May 2022 - Newsletter

This newsletter comes timely, sharing a lot of useful resources when the European Commission is expected to present the RePowerEU package tomorrow, unveiling its Action Plan and complementary proposals. The variety of topics included matches well our portfolio of projects, which results can feed into the package.

We presented to key decision-makers in April some results from various projects researching ways to tackle energy poverty, linked with the future costs under the Energy Efficiency Directive: the event highlighted the key role of article 7 policies and is now available to all with briefings and the recording. We were equally very excited to release last week our 3-part study, commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, on heating decarbonisation to alleviate energy poverty.

Findings remind us that time is running out. We will face a financing gap if we do not bring the EU financing forward to invest in energy efficiency for the low-income groups: governments must align their policies with this short to medium-term horizon and finance energy efficiency upgrades and heating electrification. Market signals, such as the carbon pricing from the new ETS is not adequate for the low-income groups. The reports show that if subsidies for home renovations do not materialise, energy bills will rise by 19% and the EU will fail to reach its climate targets.

Read more about IEECP’s findings and recommendations in this issue and discover the material we gathered to inspire you and hope will feed research and policies.This newsletter looks a bit different as we split our news per topic instead of categories they belonged to (events, videos, etc.). We hope you like it and are looking forward to your feedback!

Enjoy reading,

Marine Perrio and Vlasis Oikonomou, for the IEECP team

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FOCUS ON

[REPORT - INFOGRAPHIC] Policies to decarbonise residential buildings in Central, Eastern and Southern EU: impact on energy poverty and mitigation strategies

While the European Commission is set to present the RePowerEU proposal in the next day, IEECP provides evidence that EU policies to decarbonise homes will benefit low-income households across Europe in a study covering 10 countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Italy, Portugal and Spain), countries with the highest energy poverty levels in the EU. The 3 reports show how to design such measures to deliver a socially-just Renovation Wave and benefit lowest-income groups, the most affected by skyrocketing gas prices, who tend to live in the worst-performing buildings. The European Green Deal could bring down the energy bills of lowest-income households by one-third and boost their disposable income in the medium to long term. According to the study, minimum energy performance standards for buildings to increase home renovations and a phase out of the sale of fossil fuel boilers, combined with a smart recycling of carbon pricing revenues on heating fuels, would result in the lowest energy costs (-34% on average) and highest disposable incomes in 2050 for low-income households, compared to implementing only one or two policies. Read more in the 3 reports, an infographic on the potential impact of the EU Renovation Wave per country and a summary report.

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ENERGY POVERTY

[PROJECT NEWS] Alleviating energy poverty in Europe’s private-rented sector: a platform to assess the success and failure of EU policies

Although it is widely recognized that the Private Rented Sector (PRS) faces serious energy poverty issues due to increasing energy costs and the COVID-19 pandemic, there are no EU support measures or policies designed specifically for low-income tenants. In the effort to inspire change and action on this front, ENPOR, a project funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, has been monitoring the various dimensions of European energy poverty in the private rented sector for the last 18 months. ENPOR has worked with national and regional stakeholders to co-create policies and measures to help alleviate energy vulnerability while providing a structured knowledge exchange platform now publicly available for use and regularly updated with new policies.

[AFTER EVENT MATERIAL] Alleviating Energy Poverty through Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive

The event provided the opportunity to learn and exchange knowledge from the perspective of policy making with speakers highlighting the ENSMOV results as well as discuss the utility perspectives on energy poverty support based on learnings from the SocialWatt project. After an overview of policies from 10 countries was given to open the event, a panel of speakers presented national experiences from Greece, Ireland and Spain. The recording to catch up and a visual briefing are now available.

[AFTER EVENT MATERIAL] Energy poverty and the future costs under the Energy Efficiency Directive: the role of article 7 policies

This event gathered members of the European Commission, European Parliament and National Ministries to discuss key results from projects and initiatives on the topic of energy poverty and the role of policies to alleviate it. Speakers discussed the role of the Fit-for-55 package, Art7 EED policies as well as EU funds and their impacts on low-income groups. They also exchanged how the multiple indicators that capture the dimensions of energy poverty are a result of these policies. Key discussion points and findings are available in a visual brief, the event report and the recording.

