It seems natural that a building owner who invests in energy improvement projects would want to know if those investments actually pay off. But of the more than 5,000 LEED-certified projects involving new construction, only 1 out of 5 earned the Energy & Atmosphere credit for Measurement & Verification!
Measurement and verification (M&V) involves recording actual energy use and comparing that data with the estimated energy use seen in the design. LEED-certified buildings don’t always perform as well as expected. The M&V process can quickly pinpoint any systems that are not performing as specified or anomalies in equipment, operations procedures or user habits. The M&V plan can also help to reduce energy costs and makes commissioning easier.
If a building has an energy management system which includes monitoring, the M&V plan should be structured around that hardware and software. For example, a supermarket or retail outlet typically relies on controllers for the major system including refrigeration, HVAC, and lighting. The E2 controller from Emerson is commonly found in retail and serves this function. Emerson Climate Technologies offers an energy analysis package which ties together sensors, Energy Meter, and the E2 system controller. The Energy Meter connects to the E2 controller via Modbus and in addition to kW/kWh readings can also determine metrics related to power quality to minimize energy costs.
The LEED credit is earned for the plan – not for the implementation of the plan, which can be done at a later date. But just having a well thought out plan demonstrates the commitment of the LEED team to real ongoing energy savings for the building operator. Many utilities offer incentives and rebates for submetering and energy management programs. If additional electrical submeters are required, these need not be permanent installations. Spot-metering and utility analysis can all be part of the M&V plan. 12 months of data is ideal and will allow the building operator to make any necessary adjustments.
By utilizing Facility Management from Emerson Climate Technologies Retail Solutions, retailers have everything they need to control and monitor critical equipment and enhance the quality of the products sold to customers. The E2 controller is the brain of the system, which talks to the facility management system panel relay boards that switch equipment on or off and receive information from sensors throughout the store. Not only can the Emerson system be used to satisfy M&V for LEED points, but once the energy meter is connected to the E2 it can also serve as a demand management system helping customers manage the peak “demand” part of their utility bill automatically. No other hardware or software is required.
For more information on Emerson’s power and energy meter: http://www.emersonclimate.com/en-US/products/electronics_systems/sensors_and_transducers/Pages/power_meter.aspx
Director of Product Management, Retail Solutions
Emerson Climate Technologies