Evaluating Savings from Industrial Energy Efficiency

For nearly twenty years, Energy Trust of Oregon has helped industrial customers in Oregon make investments in energy efficiency improvements. During a two year-period (2013-14) more than 2,000 projects were completed that saved more than 370 million kWh of electricity and more than 2 million therms of gas. Energy Trust contracted with SBW to perform an independent evaluation of the investments made during this period to verify the savings that were reported.

The first step in this evaluation was to recruit 111 projects, which were randomly selected so that they represented all the completed projects. We reviewed available documentation for these projects and made careful plans for how to obtain additional data needed to verify the energy savings. Additional data came from inspection of the affected systems and equipment, discussion with plant operating staff, and measurements taken either with special meters that we installed or by the plant’s control systems.

We used all the data collected to analyze the energy use of affected systems and equipment before and after the improvements were made and to account for any changes in plant operation or other factors that affected energy use. Based on this analysis we concluded that the completed projects saved more than 90% of what the Energy Trust expected that they would save. For more details on how this evaluation was conducted and our findings follow this link.