More on the Challenges of M&V

Thank you for your excellent article on measurement and verification [M&V; see


Vol. 15, No. 6]. My experience is that getting this data and actually using it is really difficult to accomplish. The NRG Systems building the article mentions is

such an unusual case. The building owners are leaders in their sector of the renewable energy business and 101% committed to leading-edge energy performance. The company is staffed with highly competent and motivated engineers who understand controls better than the controls contractors, and their time has been committed to building optimization; also, the owner has a long-term relationship with the capable and extremely detail-oriented energy consultant and is willing to pay the consultant for ongoing services to get the building optimized.

In most cases I see, the people operating the building either cannot understand the data trends and put them to good use or are spread so thin that they haven’t the time to look at anything that isn’t an immediate problem. I believe that money spent on an M&V system isn’t worth it without an overhaul of how we operate buildings. Operations are woefully underfunded in most buildings, and that needs to change if this data is to be put to good use. It’s rare that operations folks are included in the design process on a level where they understand how high-performance buildings are intended to perform.

Much can be learned from just the monthly billing data. More detailed M&V is most useful where you have real energy goals you want to meet and therefore need to be able to go in and see what’s happening if the bills tell you that you are not meeting the goals.

Marc Rosenbaum, P.E.


Meriden, New Hampshire

Published August 29, 2006

Rosenbaum, M. (2006, August 29). More on the Challenges of M&V. Retrieved from https://www.buildinggreen.com/op-ed/more-challenges-mv

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