[BRIEFING – TOOL] The SocialWatt Analyser - Identifying energy poor households across Europe

As energy poverty continues to rise through the spike in current energy prices, we could learn a few things from the SocialWatt Analyser Tool, an innovative decision-support tool that helps energy companies identify energy-poor customers. The goal is to track and provide concrete data on these households, in several countries, based on 5 indicators including the SocialWatt indicator. This brief explains how the tool works and presents key outputs from its use by energy companies across Europe.

[AFTER EVENT MATERIAL] ENPOR lunch talk on tailored measures for energy poverty

Energy advice for consumers with few resources, but the right way. This was ENPOR’s central theme in the light of the energy crisis at the project latest Lunch Talk with the STEP Project partners.

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ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR COMPANIES AND ENERGY SAVINGS

[PROJECT NEWS] Guiding Small & Medium Enterprises and national authorities through the energy transition by taking profit of multiple benefits and energy management approaches

Halfway through the DEESME Project with Ivana Rogulj – a graphic interview focusing on what the DEESME project has accomplished these first 18 months including what has been done with SMEs so far, Ivana's observations from this first round and the next steps we can look forward to!

[EVENT] Towards more energy efficient companies – focus on various industry sectors, June 28 – Brussels, Belgium

Join us for the ICCEE final event + DEESME mid-term event! This event is divided in 2 parts: participants can discover the ICCEE approach and results in the first 1h30, opened by Ina Colombo-Youla, Deputy Director General of the International Institute of Refrigeration, while the second part, co-organised with EU-funded project DEESME, gathers high-level speakers in 2 panel debates.

The first panel is on the factors preventing and facilitating the implementation of energy efficiency measures for companies in various sectors. The second panel discussion will focus on building an enabling policy and regulatory framework for supply / value chains and SMEs energy efficiency with a policy debate, recommendations and a Q&A.

The streamSAVE H2020 project addresses five new technical areas to improve energy savings calculations

As a 36-month Horizon 2020 project, streamSAVE aims to streamline energy savings calculation methodologies under Article 3 and 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). The project will bring together public authorities, technology experts and market actors to foster transnational knowledge exchange on technical priority actions across Europe. The streamSAVE project officially launched its second round of Priority Actions as a continuation of its efforts to streamline energy savings calculations under Article 3 and 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive. Read more.

The first set of Priority Actions treated during the first half of the project included building automation and control systems (BACS), electric vehicles, heat recovery, refrigeration systems, and lastly, lighting systems. For each PA, streamSAVE developed streamlined calculation methodologies to enable their adoption by Member States, among others. The second set of Priority Actions, decided based on existing gaps and further consultation of stakeholder needs, includes small-scale renewable central heating, energy efficiency actions to alleviate energy poverty, accelerated replacement of inefficient electric motors, behavioural changes resulting from feedback about energy use or tailored advice towards households, and modal shift for freight transport.

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EFFICIENCY FIRST

[AFTER EVENT MATERIAL] Recent developments in the field of Energy Efficiency First

The war in Ukraine and current tensions with Russia put in the spotlight the vulnerability of Europe to energy imports. Energy Efficiency First (EE1st) is more than ever an essential principle to secure that Europeans’ energy needs are met while delivering a Just Transition and not jeopardizing the climate goals. This webinar gave a brief update about developments in the field of EE1st, looking at the proposals in the fit-for-55 package, the just-out REPowerEU communication and recent outputs from European projects, including tools from EERAdata and MICAT, or the P4P concept developed by SENSEI to “trade” energy efficiency among parties. Material available include the recording, presentations and a graphical briefing.

[POLICY BRIEF] How can E1st facilitate an energy system that is aligned with net-zero climate goals?
Cutting dependence from Russian gas is an immediate necessity. Meanwhile, permanently moving away from fossil fuels and gas is a key EU objective, strategically adopted in 2019 as part of the EU Green Deal. This major transition is already initiated in gas-abundant countries – like the Netherlands – that decided to stop relying on gas for heating as they recognise the risks linked to fossil fuel supply and its incompatibility with the climate targets.

