Summer 2020 - Newsletter

Dear readers,

So far, 2020 has been a busy year for all of us at IEECP, and even though we have had very few opportunities to meet you physically, we joined many digital events, to present project results or give insights about how policies could support and prepare the post COVID-19 times. All recordings are accessible from our summary page.

The EU Strategy for Energy System Integration was recently presented by European Commissioner for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans and European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, aiming to link different energy carriers, infrastructure and consumption sectors together to boost renewables and reduce carbon emissions. We are glad to see as pillar a more circular energy system putting energy efficiency at its core.

Though, as the Just Transition Fund which supports the bloc’s 108 coal-producing regions in their transition to a low-carbon economy was moved to the Parliament for voting, we join many experts to raise the Commission and Parliament’s attention to remain careful and not let fossil fuels such as natural gas appear or be supported in such programmes and strategies, otherwise sending wrong signals and locking the EU into fossil technologies for the next decade(s).

The energy system integration strategy does not contain legislative proposals, they will come in a year: the EU can deliver on its climate ambition without compromising and putting efficiency first as top priority is key. We will keep on providing research that feeds into a thorough decarbonisation and delivering of the Paris Agreement.

In this newsletter you will find elements showing that such strategies and paths are possible: the H2020-funded project enefirst just released examples from across the globe, of policies, regulatory frameworks, utility programmes or other initiatives that have implemented the Efficiency First (E1st) principle in practice. These examples show policymakers, regulators and energy policy actors that the concept of E1st can be implemented and provide various benefits to the energy transition!

To support the development and financing of (appropriate) energy efficiency projects, the H2020 project Triple A developed tools, see on their website and help the project improve them.

The next issue of our newsletter will be in September, we wish you a nice summer until then!

Enjoy reading,

The IEECP team



Short – briefings, factsheets and articles (from IEECP colleagues and partners)

Post-COVID-19 - New Era for Energy Efficiency Investments & Economy Recovery Plans by Triple A and project news

The H2020-funded project Triple A reports back from the recent EUSEW event (June 18): Energy transition: new business models to de-risk investments and kick-start the EU building renovation wave (with the recording available) and writes, in its latest press release, how energy efficiency investments could support a sustainable post-COVID19 economic recovery. Triple-A could boost energy efficiency investments through the identification of attractive project ideas and enable them to get financed. Interested and willing to meet partners to find out more? Triple-A will be at the event Sustainable Places 2020, in the “De-risking EE investments” workshop, October 27-30 (digital event). Finally, a short video showcases in 3 minutes the project scope, methodology and expected results.


Sustainable energy transition readiness: a multicriteria assessment index

In a scientific publication from the Paris Reinforce H2020 project, a sustainable energy transition readiness index is introduced and implemented.

To change the way energy is used and impacts climate, therefore decarbonising economies, countries must implement a variety of measures focusing on energy efficiency and using sustainable energy sources. Energy transitions can be impacted by several factors (technological innovations, regulatory and institutional frameworks, etc.), therefore knowing how countries can lead such transitions is of primary importance: this study outlines a multicriteria analysis framework to assess a country's sustainable energy transition readiness level, drawing from four pillars—social, political/regulatory, economic and technological—comprising a consistent set of eight evaluation criteria. 14 countries of different profile and level of progress towards sustainable development are evaluated and ranked, in an effort to highlight areas for improvement, and to support policymakers in designing appropriate pathways towards a greener economy.


A review of deterministic and data-driven methods to quantify energy efficiency savings and to predict retrofitting scenarios in buildings

In this publication from CIMNE, related to the H2020 project SENSEI, published in the journal "Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews", authors analyse in details several methodologies for the measurement and verification of energy savings, and for the prediction and recommendation of energy retrofitting strategies. Increasing energy efficiency of the built environment should be a priority and to tap the potential lying in retrofitting buildings, methodologies able to evaluate the effect of applied energy efficiency measures and inform about the expected impact of potential retrofitting strategies are key. The article is free to download for 50 days.


