Although new technologies are constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the common objective is that green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment. Below, Sara Neff explain to us which are the 4 mistakes common when pitching building efficiency.
The seniors are the people the most sensitive to the wasting of energy due to the fact that they stay at their home most of the time. Thus, they need to watch their energy consumption.
Below, a little video realized by Maxwell Haynes about senior citizens’ commitment in the green economy. The purpose of this video it’s to “improving senior citizens knowledge of saving energy, energy efficiency and the technologies which can help them to produce energy”.
“Let’s see Green” by Maxwell Haynes
Next time, we’ll see more about raising people’s awareness and behavioral sciences.
We have already talked about Energy Audits. But nowadays, an another form of audit is developing : The Virtual Energy Audits. Below, Hugh Gaasch and Chris Muth explain to us what are the differences between this two forms of Energy Audits.
Hugh Gaasch and Chris Muth: May 15, 2013
There’s been an interesting discussion recently about data analytics and software solutions that aim to improve the building energy-efficiency evaluation process. At the heart of this debate is what can be learned about a building without ever going on-site versus what can be gleaned from a traditional energy audit.
An energy audit is an inspection, survey and analysis of energy flows for energy conservation in a building, process or system to reduce the amount of energy. In commercial and industrial real estate, an energy audit is the first step in identifying opportunities to reduce energy expense and carbon footprints. More and more companies begin to make audits as specialized Deepki, a start-up specialized in the data analysis.
Here is a short video of Michael Thomas, sharing what is underlying an energy audit. What a world-record short-time video clip. 🙂
Michael Thomas intervention about the energy audit
Your clients receive everyday many sollicitations from so-called leaders of their industry willing to offer Energy Efficiency solutions for very little money and lots of expected benefits. Who are they? Which firms try to break into this industry of sobriety? What do they really sell? Are all these solutions comparable?
As a consequence, suppliers provide many different solutions to achieve these goals. Thus, existing Energy Efficiency suppliers in the Market include, among many different actors willing to lead the energy performance relationship with customers, such as ESCOs, equipment suppliers, utilities, software and cable companies, and contractors. Let’s have a look at the main European ones:
We’ve already seen in a past post, top 10 organisations to follow on Twitter in terms of Energy Efficiency news. Here are 10 influencers you should follow on Twitter to help promote Energy Efficiency within your firm or institution:
As Rachel England said “there’s an app for everything nowadays, and energy-saving is no exception”. Smart-phones offer a million times the opportunity to save energy and to make your day-to-day behaviour smarter and more environmental friendly.
Here are some of the most interesting apps we have already met. Feel free to share yours here above in the comment section.
Joseph Pine’s career as a business coach began at IBM when he did something truly unorthodox: he brought business partners and customers into the development process of a new computer. Taking from this the lesson that every customer is unique, he wrote a book called Mass Customization on businesses that serve customers’ unique needs. Later he discovered what he would coin the “Experience Economy” — consumers buying experiences rather than goods or commodities — and wrote a book of the same name.
We have already talked about ISO 50 001. But how a company can benefit from ISO 50 001? As Ken HAMILTON mentioned in a very good 2011 presentation, ISO 50 001 helps companies in their “Energy objectives and targets for energy performance improvement at relevant functions, levels, processes or facilities within an organization”.
Action plans to meet those targets and objectives include the following:
Operating controls and procedures for significant energy uses
Measurement, management, and documentation for continuous improvement for energy efficiency
Internal audit of progress reported to management based on these measurements.”
It allows to develop a policy for a better efficient use of energy, to set targets and goals for implementing the policy, while relying on data to better understand the energy use and consumption . It is however necessary in addition to the energy audit of implementing the management process of clean energy to ISO, which measures the results to examine the efficiency and then provide continuous improvement of management energy.
Does action in the press accurately track activity in Energy Efficiency, and more generally in cleantech, venture capital? In a very educational infographic, Dow Jones compares the number of capital-backed Energy Efficiency deals with the number of articles discussing Energy Efficiency, by region, from 2007 to 2012. Enlightening!
