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Energy, water or demand savings cannot be directly measured, because savings represent the absence of energy/water consumption or demand. Instead, savings are determined by comparing measured consumption or demand before and after implementation of a program, making suitable adjustments for changes in conditions. The comparison of before and after energy consumption or demand should be made on a consistent basis, using the following general M&V equation:

Savings = (Baseline Period Energy – Reporting Period Energy) ± Adjustments

Good practice requires that M&V is well integrated into the process of identifying, developing, procuring, installing and operating energy conservation measures. IPMVP's framework requires certain activities to occur at key points in this process and describes other important activities that must be included as part of good M&V practice.

IPMVP Baseline Adjustment


Since 1997, Efficiency Valuation Organization (EVO) develops, maintains, improves and publishes the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP). The IPMVP was originally developed to help increase investment in energy and water efficiency, demand management and renewable energy projects around the world.

The IPMVP promotes efficiency investments by the following activities.

  • IPMVP documents common terms and methods to evaluate performance of efficiency projects for buyers, sellers and financiers. Some of these terms and methods may be used in project agreements, though IPMVP does not offer contractual language.
  • IPMVP provides methods, with different levels of cost and accuracy, for determining savings either for the whole facility or for individual energy conservation measures (ECM).
  • IPMVP specifies the contents of a Measurement and Verification Plan (M&V Plan). This M&V Plan adheres to widely accepted fundamental principles of M&V and should produce verifiable savings reports. An M&V Plan must be developed for each project by a qualified professional.
  • IPMVP applies to a wide variety of facilities including existing and new buildings and industrial processes.

Until 2012, the IPMVP was published in three volumes.

IPMVP Volume I defines M&V, presents the fundamental principles of M&V, describes a framework for a detailed M&V Plan and provides details of an M&V Plan and savings report. The requirements for specifying use of IPMVP or claiming adherence with IPMVP are also shown. Volume I also contains a summary of common M&V design issues and lists other M&V resources. Twelve example projects are described in Appendix A and basic uncertainty analysis methods are summarized in Appendix B. Region-specific materials are in Appendix C. Specific guidance for different types of users is in Appendix D.

IPMVP Volume II provides a comprehensive approach to evaluating building indoor-environmental-quality issues that are related to ECM design, implementation and maintenance. Volume II suggests measurements of indoor conditions to identify changes from conditions of the baseline period

IPMVP Volume III provides greater detail on M&V methods associated with new buiding construction, and with renewable energy systems added to existing facilities.

Starting in 2014, EVO decided to reorganize the IPMVP documents and now publishes the IPMVP Core Concepts. This is the latest version of the document and defines the commonly used terminology and guiding principles for applying M&V. It describes the project framework in which M&V activities take place. It describes the contents and requirements of adherent M&V Plans and saving reports. Finally, it describes the attributes of fully adherent IPMVP projects.

EVO’s IPMVP Committee is currently working on a number of exciting topics, including Statistics and Uncertainty, Renewable Applications (just released on April 6, 2017), M&V 2.0 and Relevant Topics, M&V for ESCos, EM&V, among others. The intent is to develop a series of resources and Application Guides that will support this Core Concepts document.

The latest version of the IPMVP Core Concepts is available for free in the subscribers section of this website. Log in and the Library menu will be displayed for you. Various editions of Volumes I, II and III in multiple languages can be found in the EVO archives, also available for free in the subcribers section of this website.


IPMVP’s history since 1995 and its international use brings the following benefits to programs that adhere to IPMVP’s guidance.

  • Substantiation of payments for performance. Where financial payments are based on demonstrated energy or water savings, adherenece to IPMVP ensures that savings follow good practice. An IPMVP-adherent savings report allows a customer, an energy user or a utility, to readily accept reported performance. Energy service companies (ESCOs) whose invoices are supported by IPMVP-adherent savings reports, usually receive prompt payments.
  • Lower transaction costs in an energy performance contract. Specification of IPMVP as the basis for designing a project’s M&V can simplify the negotiations for an energy performance contract.
  • International credibility for energy savings reports, thereby increasing the value to a buyer of the associated energy savings.
  • Enhanced rating under programs to encourage or label sustainably designed and/ or operated facilities.
  • Help national and industry organizations promote and achieve resource efficiency and environmental objectives. The IPMVP is widely adopted by national and regional government agencies and by industry organizations to help manage their programs and enhance the credibility of their reported results.


IPMVP presents common principles and terms that are widely accepted as basic to any good M&V process. It does not define the M&V activities for all applications. Each project must be individually designed to suit the needs of all readers of energy or water savings reports. This individual design is recorded in the project’s M&V Plan and savings are reported as defined therein.

This document is written to progressively provide greater levels of definition of M&V practice as it progresses through the Chapters as summarized below.

  • Chapter 2 defines M&V and describes eight different applications for M&V techniques.
  • Chapter 3 present the six foundational principles of good M&V practice and the IPMVP. They are useful for guiding M&V design details where IPMVP is silent.
  • Chapter 4 presents the general framework and savings computation equations needed to properly express savings. Table 2 summarizes four M&V design Options and Chapters 4.7 - 4.9 describe each of them. Chapter 4.10 offers guidance and a logic diagram for selecting the right Option for any application. Appendix A provides example applications of IPMVP’s methods to 12 typical projects.
  • Chapter 5 lists the topics and data which should be included in an M&V Plan and offers some suggestions on key issues which might be discussed under each topic. Readers can use this as a checklist for describing the M&V design for a particular project.
  • Chapter 6 lists the topics and data that should be included in savings reports.
  • Chapter 7 shows the requirements for claiming adherence with IPMVP and suggests terms for specifying the use of IPMVP in contracts.
  • Chapter 8 reviews a variety of common M&V issues that need to be considered in any M&V program. A key issue governing the design and operation of an M&V system is the competing needs for reasonable accuracy and reasonable cost. Each user must find its own balance between the accuracy and cost of reporting. Chapter 8.5 particularly focuses on the factors involved in this tradeoff. Appendix B provides an overview of some uncertainty and statistical methods, but this overview is not a definitive text on the topic. Users are advised to seek appropriate statistical design help for any M&V program data normalization, sampling or uncertainty evaluation techniques they may use. Chapter 8 also presents design issues surrounding metering for M&V programs, though it is not a definitive text on metering.
  • Chapter 9 contains the definitions of key terms used in this document. The terms are italicized throughout the document to indicate that they have the special meanings given in Chapter 9.
  • Chapter 10 lists useful readings, references, and other sources of useful material.

Though the application of IPMVP is unique to each project, certain types of users will have similar methods in their M&V Plans and implementation. Appendix D.1 through D.10 point out some of the key ways this document may be used by the following user groups:

  • Energy performance contractors and their building customers
  • Energy performance contractors and their industrial process customers
  • Energy users doing their own retrofits and wanting to account for savings
  • Facility managers properly accounting for energy budget variances
  • New building designers
  • New building designers seeking recognition for the sustainability of their designs
  • Existing building managers seeking recognition for the environmnetal quality of their building operations
  • Utility demand side management program designers and managers
  • Water efficiency project developers
  • Emission reduction trading program designers
  • Energy user’s seeking ISO 50001 certification

Financial backers and purchasers of emission credits from any of the above applications will find the key ways to use this document under these same headings.