Sunny thoughts from ECEEE’s Summer Study on Energy Efficiently
By Paula Morgenstern, on 10 June 2015
The 12th ECEEE (European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy) Summer Study on Energy Efficiency took place from the 1-6th of June in the south of France. Three colleagues from UCL-Energy Institute were fortunate enough to be part of this week of presentations, discussions and workshops around energy efficiency. They left with smiles and many new ideas thanks to an event bringing together experts from many different sectors and backgrounds. Everyone’s shared ambition to make energy efficiency a reality (as reflected in the conference slogan “First Fuel Now”) made networking easy and differences in worldviews a conversation starter rather than an obstacle. Okay, maybe the generous supply of French wine the summer study is famous for also contributed here.
Find out here which new thoughts Gesche Huebner, Mike Fell and Paula Morgenstern have brought back to London from ECEEE:
Gesche: The eceee was once again a fantastic experience. The quality of talks was very high, and provided an excellent overview ofrecent research highlights around energy efficiency from a range of different perspectives. The opportunities smart meter data present in terms of understanding how occupants use their home was a frequently visited topic with interesting discussions about issues around privacy and its potential in informing retrofit advice. ‘Informal sessions’ in the afternoon gave the chance to explore various topics in much more detail. Mike Fell and I organized a session on how to ensure wide-spread uptake of smarts meters and Time-of-Use tariffs, comparing perspectives and experiences from different countries. The session was very well frequented and stimulated lots of discussion.
Mike: For me, this conference was notable for its vast breadth of coverage. There was strong representation from the worlds of policy, industry and research, and the presentations took in engineering, economics, psychology, sociology and a range of other disciplines. In one sense this is very heartening – in my mind I was able to start connecting up the different strands to think about how we could (for example) achieve effective load shifting (or moving around of electricity use in time e.g. to reduce peaks in demand) in a way that is technically possible, economically feasible and socially acceptable. However, it also highlights what a challenging task policymakers have in putting together the diverse evidence that research provides.
Paula: Attendees form more than 30 countries made the summer study a great opportunity for knowledge sharing, in particular on the implementation of EU legislation or schemes more globally. I am interested in energy benchmarking in buildings and it was fascinating to learn more about the Australian NABERS scheme or EnergySTAR in the US. Interesting also that it is now being discussed in the US to extend their Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), which have been highly successful in reducing appliance energy use over the last couple of years, to include systems such as the combination of motors and variable speed drives. In my opinion, such a combined perspective will be crucial in affecting further reductions in buildings as a whole. Another interesting project was the world’s biggest inter-lab comparison, testing more than 100 on their measurement accuracy using hard-to-measure artefacts such as low power factors lamps. While the labs generally performed well problems in measuring certain lamp characteristics were found for some labs, to an extreme that lamp power draw could be off by as much as 38%. I feel this kind of work remains crucially important in times of an increasing focus on big data – we need to know what the data we are basing our analysis on actually means.