WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is developing new voluntary procedures, or protocols, to help standardize how state and local governments, industry, and energy efficiency organizations estimate energy savings. DOE said the protocols are being developed by technical experts through collaboration with energy efficiency program administrators, industry stakeholders, and home energy assessors. DOE is inviting interested parties from the public sector, industry, and academia to participate in an online public review of these protocols for estimating energy savings from energy efficiency programs.

The new procedures are said to provide a straightforward method for evaluating the energy savings achievable through some of the most common residential and commercial building upgrades offered through ratepayer-funded initiatives in the United Sates. The common energy efficiency upgrades include energy-saving lighting, lighting controls, commercial air conditioning, and residential furnaces and boilers. DOE said the voluntary protocols will help energy efficiency program administrators and local governments improve the objectivity, consistency, and transparency of energy savings data and increase consumers’ confidence in the results expected from energy efficiency upgrades.

Standardized energy savings estimates are expected to improve accuracy, in turn helping organizations more effectively measure, evaluate, and verify the benefits of energy efficiency programs. By adopting the protocols, efficiency program administrators can establish consistent practices. DOE said implementing uniform protocols also enables more meaningful energy savings comparisons between similar programs in different areas.

The protocols being developed under the Uniform Methods Project are available for review at http://ump.pnnl.gov/forum.php. The review period ends on Aug. 17.

Publication date: 7/23/2012