key elements for the M&V of energy performance improvement based upon ISO 50015 and ISO 50047 and presents an "ISO 50001 M&V Harmonization Matrix." This matrix expands the eight key elements allowing M&V protocols to specify how to calculate facility-wide energy savings as a metric of energy performance improvement in a harmonized way. The US Department of Energy's Superior Energy Performance Protocol is applied to the matrix as a test case and invitation is made for inclusion of other M&V protocols. By doing so, the process of harmonizing M&V protocols used to determine energy savings as a metric of energy performance improvement resulting from ISO 50001 will move forward, ultimately establishing confidence in reported values.

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