Normalization helps answer the question: "What would my use in year "x" or year "z" have been with the same weather conditions as year "y"?
Since weather is often the largest variable affecting energy use, historical comparisons which have been "normalized" for weather can help provide a clearer picture of the effectiveness of energy management actions. Here's how it works.
Calendarization provides the starting point for normalization, since the calendarization process takes raw billing data and allocates it to the most appropriate reporting calendar day and month. Calendarization also takes into account the weather sensitivity of each meter (see Use vs. Weather topic for more information).
Normalization takes calendarization a step further by actually applying month-by-month weather conditions from a user-selected calendar base year to the calendarized monthly usage data of all other years.
More specifically, the weather-sensitive usage value from the base year is applied to the mathematical 'model' of weather-sensitivity for each of the comparison years. The recalculated weather-sensitive monthly usage is added to the non-weather-sensitive monthly usage (base load) to produce a monthly data point on a line graph.
As an example, if the charted 2011 normalized usage for a building is lower than the normalized 2009 usage, it is certain that the reduction is not due simply to milder weather in 2011 because the consumption data for both years has been weather-adjusted to the baseline weather year. The usage difference could be due to energy management efforts or other factors such as occupancy, production, square footage or equipment changes, or hours of operation. But the weather is no longer a variable.
*Note: The baseline year for normalization is selected from the Administration menu (Administration > Normalized Settings), and can be changed at any time.