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321 GHG Accounting for Energy Efficiency Projects


Energy efficiency projects offer the most significant and widely accessible means of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This course presents the terms and methods needed to transparently account for the GHG emission reductions created by energy efficiency (EE) projects or programs.

This course will provide in-depth training on the process of GHG accounting for EE actions conducted at a single end user’s site, or at multiple users’ sites included in area-wide programs, and includes a step-by-step process that marries the common requirements of the EE community (IPMVP and other energy efficiency industry references) with the requirements of common international GHG accounting (such as ISO 14064-2 and the UNFCCC’s CDM program).

This course aims to train experts from both the EE and carbon management communities in the special aspects of GHG accounting for EE projects. The course presumes basic knowledge in both fields, focusing on the interface between the two, so that the two existing communities of experts can effectively communicate. Persons new to either field should take note of the course prerequisites in order to maximize the benefit they receive from this course. A prerequisite for this course is GHGMI’s 202 Basics of Project-Level Accounting or equivalent training or experience elsewhere. It is also expected that students will enter this course with a good understanding of the basics of energy savings accounting as documented in the widely recognized International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol, Volume I (IPMVP®). Good grounding on the IPMVP may be obtained through independent study, the two-day live workshops offered by the Efficiency Valuation Organization (EVO®) and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), or equivalent. Persons carrying the CMVP® designation (Certified Measurement and Verification Professional) will already have such grounding.

The course uses examples from the near infinite number of ways to improve energy efficiency, showing how course methods apply to any type of EE project in industrial, agricultural, commercial and residential facilities. EE methods may involve, for example:

  • Industrial processes
  • Lighting systems
  • Space heating cooling and ventilation systems
  • Pumping systems
  • Blower systems
  • Furnaces, boilers
  • Refrigeration, chillers
  • Compressed air systems
  • Fixed conveyor systems
  • Facility-wide multi-faceted EE programs
  • New facilities or systems built to be more energy efficient than conventional standards
  • Area-wide EE programs conducted by a government or utility

Specifically, after completing this course you will understand:

  • the eligible portion of the actual energy savings, considering the common possibility of competing claims to the ownership of emission reductions, and additionality;
  • the relevant IPMVP Option (A, B, C or D), measurement boundaries, baselines, baseline adjustments, and energy computations not in IPMVP;
  • area-wide EE programs or policies: common evaluation techniques, the role of deemed values, net-to-gross factors;
  • GHG emission factors for on-site and off-site GHG source reductions: reference fuel values, electrical grid factors, transmission losses, and converting different GHGs to CO2 equivalent;
  • evaluation and management of offset quality;
  • offset marketing; and
  • requirements for transparent documentation throughout a project’s life.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • determine the portion of actual energy savings from an EE project that is eligible for reporting under common GHG programs,
  • express the eligible energy savings in proper GHG terms, and
  • report (or audit) the GHG impacts of EE projects under the rules of common GHG programs.

The course includes quizzes and exercises to help you learn to apply key lessons. A Certificate of Proficiency is available and requires the passing of an exam for an additional fee.

Who should attend: Anyone wanting to present EE projects or programs under a GHG Program, including people who are working with an EE project or program: designers, developers, managers, consultants, auditors (i.e. validators and verifiers), investors, and policy makers. This course is especially relevant to EE professionals seeking to understand the application of GHG accounting principles to their projects, and to carbon management professionals seeking to understand how to use the EE community’s capacity to create carbon offset projects.

Prerequisites: It is strongly recommended that learners take the Basics of Project-Level Accounting course or have proof of equivalent training or experience prior to taking GHG Accounting for Energy Efficiency Projects. Students should also have a good understanding of the basics of energy savings accounting as documented in theInternational Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol, Volume I (IPMVP®)

Approximate number of working hours to complete: 16 to 20

Availability: This course is available online, 24/7


Tani Colbert-Sangree

Tani joined GHGMI in the summer of 2019 and supports the organization as a Project Manager. His expertise covers carbon offsets, Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, GHG verification, GHG …

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