BENEFITS PROTOCOL FOR SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING
The Benefits Protocol is a framework that has been developed to provide a means of quantifying the benefits resulting from Energy, Utility and Sustainability Management Projects and Improvements (EUSMP), based on the IPMVP standards and verifiable logic. The main objective of such a project or improvement is likely to be the reduced and more efficient use of energy and other utilities but, in most cases, there will be other benefits which will accrue as a result of a project. Benefits will be accrued in a number of ways and will include both savings and avoided costs.
The protocol considers all utilities and sustainability, not just directly energy, as improvements to and monitoring of services such as water and waste can result in savings and other benefits.
The protocol identifies benefits coming from energy, utility and sustainability management activities, direct and indirect, and financial and non-financial from EUSMP interventions to help investors, building owners, building users and organisations monitor and quantify on-going benefits. Whilethere is a focus on commercial and government buildings, it is expected that the protocol can be applied to individual processes such as waste water treatment, manufacturing, etc.
Not all benefits which may result from EUSMP may be included in this protocol and those that are may not apply to all projects. The protocol does however provide the framework around which project specific benefits may be defined and measured.
The protocol can be applied to provide a picture of present energy, utility and sustainability related performance to assess the need for EUSMP interventions.
Who Is the Protocol for?
It is often the case that energy, utility and sustainability management opportunities are most significant in organisations with no internal professional expertise to identify them. Also, many organisations where energy, utility and sustainability management improvements exist, do not have a full time professional with the capability to develop a case for capturing the benefits.
This protocol should be useful to chief financial officers, energy and sustainability service professionals, and financiers of projects, as a reference point that provides consistency and transparency to the method by which the financial benefits of energy, utility and sustainability management improvements are calculated.
What is the Benefits Protocol framework?
The Benefits Protocol contains the following:
The Benefits Protocol contains a series of categories, which, within each category, has a series of actions that if performed will result in either financial savings, avoided costs, or a combination of both. At the moment the Benefits Protocol, has twenty-one separate categories; but this could increase as additional co-benefits from the implementation of energy, utility and sustainability initiatives are identified. Each category has a set of algorithms or calculations that when applied to the actions performed in the category will qualify the financial benefit that has been derived from performing these actions.
Each set of Actions that are performed shall be recorded as a project. Each project will record the actions that have been performed and over what time frames these have occurred. Each project will also require the entry of unit information such as the affected ICP(s), quantities of kWh, cents per kWh, number of pieces of equipment which the action may have been performed against, costs associated with implementing the actions, including the use of money if relevant, etc. Once all the requisite data has been entered, the algorithms or calculations will be applied to the actions and the financial benefits calculated and recorded as either a saving or an avoided cost. There is no limit to the number of projects that can be recorded.
How do we assess the benefits?
Whilst the Benefits Protocol is the framework or set of rules that standardises the way benefits can be measured, there is then a requirement to assess, quantify report on those benefits. We have developed an assessment tool, e-Calc™.