“According to the comparison, energy efficiency doesn’t get written about relative to the high level of venture capital interest, while everyone talks about water but no one invests.” Actually, this is not new. And it’s easy to recall how often journalists can sometimes mix up concepts, especially between Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies. However, this is very interesting to have consistent figures to support this point coming from a serious source, like Dow Jones.
There are 645,750,000 Twitter users over the World. And about one third of them are active users. Millions of them tweet about Energy on a daily basis, and certainly a significant number of them about Energy Efficiency. Hard to find the right accounts to follow when you want to stay up to date.
If Energy Efficiency does matter for you, here are 10 Twitter Accounts you should follow:
Energy Efficiency ventures, and more generally cleantech/greentech ventures, are not bets you will always win. Far from reaching this level of performances, an Energy Efficiency entrepreneur may want to join a first-class incubator, in which she will put the odds in her favour. Alongside, VCs and PEs which invest money in these incubators may want to better significantly better off. So, what are some of the secrets of success of the best incubators? As an entrepreneur, what should you look at before joining an incubator? Here are some answers an expert shares with us.
Around three fourths of Europe’s CO2 emissions are associated with households consumption. Meeting EU’s ambitious climate change targets of reductions in carbon emissions by 2050 will therefore require patterns of household consumption to change radically from the current baseline. Influencing behaviour is a key part of this.
However, ultimately behavioural change messages will not address “rebound” effect or encourage broader sustainability thinking. Indeed, often, people spend money saved on high carbon products or services, offsetting dramatically saved greenhouse gas emissions and sometimes having a huge counter-productive effect on efforts already made.
Barcelona, Singapore, Berlin, London, … What have these cities in common? They all want to become the first smart-cities. However, what do we mean by “Smart-Cities”? Have cities been not smart so far? Which concepts underlie this trendy locution? A smart-city is not only a connected city, where millions of data are crunched to offer new services, but also a resilient, energy and resource efficient and sustainable city. What a great program!
The EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) outlines a framework of measures in order for the EU to reach its 20% energy savings target by 2020 and pave the way for more energy efficiency improvements beyond that date. Now that the Directive has entered into force, Member States must transpose it into national law and implement the many requirements in the legislation before the 2020 deadline. You struggle at seeing clearly into it? The Coalition’s Guidebook for Strong Implementation is here to help.
The Baden-Württemberg Foundation, which intends to pave the way for cutting-edge research, a variety of training activities and the responsible use of their citizens launched an expedition truck to raise awareness about Smart-Grids through a game. The truck, called “Expedition N”-truck, will be on a year-long tour.
Visitors in the truck can play a multi-player game. Their mission is to reenact the functionality of an intelligent power grid (“Smart Grid”) as a consistent group. They become a kind of “human smart grid” and learn how the energy turn can be achieved by means of intelligent networking of power producers and power consumers.
We’ve already seen in a previous post why Energy Efficiency business developers should look at the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution and the benefits this technology’s wave will provide to them. Now, let’s delve into 2 ideas, which should help you build the next smash hits in Energy Efficiency.
Behavioural sciences are not accurate sciences. And it’s not easy to successfully engage a behavioural change programme, especially when behaviour changes need some sacrifices and utility loss, such as, in climate change case, travelling less, eating less meat, buying less electronically stuff and so on.
￼Between 2010 and 2012, a programme of research into climate change relevant behaviours has been taken forward by the Scottish Government. Drawing learning, the programme argues that influencing behaviour is crucial, and offers some thinking about how this might be done. Here are 6 tips the late programme’s results highlight:
Energy Services Companies struggle to convince users to save sustainably energy in their professional environment. Simultaneously, the Internet and social networks let spring up new ways of rating services providers. Indeed, “consumers have more power than ever before to call attention to bad products, services, and experiences”. Thus, app developers or luxury touristic hotels can face good and bad reviews from their customers for the value they bring. What if Energy Services Companies used social media to point their users’ bad or energy-wasting behaviours?
