The National Standard Practice Manual (NSPM)

The 2020 National Standard Practice Manual for Benefit-Cost Analysis of Distributed Energy Resources (NSPM for DERs) provides a comprehensive framework for cost-effectiveness assessment of DERs. The manual provides a set of policy-neutral, non-biased, and economically-sound principles, concepts, and methodologies to support single- and multi-DER benefit-cost analysis (BCA) for: energy efficiency (EE), demand response (DR), distributed generation (DG), distributed storage (DS), and (building and vehicle) electrification. The manual is intended for use by jurisdictions to help inform which resources to acquire to meet the jurisdiction’s specific policy goals and objectives.

NOTE: The NSPM for DERs incorporates and expands upon the 2017 National Standard Practice Manual for Assessing Cost-Effectiveness of Energy Efficiency Resources (NSPM for EE)**. Jurisdictions and interested stakeholders are encouraged to refer to the NSPM for DERs to guide BCA efforts in their jurisdiction, whether for a single DER type (including EE) or multiple DER types.

The NSPM is a product of the National Energy Screening Project (NESP), guided by an Advisory Group and coordinated by E4TheFuture. The NSPM was authored by:

  • Tim Woolf, Synapse Energy Economics (Lead Author)
  • Chris Neme, Energy Futures Group
  • Mike Alter, ICF
  • Steve Fine, ICF
  • Karl Rábago, Pace Energy and Climate Center
  • Steve Schiller, Schiller Consulting
  • Kate Strickland, Smart Electric Power Alliance
  • Brenda Chew, Smart Electric Power Alliance

The NSPM for EE, the precursor to the NSPM for DERs and foundational document, also included co-authors Marty Kushler (ACEEE) and Tom Eckman (Independent Consultant).

Application of the manual in jurisdictions is undertaken directly by interested stakeholders. In some cases, E4TheFuture, in coordination with other funding sources, helps to provide technical support to states that implement or apply the manual.

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*The NSPM was published 8/4/20. The Summary and full document are 8/24/20 versions. See Errata sheet here.

**See how content from the NSPM for EE was incorporated into the NSPM for DERs here.