To achieve the needed decarbonisation of buildings, decision makers must approach the problem from the perspective of not only removing fossil gas from the system, but of thinking about creating a more integrated energy system overall. Starting with end-use efficiency and demand response measures allows for the needed demand reduction and flexibility possibilities that facilitate greater electrification and reveal where the use of alternative gases may be needed. Electrifying heat increase end-use efficiency and is an addition to improving the building fabric to reduce heat energy need. This policy briefing, written by Enefirst’s partner RAP, gives guidance on how the Energy Efficiency First principle can facilitate the development of an energy system that is aligned with net-zero climate goals.

[EVENT] Energy Efficiency First Summit: How to implement the Energy Efficiency First principle and boost Europe’s Energy Security, May 31-June 1, 2022, Brussels, Belgium

In response to the ongoing crisis, the European Commission recently published its REPowerEU Communication for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy, and is expected to publish its REPower Action Plan to set out concrete actions. In line with the Energy Efficiency First principle, reducing the energy demand and increasing the EU’s energy efficiency target has now become crucial. Energy Efficiency First means prioritising investments in energy efficiency and demand-side resources whenever these options are more cost-effective than investments in energy supply.
Organised by Enefirst and sEEnergies, this conference will illustrate how implementing the Energy Efficiency First principle can help make the most out of energy efficiency and other demand-side resources to achieve a sustainable and resilient energy system in the EU. The two days will combine the latest findings of the sEEnergies and Enefirst H2020 projects, together with experts' roundtables.

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RENEWABLES

[AFTER EVENT MATERIAL] 1 TW solar in Europe, is it possible?

In a webinar organised late April, Vlasis Oikonomou, IEECP’s Managing Director, highlighted that:

- the ambition of 420 GW solar extra capacity by 2030 can be realized,

- The target on final energy consumption achievement due to COVID thus far should not reassure us for the time to come,

- the RES target achievement must also endorse the policies from energy efficiency, climate targets, the E1st principle and others in the planning,

- Is the financing enough? If we re-allocate structural financing towards fossil fuels, we might create a new financing gap for RES!

The EU solar sector is ramping up capacity to reduce dependence on foreign gas imports. While we prepare for an accelerated deployment of solar, how to ensure we have the optimal development path was discussed. The webinar examined the current political and regulatory support, the market statistics, and the golden countries to invest over the next decade.

[PLATFORM] A Knowledge Exchange Platform for bioenergy communities

This new one-stop shop lifts collaboration barriers across regions and sectors and hosts a set of resources in the field of community bioenergy heating, freely accessible:

• A network of interest for stakeholders and experts to share knowledge and expertise with BECoop in key deployment stages, including validation, networking and knowledge exchange, comprising a forum,

• Bioenergy community cases with an observatory/atlas of RESCoops active in the field of bioenergy,

• A knowledge repository: an online source of information, tools and services in the field of community bioenergy heating,

• And access to all BECoop tools.

The platform facilitates cross-regional network dialogue and knowledge exchange among community stakeholders. It fosters more networking and collaboration with no commercial interest. Expected users are technical experts, RESCoops, policymakers, investors, industry and business stakeholders.

[AFTER EVENT MATERIAL] Tapping the full potential of community energy in Europe: 9 EU-funded projects join forces to engage users in the tools they developed

In a digital event gathering over 100 participants, 9 EU-funded projects showcased the tools they are providing to organise/plan/grow a community energy initiative. Energy communities have high potential for moving away from imported fossil fuels, and tools made for various market players, from citizens to technology providers, can support.
We increasingly request from citizens and consumers to do their share and contribute to the effort to reduce energy consumption everywhere in the world. Several projects working on the topic of energy communities gathered in the event “From setting up energy communities to making them thrive: what are the tools available?” on April 26. They can only confirm the willingness of citizens to join in such initiatives becoming prosumers and reinforcing their energy citizenship, trying to move away from fluctuating energy prices. The 9 projects have developed tools to support users at various stages – while starting a project or needing to get more people involved. In total, 17 speakers presented 18 tools and demonstrated that the resources are at hand.

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BEHAVIOURAL INSIGHTS

[PODCAST] Changing people’s habits

DNV #TalksEnergy episode - Changing people's habits - looks at what influences human behaviour and how to best incentivize people to make positive changes and decisions about their energy usage. Host Mathias Steck, Service Area Manager for Renewables Northern Europe at DNV, is joined by Filippos Anagnostopoulos, NUDGE coordinator. Together they explore how behavioural science can be used to incentivize people to make positive changes in terms of their energy use. They look at the different types of motivations or ‘nudges’ that people are influenced by when making decisions about their energy usage, including environmental, technological, financial and social concerns, and what this means for the energy transition on a global scale.