One thing certain, the way we used to produce and consume energy won’t last forever and should dramatically change. Nobody can pretend knowing how the Energy industry will evolve. Having a vision, even partial and not perfect, and sharing it is key to assess and make policy and business choices. Will the energy world be steered by shale gas, nuclear, Energy Efficiency or hydrogen?
A longstanding debate among European Energy actors is the relevance of an integrated market. Is it worth it? What will be the actual benefits? Is it much cheaper than the alternative of further investment in generation capacity? What should be the rate of investments? Demand Response, Energy Efficiency and local power generation systems wouldn’t make an integrated energy market useless? What about Natural Gas markets?
Here is an initiative lead by SIEMENS, which set up Energy Conference series around the globe. “The first one took place in Belgium, where the panel discussed the importance of an energy market framework that will be critical in sustainable economic growth of the European Union.“
We’ve already seen what’s the UK Green Deal framework, how it works and it can help firms in UK to sell more. This time, let’s continue our Worldwide Energy Efficiency frameworks tour with a US one: “PACE”.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a way to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to buildings that has emerged in the United States. PACE repayments appear as an additional line on a building’s property tax bill. The debt is attached to the property rather than the property owner and is repaid by the beneficiary or the building improvement.
One very efficient way to attract your potential client’s attention is to be closed to her concerns. For some of them, worldwide Energy and Climate issues, and the way they can help improve through their firm, is an important topic. As a consequence, your sales teams need to know the main figures and facts related to these issues.
Moreover, even for a priori non-interested potential client’s, Energy and Climate insights are a useful tool to introduce a sales meeting. Indeed, nobody will refuse to talk about climate change or energy depletion!
There is a natural and human tendency that leads to not change a statu quo: ‘the change aversion’. This lies into your customers’ relationships as well. That’s often the first answer Energy Efficiency services suppliers declare while asking them why their clients don’t want to invest into Energy Efficiency projects.
In order to avoid, or at least mitigate, this syndrome, just make some educational tools to convince clients that your solutions will provide them (and especially users) more comfort, more practicality, more fun!
Insulation plays an essential role in both comfort and energy savings. In order to get the most for your [Client’s] money, it is important to make sure that the [building] has the right amount of insulation. This infographic will give you a better idea of insulation [principle].
Enjoy this educational infographic. It should give you ideas to make similar infographics and use them to promote your solutions.
This infographic is very well-made. However can we conclude that insulation is systematically a must-to? What should be the best tradeoff between different Energy Conservation Measures such as insulation or active systems efficiency improvements or behavioural demand response? We’ll see in a forthcoming post how grey energy can help local authorities and firms make the best long-term choice.
They have nothing to sell, and yet they use interesting marketing tools to promote energy savings. Here is a good-to-see video clip the EU Commission provided to raise awareness amongst households and offices. The 3.5-minute story starts with a family which is carelessly and unknowingly wasting energy from the moment they wake up. Until something unexpectively happens…
We’ll see later on other useful and good tools firms can use to raise awareness.
In this thoughtful 10-minute speech, Mujica, the Uruguayan President, presented a very committed political point of view, arguing that our environmental impact no longer allows us to maintain our willingness to have more. He spoke before representatives of the 139 countries attending the Rio+20 Summit on Sustainable Development opened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012. Enjoy!
From a macro-economic point of view, is Energy Efficiency really a good thing? Or is it counter-productive? Some economist such as William Stanley Jevons used to think that “Energy Efficiency does not reduce energy consumption”. In this very thoughtful article, Tim Harford provides interesting insights to show that Energy Efficiency does reduce energy consumption.
Without trying to challenge this man of genius, Tim Harford, we can still have some doubts and not totally agree with him. Indeed, as someone commented in his blog: “Isn’t the reduction in the UK energy consumption mostly due to the fact that much industry has been displaced to other countries (China)? Wouldn’t you have to include “embodied” energy in your calculations when saying that reduced UK consumption per capita is a “mark against Khazzoom-Brookes”? How about internalizing external costs?”
We are in 2018 and some of the biggest electrical equipments and Building Management Systems firms had burst, leaving the room to very young blooming startups, for some of them created less than 5 year ago. Would you want to work for one of these unfortunate big formerly top-in-the-class firms? You want to turn around and not stay on the side of the road?
