WASHINGTON — As part of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) efforts to help American homes and businesses save money by saving energy, the department is developing new voluntary procedures, or protocols, that will help standardize how state and local governments, industry, and energy-efficiency organizations estimate energy savings. The protocols are being developed by technical experts through collaboration with energy-efficiency program administrators, industry stakeholders, and home energy assessors — including major firms that perform up to 70 percent of the home energy-efficiency assessments in the United States. The DOE invites stakeholders from the public sector, industry, and academia to participate in an online public review of these new protocols for estimating energy savings from energy-efficiency programs.

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

The protocols will standardize energy-savings estimates and improve their 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 also more easily establish consistent practices because these organizations will no longer have to develop their own protocols. Implementing uniform protocols also enables more meaningful energy-savings comparisons between similar programs in different jurisdictions.

The protocols being developed under the Uniform Methods Project are available for review. The public review period ends Aug. 17.

Publication date: 8/13/2012