Report on international experiences with efficiency first


Modelling and quantification
Multiple benefits and the Efficiency First principle
Smart building and technologies


Implementing efficiency first (E1st) is foundational to the EU strategy for sector integration and the Renovation Wave.

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.

Examples include:

  • Using Time-of-Use tariffs to engage customers and benefit the power system
  • Social Constraint Management Zones to harvest demand flexibility
  • Demand flexibility in District Heating networks
  • Participation of Demand Response in French wholesale electricity market
  • Replacing a polluting power plant with behind-the-meter resources
  • Water heaters as multiple grid resources
  • Building Logbook –Woningpas: Exploiting efficiency potentials in buildings through a digital building file
  • Optimising building energy demand by passive-level building code
  • Deferring  T&D  (Transmission  &  Distribution)  infrastructure  investments  through  local  end-use efficiency measures
  • Building energy performance requirements of the Irish Heat Pump System grant
  • Fabric First approach under the Better Energy Communities grant scheme in Ireland
  • Linking renewable support to building energy performance
  • etc

Each case study details the implementation bodies, the barriers to the implementation of the E1st principle, their replicability and scalability potential.

Visit the project website

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