A systems engineering approach to improve the M&V process of ESCos
Van Rensburg, F.J.
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Energy Services Companies (ESCos) all over the world are currently implementing energy saving initiatives. Stakeholders in the South African energy industry still need to overcome many barriers in order to improve operational efficiency. One such barrier is incorporating independent measurement and verification (M&V) into core ESCo processes. Dedicated M&V teams provide objective and independent quantification of energy savings stemming from the implemented interventions. Despite the importance of the M&V function, the process is often neglected by ESCos. This neglect can potentially delay critical project milestones. Incorporating the M&V process into the ESCo business model introduces its own challenges. Streamlining the management of the process is important to maximise the benefits without placing additional strain on existing resources. This article investigates the workings of the M&V process and how it can be integrated into an ESCo's business processes. Operational data is collected, processed and analysed to identify critical areas. A guideline to integrating the process into the general framework of an ESCo business is then developed. The article also presents a case study where the analysis and implementation is performed on an ESCo based in South Africa. The findings of the case study underline important improvements based on measured performance indicators