[ARTICLE] Flemish people weigh comfort against energy savings – But how many of these strategies are already part of the Flemish savings palette?

Rising energy prices have been a concern for months. Within NUDGE, imec-mict investigates the energy behaviour of the Flemish with the aim of facilitating sustainable behavioural change. A sample of 1133 Flemish people shows that families take a series of savings measures. 6 out of 10 families turn off the lights, close windows, don’t let the water run and prefer showering to taking a bath. However, the most commonly taken measures do not always result in the greatest energy savings. More than 9 in 10 families always turn off the lights when leaving the room while ‘only’ 1 in 3 switches off devices to prevent slumber consumption. The results show that families put comfort above saving. For example, in 17% of families the thermostat is rarely or never turned down, 23% rarely or never wear an extra sweater in exchange for a degree lower and 54% rarely or never lower the boiler temperature. Read the full article to know more.

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FINANCING

[GUIDEBOOK] What is financial readiness and how to develop a sound and finance ready project proposal

This guidebook will help further develop project proposals for financial institutions and enhance a project’s financial readiness. You will learn about the different components of a project proposal, what stakeholders need to be involved in, carrying out analyses required for approaching public or private financiers, and how to create a working plan. PROSPECT+ participants as mentor will learn how they can support mentees throughout the capacity building programme with building financial readiness of their project by sharing experiences.

PROSPECT+ has, in addition, released its leaflet in 12 languages, to understand how the project and its learning cycles work and a set of replicable practices on its key themes (public and private buildings, transport, public lighting and cross-sectoral), available as short graphical briefs.

[TOOL] Triple-A Database on Energy Efficiency Financing

The Triple-A Interactive Web-based Database is a visual representation of the most important aspects in energy efficiency financing, including the risks that could endanger the successful implementation of an energy efficiency project, the strategies that could mitigate these risks, the preferences of investors on energy efficiency investments, the financial performance of energy efficiency projects, the models and instruments that are usually used to finance energy efficiency projects and the performance of case study countries in terms of Sustainable Development Goals. The Triple-A methodology is focused on and reports information about the 8 case study countries for which respective data have been collected, namely Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Spain and the Netherlands.

[BRIEFING] Ensuring the Energy Efficiency Directive is Fit for 55

The proposals to reinforce the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) are currently being discussed by the EU Council and the European Parliament. This is the chance for the EED to drive energy efficiency policy into the 21st century, by using meter data to estimate energy savings and the piloting of pay-for-performance (P4P) support schemes. This briefing developed by SENSEI partners explores how legislators could reinforce the EED proposals.

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CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION

[Scientific papers] Paris Reinforce publishes 60 scientific papers since its start, focus on the latest 6

Six scientific publications have been made available since the beginning of 2022, with focus on:

• Translating observed household energy behavior to agent-based technology choices in an integrated modeling framework.

• A multi-criteria decision support framework for assessing seaport sustainability planning: the case of Piraeus.

• Cultures of transformation: An integrated framework for transformative action.

• Hydrogen technology is unlikely to play a major role in sustainable road transport.

• Towards Sustainable Development and Climate Co-governance: A Multicriteria Stakeholders’ Perspective.

• A comparative study of biodiesel in Brazil and Argentina: An integrated systems of innovation perspective.

Visit the scientific publications’ sectionto explore all papers produced in the context of PARIS REINFORCE.

[PROJECT NEWS] Mitigating the climate change impacts and adapting for the future

Four Horizon 2020-funded projects explored how to best assess and improve the climate-change resilience of vulnerable regions in a joint session on 9 March 2022, during the 3rd European Union Macro-Regional Strategies (EU MRS) Week. REGILIENCE, ARSINOE, IMPETUS and TransformAr are coordinating efforts to identify common goals, challenges and work areas, to achieve best possible outcomes for communities as part of the European Green Deal and the European Union’s Mission for Adaptation to Climate Change and Societal Transformation. The session on ‘transformative action for climate resilient and adaptive regions’ was the first result of this collaboration to raise visibility of the projects, their participants and their goals. Read more in a joint press release and  subscribe to the future Climate adaptation-focused newsletter not-to-miss any news.

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