Data verification assessment (DVA) is a key element in SEAI's approach for maintaining data quality. Find out how the process works.

Purpose of DVAs

DVAs are undertaken immediately after the reporting deadline. Their purpose is to:

  • Help ensure that the data submitted is robust and verifiable
  • Motivate organisations to submit accurate data
  • Support organisations in improving how they gather and submit data and provide feedback on the M&R system

How organisations are selected for DVA

Selection for DVA is dependent on several factors including:

  • The findings of a high-level review of all data undertaken immediately after the reporting deadline
  • Consistency & completeness of submissions over time; organisations that adjust baseline and historical data will be more likely to be selected for DVA
  • Use of 'non-standard' activity metrics
  • The findings of previous DVAs
  • Random selection

Levels of DVAs

A DVA can be undertaken at a number of levels. At the lowest level, this can involve a request to a public body to provide substantiation for a specific piece of data submitted. More comprehensive assessments can include an on-site review by a qualified SEAI assessor of the submission with the person(s) responsible for its compilation.

Focus of DVAs

While a DVA can focus on any aspect of your submission, some data items are more likely to be focused on. These include the following, for either the baseline period or the reporting year:

  • Values reported for energy consumption for a specific energy type
  • Total energy consumption reported for the organisation
  • Organisation-level activity metric(s) selected if using ‘non-standard’ metric(s)
  • Values reported for the organisation-level activity metric(s)

Assessment criteria for DVA

Different assessment criteria may be applied in each DVA:

  • Relevance of non-standard organisation-level activity metric(s) to what actually drives energy consumption in the organisation
  • Assessment of the sufficiency of the data submitted to generate a scorecard
  • Assessment whether the consumption and activity metric values reported satisfy the Data Acceptability Thresholds

Data acceptability thresholds

The following are the thresholds beyond which submissions are deemed to have failed DVAs:

ParameterThreshold of Acceptable Data
Total energy consumption reported by the public body for the reporting year or for baseline period (as TFC) <±5% error
Organisation-level activity metric for the reporting year or for the baseline period <±5% error
Organisation-level (EnPI) (reporting year or baseline period) <±5% error
Reported energy consumption for any one energy type that is ≥5% of TFC for the reporting year or for the baseline period <±5% error
Subtotal of reported energy consumption that is based on professional judgement alone (i.e. there is insufficient documented evidence in substantiation of the data) for the reporting year or for the baseline period <±5% of reported Total Final Consumption

Less stringent thresholds applied for DVAs undertaken as part of the 2011-2014 reporting cycles. This enabled public bodies to develop experience with the reporting concept and build their energy management competence and systems. The current thresholds have applied since the 2015 reporting cycle. Public bodies were advised of the adoption of the more stringent thresholds by 2015 when the M&R system was first introduced.

Note that the current thresholds apply to all years, including the baseline period. The only exceptions are these specific limited circumstances.

DVA report

The outcome from the DVA process is a report that contains a DVA finding and recommendations for improving data quality. The DVA finding has implications for how SEAI lists your organisation and your data in its publications.

Minor error

A submission is deemed to have a minor error if the DVA concludes that one or both of the error thresholds for parameters 4 & 5 in the table above have been breached.

Major error

A submission is deemed to have a major error if the DVA concludes that one or more of the error thresholds for parameters 1-3 in the table above have been breached, or the organisation is using a non-standard organisation-level activity metric that is not deemed to be robust or appropriate.

DVA passed

In the absence of any minor or major errors, a complete DVA is deemed to be passed.

Incomplete DVA

If there is insufficient engagement between a public body and the SEAI DVA assessor to enable the assessor to complete the DVA, the DVA is deemed to be incomplete.