Delve into the Non Intrusive Appliances Load Monitoring area. As seen in a previous post, NIALM technologies are processes for desegregating power and deducing what appliances are used in a building through a single metering point. Look at these up-and-coming startups. We should talk a lot about them very soon:
As Patrick Gray said: “The Internet of Things (IoT) appears to be moving from futurist speculation to reality.” Here’s a look at what business value it may hold at Energy Efficiency industry: the 5 main reasons why Energy Efficiency business developers should look at IoT revolution.
Every things can talk.“The “thing” […] is any item that can contain an embedded, connected computing device.” For energy consuming devices, a “thing” in the IoT could be a self-powered no-battery no-wire connected meter or a light bulb that sends luminosity data to a server somewhere on the Internet.
“Energy efficiency is the most important single future source of energy to supply the growing energy demand and to protect the climate. Being energy efficient in industry, mobility and housing will offer the biggest potential to use energy more efficient.”
Everybody try to be convinced of this point. But what would be our future with or without Energy Efficiency? Energy consumption and CO2 emissions should both increase by more than 50% in 2030.
In this straightforward and educational video podcast by BASF, you’ll find comprehensive practical examples of Energy Conservation Measures in manufactories, transport, household and some convincing key messages.
The United Kingdom has set itself the target of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Within this context, the UK will have 85% of its current housing stock in 2050. Emissions from buildings account for “43% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions”.
Willing to fight these issues, the UK government has launched a scheme, called the Green Deal, with the aim of helping households increase the energy efficiency of their homes. “Under this scheme, 14 millions homes could be fitted with insulation and other energy-saving measures”. Thanks to this scheme, the UK Government is expecting to create 65,000 new jobs across the supply chain.
This fact reinforced the increase of the transport pollution up to 40% of greenhouse gases in the cities. Despite the public transport offer, the use of individual vehicles such as cars remains frequent. By habit, comfort, independence, freedom, users abandon their personal vehicle with difficulty. In the city, we frequently observe thus problems of roadway saturation and increase of pollution of the air, etc.
Historically, our economy focused on extracting raw materials (gold, wood, cow and so on). Willing to transform these raw materials for some end-use purposes (luxury, transport, feed and so on), firms started selling goods as more or less differentiated products (jewels, boats, steak and so on). Then, firms move to services (fit jewels and clothes, offer mobility, serve hamburger in your favourite fast-food restaurant and so on). The natural evolution is to provide experience to end consumers (feeling pretty, enjoying a nice trip in a train where you can dance like in a club, enjoying tasty food in a very practical environment).
Reducing the amount of energy consumed every day is Europe’s biggest energy resource. It is cheaper, protects our environment and favours competitiveness. EU Commission provided an educational – even if a little bit institutional – video clip giving a less-than-5-min overview of the European Union’s energy efficiency objectives (3×20) and shows how each of us can make the difference, be it in our professional or private life. Enjoy it!
We’ll see later on what kind of tools EU already provides you (for free.
What if it was possible to get the power consumption breakdown by electricity usage of a building, based on a single sensor? What if all submetering systems became obsolete because of one signal processing technology? Today, this comes true thanks to NIALM (Non Intrusive Appliances Load Monitoring) technologies.
NIALM technologies are processes for desagregating power and deducing what appliances are used in a building through a single metering point.
Getting through blogs, forums and other experts’ chats, you’d notice that Building Management System manufacturers, IPMVP experts, Energy Auditors, and more generally most of Energy Efficiency Project Managers keep saying “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” If I do believe and know that information is key to successfully implement Energy Efficiency measures, I simultaneously think that measurement can be necessary but it’s never sufficient.
Citing Jesse BERST, “utilities could get sucked into the smart appliances trap just as several of them fell for the in-home display idea. It doesn’t make sense for utilities to subsidize products that consumers don’t want. And consumers don’t want smart appliances.” Indeed, everybody talk about smart stuff, dozens of startups try to break into the smart home market, and no smash hit is coming. Why?
