The energy hierarchy is a useful means to explain where energy savings verification fits in.
Based upon the principles of the waste hierarchy; Reduce, Re-use, Re-cycle, Recover, a logical strategic approach to energy management may entail looking at reducing your energy consumption first and therefore reducing your energy base-load, before implementing renewable energy generation schemes.
The area in which savings verification primarily fits in is the 'Reduce'. Savings are determined using the 'what would have been' meter. Like for like comparisons are made to conditions before and after the energy efficiency retrofit to prove if savings were actually made and by how much.
Renewable energy generation is usually physically metered. If, for example, part of a biomass generation scheme claiming renewable heat incentives (RHi), or a solar PV system claiming Feed in Tarriffs (FiT), then M&V can be still be applied to determine scenarios such as 'what would my energy consumption or cost have been, had I not implemented this project', and therefore how much did I save.
The energy hierarchy is copyright Consortio Ltd, 2012.