I started ArcturusHD as a residential consulting practice, working with homeowners to create more energy-efficient, better performing, more livable homes at the lowest feasible cost. However, for a variety of reasons, I have moved into the non-residential field; moreover, I am now working on the analytical side of energy management, sometimes referred to as Measurement and Verification (M&V).
Broadly speaking, M&V is the practice of collecting and analyzing data related to a building’s operations, for the purpose of managing its energy usage, its operating strategies and costs, and ultimately, to verify that cost-saving strategies and upgrades are achieving the expected results, both in terms of performance, and cost savings.
A typical M&V engagement starts with something like an ASHRAE level I audit–basically, an analysis of utility bills combined with a walk-through to identify the buildings main structural features, its systems, and identify low-risk, high-reward options for saving energy. In the longer term, I will work with an owner to develop a list of future projects, along with a cost-benefit analysis to help determine which measures should be implemented for simple savings, which make more sense to do as part of typical ongoing equipment replacement, and how any and all measures can be financed to optimize cash flow and ultimately, asset value.
Measurement and Verification is part of the process referred to as Building Commissioning (BCx). Building Commissioning is now required by an increasing number of jurisdictions, including the State of California, in connection to new buildings, or to major renovations of existing buildings. Re-commissioning of existing buildings, retro-commissioning of existing buildings, and ongoing commissioning are all examples of commissioning practices designed to improve the performance, energy efficiency, and ultimately, the value of existing buildings. Measurement and verification is, generally, a low-cost, low-risk procedure aimed at assessing a buildings operations and maximizing its performance in a cost-effective way.
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