It is no secret in the energy industry that Massachusetts is a national leader in clean energy policy. The highly successful Mass Save program, a collaboration between energy utilities and energy efficiency service providers, has released its new 3-year plan covering 2022-2024. This new plan builds on the success of the prior ten years, where over 3.7 million metric tons of CO2 have been reduced and will assist the State in meeting or exceeding its greenhouse gas reduction goals. Taking a look at the 2020 program year shows the dramatic impact they are having on homes and businesses. Over 33,000 homes weatherized and 126,000 HVAC united were incentivized. On the business front, over 35,000 heating and cooling projects and 6,000 motors and process equipment projects were processed through their programs.
ANB is supporting this statewide effort with its eTRM solution. eTRM is an electronic repository of energy savings measures where supporting documentation and calculations are in one place. Historically, Technical Reference Manuals (TRM) were a series of paper documents that program administrators relied upon to calculate savings from energy efficiency projects. Over time these paper documents were hardcoded into mainframe computer project tracking systems, which saved time in the calculation process, but were difficult to update with new measure savings. Spreadsheet savings calculators were the next step in the TRM transition. They were more flexible to use and update, but they added complexity in version control. Proprietary calculation engines were then embedded in tracking software, which made updating and versioning simpler but provided no transparency, thus making evaluations more challenging. This is where eTRM fills the gaps. It can integrate with other solutions like solar equipment or HVAC databases. Additionally, all associated documentation for energy savings measures is held in a central repository. A system such as eTRM has not only reduced time in the development of new measures and their regulatory approval but also increased speed in calculations of savings and incentives.
Meeting GHG reductions goals is a critical part of the energy transition. eTRM is a software application to simplify and streamline programs in the energy transition. A successful transition will require analyzing thousands of individual measures for their GHG impact. Further, new measures will need to be created, such as those for electric vehicles or fuel conversion. eTRM offers a concise database with publicly available documentation linked to all measure parameters, a measure review methodology, and an approach to update measures using results from program evaluations or other technical analysis.
While Mass Save uses eTRM’s measure documentation repository and collaboration features, several other utilities use eTRM as a calculation engine linked to their tracking system. eTRM’s allows measure specifications to be sent via API, and savings computations are returned instantly to the calling application.
Written by – Michael Stockard
Michael Stockard is an independent consultant at Stockard Energy Advising and is a member of the Advisory Panel at ANB Systems. Michael has over 40 years of experience in the design and implementation of demand-side management programs.