ICP Protocol For Standard Commercial Projects

By: Matt Golden, Senior Energy Finance Consultant, Environmental Defense Fund

The Investor Confidence Project (ICP) is pleased to announce the release of our newest Energy Performance Protocol for Standard Commercial projects – defined as multiple-measure energy efficiency projects typically costing less than $1MM.

This protocol strikes a balance between engineering and measurement and verification best practices and the need for a streamlined, cost-effective approach to developing a standardized investment quality energy efficiency project.  This latest addition complements our existing Large Commercial Protocol in an effort to develop a family of protocols addressing the range of projects types common in the growing energy efficiency retrofit marketplace.

The goal of the Energy Performance Protocols, as a whole, is to reduce transaction costs associated with investing in energy efficiency projects by standardizing how projects are baselined, engineered, installed, operated and measured.  This allows investors and building owners to gain confidence in the long-term return on their energy efficiency investments.  The goal is to bring together project originators, building owners and investors in a more transparent, and thus more robust, marketplace.

Currently, every energy efficiency retrofit is a custom project.  Even though many firms are following similar sets of technical standards, it is extremely difficult for an investor to evaluate the differences, resulting in costly engineering review processes that often take months to conduct.  By following an ICP Energy Performance Protocol with a documentation package stamped by a responsible Professional Engineer, the time and effort required to assess performance risk on projects will be substantially reduced, allowing for a more competitive and open energy efficiency investment market.

The ICP is working on a family of protocols to fit the range of projects currently in the market.  We are currently working on a Targeted Commercial Protocol for single measure projects and a Multifamily Protocol, as well as piloting a Quality Assurance Protocol that will standardize how projects are validated and enable a streamlined third-party validation system.

Without further ado, the ICP team is proud to present the first version of the ICP Energy Performance Protocol for Standard Commercial.

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