The fundamental principles of good M&V practice described below provide the basis for assessing adherence to IPMVP. These principles should be considered and applied throughout the M&V process.


M&V Reports should be as accurate as can be justified based on the project value and goals. M&V costs should normally be “small” relative to the monetary value of the savings being evaluated. M&V expenditures should also be consistent with the financial implications of over- or under-reporting of a project’s performance. The M&V methodology’s accuracy and cost should be evaluated as part of the project development. Accuracy trade-offs should be accompanied by increased conservativeness with increased use of estimated values and assumptions based on sound engineering judgment. Consideration of all reasonable factors that affect accuracy is a guiding principle of IPMVP.


The reporting of energy savings should consider all effects of a project. M&V activities should use measurements to quantify energy use within the measurement boundary, document energy influencing factors, and detail any estimated values. By identifying key areas where judgment is required, IPMVP helps to avoid inconsistencies arising from a lack of consideration of important aspects.


Where judgments are made about uncertain quantities, M&V procedures should be designed to reasonably estimate savings such that they are not over- or under-stated. An assessment of a project’s impact should be made to assure its energy-saving benefits are reasonable and conservative with due consideration to the level of statistical confidence in the estimation.


The reporting of a project’s energy performance should be consistent and comparable across:

  • Different types of energy efficiency projects
  • Different energy management professionals for any project
  • Different periods of time for the same project
  • Energy efficiency projects and new energy supply projects

Consistent does not mean identical since it is recognized that any empirically derived report involves assumptions based on sound engineering judgment, which may not be made identically by all reporters.


The determination of savings should be based on current measurements and information pertaining to the facility where the project occurs. This determination of the savings effort must measure the energy influencing factors and verify performance indicators that are of concern related to the EEM.


All M&V activities should be clearly documented and fully disclosed. Full disclosure should include presentation of all of the elements of an M&V Plan and savings reports, and confirmation that the M&V Plan is agreed upon and understood by all stakeholders. Data and information collected, data preparation techniques, algorithms, spreadsheets, software, assumptions used, and analysis should follow industry standard best practices as closely as possible, be well formatted and documented – such that any involved party or independent reviewer can understand how the data and analysis conformed to the M&V Plan and savings reporting procedures. Transparency also means that any possible conflicts of interest are disclosed to all stakeholders in the project.