Category Archives: Ideas

How do we use energy at home by Atlantic video

How do we use Energy at home

From gadgets to kitchen appliances to heating, everything have changed at home. Everything is standardized, automated and increasingly energy hungry.

Below, this two-minute video realized by Atlantic video show us what it takes to power an American home and how shifting demographics have influenced energy use since 1980.

Let's see green by Maxwell Haynes

“How do we use Energy at home” by Atlantic video


We don’t forget to thank the great job of Alexis Madrigal the technology editor and Lindsey Testolin in charge of the animation of the video.

Next time, we’ll discuss of why smart homes haven’t taken off yet.

Buildings efficiency

The 4 mistakes when pitching building efficiency

Buildings efficiencyAlthough 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.




Sara Neff, November 6, 2013

Let's see green by Maxwell Haynes

Your grandma beats you while saving energy

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

“Let’s see Green” by Maxwell Haynes

Next time, we’ll see more about raising people’s awareness and behavioral sciences.

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How to increase Energy Efficiency

Everybody wonders to make more green its house or its good properties. Which behavior to adopt, which actions to undertake and finally how to increase its energy efficiency quickly.

Below an infographic of Delaware Valley to transmit us top actions to be adopted.

Get to know more:

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what is energy audit video

Understanding the Energy Audit in less than 1 minute

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


NQA VIDEO 50 001

How a company can benefit from ISO 50 001?

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.”

The 9 things Utilities should worry about most


The brilliant Jesse BERST gathered, from dozens of utility professionals, multiple problems they are grappling with.

Here are the nine worries Jesse heard most often. Based on US Utilities feedback, we can easily extend most of these observations to European Utilities as well.


  1. Policy pressure to be more reliable and resilient. Many countries want Utilities to improve their resilience to external threats.
  2. Aging infrastructure. Much of their equipment is beyond its design life. How an they improve it without increase energy prices?

Is manipulation the only way to change behaviours?

SmartEnergyEfficiency_CuteSheepAround 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.

So, what’s the solution? Manipulate people?


By the way, what’s a smart-city?



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!


3 questions to Thierry BIEVRE, ELITHIS’ CEO




Thierry BIEVRE, Chief Executive Director of Elithis group, a famous French Building Engineering firm, shares feedback on best practices to make Energy Efficiency a successful market.





From your experience, what are the main barriers to a broader Energy Efficiency development?


The Hydrogen Economy book read in 5 minutes

FOETOne 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?


Visionaries in energy are numerous (Jeremy Rifkin, David Owen, Jean-Marc Jancovici, Alain Grandjean, and so on). With his Third Industrial Revolution theory, Jeremy Rifkin is certainly the current most popular.

How Energy Efficiency can sometimes reduce buildings’ value




We used to say that a more efficient building tends to be a more valuable building. It happened that PACE framework in the US already proved the opposite.

We’ve already delved into US PACE framework. However, in this very interesting BLOOMBERG NEW ENERGY FINANCE article, you’ll see how sometimes things can be counter-intuitive.

Energy Efficiency doesn’t work because we don’t want it

Following Tim Harford’s article about Jevons Paradox, one argument in Jevons’ favour might be that economy offsets Energy Efficiency by more usages, added values and, finally, energy consumption because of our need to have more.

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!

Presidente Mujica

Does Energy Efficiency really reduce energy consumption?

Tim Harford

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?”

EESC Europa

Top 5 Barriers of Energy Efficiency Implementation

EESC Europa

EESC Europa


What are the key issues you have to face with your clients in terms of Energy Efficiency solutions?

According to several surveys done within Europe in 2013, the Top 5 problems of Energy Efficiency projects implementation are:

  1. No money
  2. Too expensive CapEx
  3. Difficulties to prove Energy Savings
  4. Willingness to mobilize for Energy Efficiency projects
  5. Difficulties to find the right expertise at the right time

What are yours?

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Internet of things

5 reasons why the Internet of Things will reshape Energy Efficiency

Internet of things


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.

The World in 2030 with or without Energy Efficiency

“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.

Utilities need to do their Starbucks transformation

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).


Understand in 10 min the role of energy in circular economy

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.

Understand in 10 min the role of 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.

Energy Prices

What could energy prices be by 2020 in Europe?

Energy Prices

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.

Energy Efficiency Investment

Why companies don’t invest in Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency Investment

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?

George Monbiot on how the UK outsourced its carbon footprint – animation

How the UK outsourced its carbon footprint

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. George Monbiot on how the UK outsourced its carbon footprint – animation

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.


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Why Energy Efficiency is an important issue today?

World Energy Consumption Evolution over the past century

Vincent BRYANT

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:

Vincent BRYANT

By the way, what’s Energy Efficiency?

Vincent BRYANT

Vincent BRYANT

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?

The Conundrum - David OWEN

The book about Energy Efficiency all European leaders should read

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.

An employee shows a traditional light bulb and two low-energy consumption bulbs at the Osram factory in MolsheimIn 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”


The 5 reasons why Energy Efficiency doesn’t work naturally

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:

  1. 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.
  2. It’s physically impossible to prove an energy saving! So, you can’t measure it with a meter.