As Beth BUCZYNSKI said, “are smart appliances worth the big investment?” It seems that the industry hasn’t yet provided a killer app everybody would be happy to pay to have it.
Often some myths, like economy of functionality or circular economy, can let think that their implementation is easy. The Devil’s in the details! It’s not that easy. Let’s see in this short video what role plays energy in circular economy.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Jean-Marc JANCOVICI is one of France’s most prominent energy and carbon experts, and co-founder of the Carbone 4 consultancy, which provides strategic counselling on energy-related matters. He played a key role in the build-up to the French “Grenelle of Environnement”, a national conference bringing together the government, local authorities, trade unions, business and voluntary sectors to draw up a plan of action of concrete measures. He is a guest lecturer at ParisTech Mines (engineering school) and the author of several books.
We used to talk a lot about gamification and ways to raise awareness. Here is an interesting example. SIEMENS would like to raise awareness and teach people about new forms of energy through a new, fun game called Power Matrix. It’s free, and it’s beautiful even though one thing is missing apparently: it’s all about power generation and nothing about Energy Efficiency.
Starting with a rural territory where your future city is about to develop, the goal is to provide it with a sustainable power supply through a mix of various energy technologies while keeping a budget. The game flows effortlessly through different energy sources and their effects on the community.
Because it represents a large field of experimentation EU Member States’ Governments can control and because local authorities have less and less enough budget to manage on a daily basis their assets, property asset is strongly exposed to the evolutions of the regulations on energy and climate.
75% of the global cost of the local and regional authorities energy consumption concerns buildings. Brought back to m², the annual costs in energy consumption of European towns property asset stagnate around 10 €.
In a previous post, we saw that it was easy to reduce street lighting energy consumption for almost zero investment. Today, we are going to visit 7 other efficient actions with very good payback time every cities should implement to reduce their electricity consumption.
Redeploy street lighting points: In order to avoid the excessive number of lightings by acting on the spacing and the number of lighting points, these can be redeployed according to their buildings’ architecture and to our street maintenance services. The height of the lampposts can also be optimised to ensure an optimum response to the need for functionality, safety and attractiveness of our territories.
The surveys, conducted by the European Climate Foundation in conjunction with the French Economic, Social Affairs and Environment Council, are the first major opinion polls conducted in France on the issue.
If not comprehensive, this study points out very interesting results. Thus, the findings show that most of inerviewed people believe the energy transition will have a positive long-term impact on the French economy through technological innovation, new markets’ access, firms’ attractiveness and on employment.
One of the key variables in an Energy Efficiency project, with the discount rate, is energy prices and their evolution through the time. Quite profitable Energy Efficiency projects have usually a few-year payback time. You may want to choose a not too bad ballpark value in order to make your project secured in the long run. Let’s not read in a crystal ball, but try to understand the main determinants, which influence energy prices.
Reasons why people spend their free time writting posts on Energy Efficiency frenetically are numerous: passion, willingness to share, desire to raise others’ awareness, just the pleasure to show off, expectation to become an expert, monetisation… 🙂
Whatever their reasons are, I feel very happy to have met these blogs on my road. They are all insightful showing a high level of expertise. Hope this post will help widen our community. And actually, I said 10 blogs but I’m not able to choose only 10 amongst them. So these are my 12 favorites. 😉
As this blog points it out often, the Energy Efficiency industry seems to be growing apart into two nearly distinct camps: the technical side and the behavior side.“It’s bad enough that we now have these quantitative versus qualitative ideologies glaring at each other from opposite sides of the room, but in many instances they can work against each other.”In his very interesting blog article, NOESIS’ Ryan REID highlighted how to bridge technical and behaviour changes. I tried to sum up here the key insights:
We all choose one or the other side and feel ours is the most important.
The French Environmental and Energy Ministery (MEDDE) thinks that firms should invest the equivalent of only 8% of their revenues in Energy Efficiency in 2013. This level of investment was very similar the past years. Like we saw lately, Energy Efficiency markets don’t break through. Yet people agree that energy prices should rise and, then, make Energy Efficiency projects more profitable. So why firms don’t invest more in Energy Efficiency in France, and more broadly in Europe?
