New protocol aims to boost investor confidence in retrofits

The Investor Confidence Project (ICP), which aims to bring transparency and accountability to the energy efficiency market by introducing a system of standardization, has just released the Energy Performance Protocol for Targeted Commercial projects. Unlike whole building retrofits, targeted commercial projects typically can upgrade a single measure, such as lighting or windows, or multiple measures that are very basic. The protocols standardize how projects are baselined, engineered, installed, operated and measured, and are aimed at boosting investor confidence in the resulting savings.

The ICP family of protocols

The Targeted Commercial Protocol complements the ICP's two existing Energy Performance Protocols: Large Commercial Protocol, which involves a whole building retrofit greater than $1 million and with annual energy savings of more than 20 percent; and Standard Commercial Protocol, a whole building retrofit priced below $1 million. 

The Targeted Commercial Protocol further develops the ICP family of protocols and addresses the range of project types increasingly common in the growing energy efficiency retrofit marketplace. Reflecting market realities for smaller projects, this protocol was developed in collaboration with industry experts, including organizations that are part of the ICP Ally Network. It strikes a balance between the need to minimize overhead for less complex projects, while maintaining the necessary rigor to attract investment for smaller projects. 

Protocol impacts

Efforts to develop a Multifamily Energy Performance Protocol, as well as a new Quality Assurance Protocol Checklist, are currently underway. In the future, the various ICP protocols will cover the life cycle of all project types to ensure that compliant projects are investor-ready.

ICP's Energy Performance Protocols are aimed at streamlining the patchwork of existing standards in the energy efficiency market. Currently, every energy efficiency retrofit is a custom project and the market is rife with varying standards. An agreed-upon set of standards will allow investors and building owners to gain confidence in the long-term return on their energy efficiency investments, ultimately resulting in a more transparent and robust marketplace.

This story originally appeared on the EDF Energy Exchange blog. Window photo by ArtisticPhoto via Shutterstock.