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9th International Conference on Improving Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings and Smart Communities

Frankfurt, Germany
16 | 03 | 16
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How can EU policy frameworks best capture the potential for energy savings in the EU through the use of building automation technology?

ECI presented its findings of a thorough investigation into these issues at the  9th International Conference Improving Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings and Smart Communities (IEECB&SC’16) organised by the Joint Research Center  - Institute for Energy and Transport (IET) on March 16, 2016.

Paul Waide, presenting at IEECB&SC'16


Conference Paper Abstract

The potential for energy savings from building automation and controls (BACS) in European service sector buildings has been estimated to be 20.3% of their total energy consumption, equal to 50 Mtoe/year in 2035 and worth €56 bn per annum. These savings are highly cost effective, with savings outweighing investments by a factor ~18, but they do not materialise due to several non-financial market barriers. Despite these, up until recently the topic has had relatively little policy attention.

The launch of the EU’s Energy Union strategy and review of the Ecodesign, Energy Efficiency and Energy Performance in Buildings Directives has provided an opportunity to remedy this omission. But what blend of policy instruments is needed to deliver the potential? Can a single Directive be used to meet the needs or is a coherent strategy required, drawing upon policy measures made operable through more than one Directive?

This paper reports the findings of a thorough investigation into these issues. It begins by considering the specific barriers that need to be addressed and then maps these to the articles within the various extant Directives in their current form to see which could be applied to address the constraints. It finds that multiple actions are required to access the savings but they can be broadly categorised into a need to promote greater adoption of BACS coupled with an equally important need to improve the quality of design, installation and operation of the BACS systems.

The analysis further finds that at the very least proactive implementation of measures within the Energy Performance in Buildings (EPBD) and the Ecodesign Directives are needed, but furthermore the Energy Efficiency Directive could play a huge role to provide stable finance at scale and to help address quality in the supply chain.

Alternatively, the EPBD could be amended (mostly through strengthening the Article 8 provisions on technical systems) to deliver a large part of the savings with complementary support from the Ecodesign Directive. Either way it is clear that much more proactive policy attention is required for these savings to be realised and that a policy development and implementation approach, which breaks down current policy silos will be necessary for success.

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