We saw in a previous post, that taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator can be fun and how we can get more people to take the stairs over the escalator by making it fun to do. Let’s see this time how you could reduce maintenance costs of your building by using some fun tips to push people into taking part of this a priori boring activity.
Let’s see an example of how to throw rubbish in the bin instead of onto the floor. Indeed many people still fail to do so. Can we get more people to throw rubbish into the bin, rather than onto the ground, by making it fun to do? See the results here.
As seen in a previous post, Energy Transition launch is not a piece of cake. The markets are already here, but there are not blooming yet. Regulation incentives and firms’ initiatives are necessary. SCHNEIDER Electric has just finished to run a virtual experiment within France, called EnerCamp, to boost Energy Transition. Let’s have a look at their results.
Everybody talk about Smart Meters. But practically speaking, what the hell is that? We all see what a meter is. It’s a stuff that measures something, in particular electricity, but not only. However, what’s the difference between Smart Energy and a Smart meter? What makes a meter “smart”? What are the benefits for customers? Why are the traditional meters being replaced with smart meters?
A smart meter is a digital electric meter often equipped with wireless communications technology. This allows Consumers Energy to communicate with smart meters remotely so that certain service requests can be completed faster, such as meter reading, service connections and outage notifications.
Regarding public lighting, the European norm EN 13201, not yet mandatory, sets up the illumination levels that need to be maintained in the different categories of public areas, essentially according to the level of safety. While respecting this regulation, conceivable (almost) free actions can be set up to optimize costs: change or modernize lampposts, regularly maintain the lighting lot, choose a rational use of public lighting, etc. Essential actions, detailed below, can help transforming our existing public lighting systems into effective public lighting systems.
The French SMB association has just edited a market study about green tech employment trends. Getting through 120 job-search websites in one year and gather up to 2,200 job descriptions. If REn-related jobs represent about 60% of collected jobs, EffE-related jobs (in insulation, active systems, and performance O&M) is the more dynamic. Thus, with only 575 new jobs, the number of available jobs doubled in 6 months.
According to several studies carried by NGOs, local authorities, Unions, and Economists, a succeeded Energy Transition should create from 632,000 jobs in 2030 (CNRS-Cned’s Philippe Quirion economists) to 825,000 jobs in 2050 (National Energy Agency “ADEME” and NGO “Negawatt” studies). In both cases, jobs will be mainly concentrated in buildings thermal refurbishment.
Alex LASKEY, one of the OPOWER‘s founders, gave a great TED presentation about how behaviour changes can help us save energy. This is another great example how to make Energy Efficiency sexy. Here is the 8-min video and his speech I tried to wrap up.
TED: click on the image
How many of you have checked your email today? Raise your hands.
And how about finances? Anybody check that today? Credit card, investment account? How about this week?
Population in European cities increases more and more and so the dependence to infrastructures to travel. In a context of urban sprawl confronted to the double effect of fuel prices increase and new working hours, the treatment of mobility constitutes a fundamental component of our territories attractiveness, as seen in a previous post. Energy Efficiency in public transport is a key leverage to improve attractivity.
The question of mobility is also asked in environmental terms; public transit networks are tremendous tools to reduce CO2 emissions and local pollutions. The fight against global warming will be determining for the evolution of transport.
In this excellent Guardian article I try here to sum up, Dr Paula Owen explains why ‘gamification’ – using fun and games for serious purposes – is quickly becoming the hottest tool in the sustainability toolkit.
What’s ‘gamification’? It’s simply the concept of taking the ideas behind good games design and games mechanics and applying them to non-gaming environments.
Firms are looking to gamification to increase staff productivity; customer loyalty and, of course, bottom-line profitability. There are already many examples of gamification app, such as:
We know that most of the great technical solutions to save energy are often unfortunately disturbed by the actual behaviour of people who use them or manage them. Examples are numerous: BMS, lighting control systems, HVAC automation systems, and so on. What if we asked ocupants in a given building (offices, public transport, industries, and so on) to regulate their own behaviour.