How to account for Efficiency First (E1st) in energy system modelling

This was the topic of an expert online workshop held on 17 June. The objective was to discuss how energy system models can be used to practically inform decision-makers about the impacts of implementing (or not) E1st, and what methodological challenges this entails. You can check the three presentations explaining the modelling approaches developed in the ENEFIRST and sEEnergies projects of the Horizon 2020 programme.


Reports and longer publications

Snapshots of Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes and alternative measures in Europe

These H2020 ENSMOV snapshots (updated) present an overview of the Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes (EEOS) and alternative measures in Europe (new), reported to the Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), for the obligation period 2014-2020. While EEOS are schemes setting an obligation on energy companies (energy distributors or suppliers/retailers) to achieve energy savings targets with the goal to boost energy efficiency services and markets, Member States can opt for alternative measures and mechanisms (financial incentives, voluntary agreements, regulation / standards, taxation schemes, energy efficiency funds, etc.). Various ways can be used to specify the energy efficiency obligation, its scope, how the targets can be achieved by the obligated parties, how energy savings can be monitored, how verification and controls are made. Snapshots include, per country, a description of the policy or measure, insights about the results, an overview of the policy mix, cost and benefits of the measures, and interviews with national experts. 12 Member States, as of end 2019, had chosen to answer the article 7 obligation with alternative measures alone.


Report - International Experiences with E1st (Efficiency First)

In accelerating energy efficiency action, the Efficiency First principle has become a cornerstone of EU energy policy. Efficiency First gives priority to demand-side resources whenever they are more cost effective from a societal perspective than investments in energy infrastructure.
The latest enefirst (H2020-funded project) report showcases 16 examples of how E1st has been applied across the US and EU in different contexts, from buildings, finance and planning, to gas and district heating. This report reviews examples of policies, regulatory frameworks, utility programmes or other initiatives that have implemented the Efficiency First (E1st) principle in practice. Its objective is to analyse why and how E1st has been implemented, and what lessons can be learned from these experiences. These examples also show policymakers, regulators and energy policy actors in general that the concept of E1st can be implemented and can provide various benefits to the energy transition.



Can energy efficiency investments become more transparent, predictable and attractive for investors, financiers and project developers?

To borrow the project words, energy efficiency projects could play a crucial role in transitioning to the future economy post-COVID19, where sustainable growth will be the centre of attention. But to secure and therefore boost energy efficiency investments, attractive project ideas should be identified properly: Triple A’s standardised methodology allows assessing the risks involved from the first stages of investments generation and pre-selection/ pre-evaluation. In particular, the Triple-A tools, now available, aim at standardising and increasing the EE financing chain. Among the available tools, the Triple A interactive database is a visual representation of the most important risks in energy efficiency financing, with interactive maps and graphs displaying the results of the Triple-A risks assessment on EE investments. The associated report is also available, detailing the design and content of the database and providing descriptions on how to navigate the database. Next to it,three other tools (2 already available), linked to the three “A”: How to assess the financing instruments and risks at an early stage? (screens projects towards the requirements from the EU Taxonomy they should comply with), how to agree on the Triple-A investments, based on selected key performance indicators (benchmarks the predicted performance of the EE projects which passed the Assess step) and how to assign the identified investment ideas with possible financing schemes.

Financing institutions will get a pool of Triple-A projects. Banks could filter and select projects according to several characteristics such as benchmarking rating, country, sector or other criteria, in order to examine their financing. A report describes the methodology and process flow for each tool.



-        IEECP will be present at the C4E forum in Romania with several opportunities to present project results (SENSEI and enefirst), October 12 to 15 in Poiana Brasov.

-        At Sustainable Places 2020, a number of H2020 projects developing innovative solutions to tackle challenges such as making EE investments more attractive, providing statistics and data on the actual energy and costs savings achieved by energy efficiency investment projects and more are joining forces on a common workshop to present their approach and discuss potential synergies.