Challenge: The California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) is committed to ensuring the long-term success of California’s dynamic energy efficiency portfolios, consisting of integrated programs with clearly defined ex ante energy savings measurements, accompanied by ex post evaluated measure energy savings resulting from the various program initiatives undertaken by Energy Efficiency Program Administrators (PAs) in California, including the Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs). The main drivers of the scope and timing of work required for energy savings Estimation, Measurement and Verification (EM&V) activities include state energy efficiency strategic plans, legislative mandates and Commission decisions and legislative mandates. Moreover, the Commission continues to strive to improve the accuracy, speed and cost-effectiveness of the ratepayer funded program evaluation process. For this contract, Tierra was a core member of the broader / cohesive DNV GL team selected by the Commission to provide savings EM&V, Program Evaluation, Market Assessment, Policy Planning Support, and Financial and Management Audit Support for the Group A Sectors: Small/Medium Commercial and Residential Sectors, HVAC, and Lighting (Group A) consistent with the evaluation principles outlined above.
- Led gross-/net-Estimation, Measurement and Verification (EM&V) of HVAC and lighting measures across the small/medium commercial and residential sectors.
- Facilitated the development of statewide Project Coordination Groups (PCG) to ensure applicable insights / recommendations from the Group A evaluation are shared with other, concurrent contract groups (B – E).
- Integrated Group A evaluation findings into California’s electronic Technical Reference Manual (eTRM).
Approach: Tierra’s unique role on the cross-cutting Group A evaluation contract spanned gross-/net-EM&V of HVAC and lighting measures across the small/medium commercial and residential sectors. The data collection activities were both diverse and uniquely adapted to the breadth of HVAC and lighting measures / programs being evaluated through the Group A contract. Moreover, Tierra has continued to cultivate and refine industry best practice EM&V methodologies, including:
- Collaborating with California’s Food Service Technology Center to refine energy saving models for commercial gas fryers that successfully incorporate newly available AMI gas consumption data.
- Deploying high-fidelity energy meters on agricultural Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) to validate energy savings models developed in compliance with International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) Option C.
- Facilitating Net-to-Gross program participant surveys for residential HVAC rebate recipients to quantify free ridership and spillover consistent with California’s Evaluation Framework.
- Deploying high-fidelity natural gas and energy meters on incented residential furnaces and blower fan motors to collect performance data inputs used to enhance the program’s IPMVP Option C evaluation model.
Outcome: Tierra successfully incorporated accurate, reliable, consistent gross-/net-EM&V data inputs and modeling enhancements into the team’s broader Group A evaluation framework. Additionally, the team lent a unique perspective to measure- and program-level evaluation recommendations to further improve future program lifecycles. The Tierra team also facilitated the development of statewide Project Coordination Groups (PCG) to ensure the cross-cutting application and knowledge-sharing of key recommendations across the other Contract Groups (A – E) included within the 2018-2020 evaluation cycle. Finally, Tierra team members integrated Group A evaluation findings into California’s electronic Technical Reference Manual (eTRM); an online application that serves as the repository for all statewide deemed measures for California.
A PDF version of this project description can be downloaded here.
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