VOLKSWAGEN launched few years ago a contest dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better.
We used to say that while asking a question to experts, you would receive as many answers as experts you ask your question to. No reason to be different in Energy Efficiency. Thus, Energy Efficiency engineers would legitimately give different answers depending on their own expertise (metering, automation, thermal, electricity and so on) and on the firm/product line they belong to.
My personal answer based on field experience is the following: You should start your Energy Efficiency project certainly not with an offer! Neither an audit, nor a metering systems’ installation. You should start it with questions and a genuine ability to listen to your client’s answers. Finally, this is basically a regular sales approach sometimes some engineers tend to negligate a little bit too much.
We saw in a previous post, that taking the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator can be fun and how we can get more people to take the stairs over the escalator by making it fun to do. For the second time, let’s see this time how you could reduce maintenance costs of your building by using some fun tips to push people into taking part of this a priori boring activity.
In this very provocative short animation, Guardian columnist George MONBIOT teams up with Leo Murray and green charity PIRC to explain the UK’s ‘carbon omissions’. Officially, UK carbon emissions have been falling for the past decade, but when you count the carbon outsourced to China and other countries, the UK’s emissions have actually gone up by around a fifth.
click on the picture to watch the 3-minute animation.
We’ll see sooner how carbon offsetting and carbon outsourcing can be very counter-productive to make our economies in UE more competitive.
A common thought within the Energy sector is that the vast majority of end-customers (B2B, B2C and B2B2C) doesn’t know how much they consume and spend on energy. Surprising? not really. Energy prices used to be quite low historically and, except for energy-intensive companies, they turn to be far from being the first budget item.
However, it clearly gives a clue on how far energy management based decisions are from commonplace. Yet, energy awareness is a key item to understand the initial opportunity, design a project, and verify whether you’re actually saving energy. Let’s how a drop of good information can help raise some determinant Energy Efficiency barriers.
For about a century, the world population has been multiplied by 12. We are 12 times as many today as at the end of the XIXth century. Since 1879, when was the electric bulb was created, the world energy consumption has been multiplied by more than 50.
Alongside the increase of the world population, we can indeed notice that the energy needs per person also increase greatly, despite the innovations and the technological improvements from which the population benefits. Indeed, the technical yields were generally strongly improved during the past century, but these efforts have been completely compensated by two effects:
Everybody talk about Smart Grids. But practically speaking, what the hell is that? We all understand how electricity comes to our house (through a grid). However, what makes a smart grid different from today’s grid? What are the benefits of smart grid technology? Is it really necessary?
Smart Grid – or digital grid – uses the same digital technology used in industries such as telecommunications to enable two-way communications between Utilities, DSO/TSO and end customers. Think of it as an energy network that delivers improved reliability and virtually unlimited opportunities for customers to take control of their energy usage and costs.
There are many different standards around the world in terms of Energy Audits. But as far as I know, none of them provide a comprehensive transparent scheme both for energy services companies (ESCOs) and customers whatever the assets is. The 2012 European Energy Efficiency Directive provides a incentivising legal framework to help one standard become a worldwide reference.
An energy audit is an important step (the first one) for an organisation willing to improve its Energy Efficiency, and reduce its energy consumption.
Speaking about Energy Efficiency with everybody, you may have noticed that almost everyone has her own definition of the topic. For some of us, Renewable Energies (REn) are part of Energy Efficiency such as solar panels or green district heating. For others, only actions on active systems or building’s envelops are eligible to this so-called appellation.
What’s the truth amongst all these potential definitions? Is there really a unique definition? Does it make sense to think in terms of an overall spectrum? What if there were several relevant definitions of Energy Efficiency, each one suitable for a given context?
You feel disappointed. You’ve just presented your amazing Energy Efficiency offer to one of your leads, and it turns out that your client doesn’t seem to be completely convinced by your solution. Yet, the payback time is very decent, the investment not very high and compatible with your client’s budget and the solution is technically guaranteed. Sounds familiar?
As seen in a previous post, there are many different hurdles proactive Energy Efficiency solutions providers have to face. And even though your solution looks great, sometimes you need to align your client’s representatives’ interests. One of the means to do so is to make your offer sexy. How could it be done? Many ways of doing so.
There are people like Jean-Marc JANCOVICI or David OWEN, who try to rectify journalists mistakes, approximations and falsehood. In this very good book, David OWEN sets out to clarify concepts and to share some insightful rough estimates. While reading this book, you understand that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and often so-called Energy Efficiency solutions can be counter-productive.
Hybrid cars, fast trains, energy-efficient light bulbs, solar panels, carbon offsets… Forget everything you ever thought you knew about living green. The Conundrum is a mind-changing manifesto about the environment, efficiency and the real path to sustainability.
I tried here to put together the 5 most relevant websites I would recommend to know before launching an Energy Efficiency product within one or several EU Member States.
1. Get to know local regulation first
The EU is aiming for a 20% cut in Europe’s annual primary energy consumption by 2020. The Commission has proposed several measures to increase efficiency at all stages of the energy chain. Targets and measures vary from a EU Member State to another. Before launching a product in a given EU Member State, you may want to know the existing measures, regulations and incentives within the country. Visit the European Commission’s website.
In this very good Reuters article, Jason NEELY (REUTERS) sets out to show that Utilities’ volume-based model is no longer a sustainable profit-making vehicule, and that Energy Efficiency solutions providers start capturing the value from Utilities.
Here is a non exhaustive wrap-up of this article:
– European Utilities could be very affected by the decline of their energy revenues.
– As an example and according to Bain, “the big four [German] Utilities will lose about a third of their annual operating profits from generation […] by 2020”
It’s Friday 6pm. And you’re coming back home after a hectic week at your Energy Efficiency solutions company. While traveling in the train, you ask yourself: “why is it so hard to sell my amazing Energy Efficiency products? Why was it easier to sell financial products in my past life?”
Proactive Energy Efficiency entrepreneurs have to face several barriers (some of them have been here detailed in this blog). It’s possible to give your client deals the best chance for success. To do so, you may want to implement some wise solution strategies.
Pushed by European Union regulation (such as EED, 2012/27/EU), Member States have to achieve some Energy Efficiency targets and requirements (followed through NEEAPs). Whatever the Member State you want to sell your Energy Efficiency solutions into, you may want to be supported through some facilitating regulations, incentives or subsidies.
To ensure your lobbying action to be impactful and get it ready, get through the 13following questions:
Needless to say that unemployment is a key issue for EU Member States. Does your Energy Efficiency solution create non-relocatable jobs? Is it a labour-intensive solutions?
Buildings in France, as worldwide, account for a high 40% of global energy consumption. Large and attractive opportunities exist to reduce buildings’ energy use at lower costs and higher returns than other sectors. These reductions are fundamental to support achieving the European Union’s 20-20-20 for 2020 policy and the International Energy Agency’s target of a 77% reduction in the planet’s carbon footprint against the 2050 baseline to reach stabilized CO2 levels called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Because the issues for local authorities are both environmental and economical, it’s necessary for them not only to create and divide wealth for everyone, but also master the budgets and face the urban sprawl problems, pollution, life quality and mobility issues. To obtain healthy and sustainable growth, managing energy demand and research for innovating and alternative solutions are proven to be central. Thus, any land use project, rehabilitation of buildings, or investment project should require to examine its carbon and energy footprint. Several reasons thereto:
Everybody agree that Energy Efficiency is an important matter, and that it’s a priority. However, in practice, it looks as if implementing massive energy savings is much more complex than it seems to be initially. Amongst numerous reasons detailed in the attached document, 5 definitely shape the perception we have about Energy Efficiency. Here they are:
Nobody sends you a cheque when you implement an Energy Conservation Measure! So, you can’t see it in your P&L, you can’t discount it, and you can’t value it in a Business Plan.
It’s physically impossible to prove an energy saving! So, you can’t measure it with a meter.