Ground breaking tool measures energy savings across portfolios of buildings, which could be used to replace inaccurate ‘deemed’ estimates of energy savings, creating a foundation for energy companies to contract for energy savings instead of fossil fuels.

A next generation energy efficiency meter named eensight has been created. The eensight tool is based on machine learning and will contribute to the much-needed advancement of the automated measurement and verification (M&V) methods for portfolios of buildings’ energy efficiency and provide essential insights for investors, legislators, building owners and energy companies to realise their goals.

Today, one of the main barriers to increasing investments in energy efficiency retrofit projects is the uncertainty about the magnitude, time, location and persistence of actual efficiency improvements across portfolios of buildings. Sotiris Papadelis, Developer and Director at HEBES Intelligence explains:

”Automated M&V combines real-time data with predictive modelling methods. We have developed a tool to provide continuous feedback on the most probable impact of energy efficiency retrofits and enable the multiple energy market benefits of energy efficiency to be better measured”

He continues “As this is a beta version, we invite stakeholders to scrutinize and optimize the eensight tool.”

Supporting a key goal of the EU Renovation Wave

The new tool could support the EU Renovation Wave’s[1] goal to “establish a trusted scheme for certifying energy efficiency meters in buildings that can measure actual energy performance improvements”.

Open-source

The eensight tool has been developed in the context of the Horizon2020 project SENSEI and presented in more detail in the recent report titled: Methods for the dynamic measurement and verification of energy savings. The tool is reproducible and open-source, available for practitioners to experiment and test on different datasets.

Interested parties can examine the functioning of eensight at a dedicated webinar workshop during the EU Green Week, on 25 May 10:00-11:30 CET. Follow this link to sign up.

Foundation for a new paradigm for building retrofits – an investor perspective

Better measurement of energy savings is a foundation for linking energy markets with building renovation. Several US states including California and New York are showing how better measurement can support energy utility companies in writing energy-saving contracts, flipping the paradigm of building retrofits only being about energy cost savings. Better measurement techniques could create the foundation for energy utilities to contract for building retrofits to accelerate the retirement or replacement of fossil fuels or to avoid or delay expensive power grid upgrades

This is pointed out by Murray Birt, Senior ESG Strategist at the asset manager DWS Group and steering committee member of the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG[2]), who wrote a foreword to the SENSEI report. A DWS research report[3] recommended that the EU work with initiatives such as SENSEI to create a digital agenda for energy efficiency that enables utilities to write “pay for performance” energy-saving procurement contracts.

Accelerating the reduction of CO2 emissions from the building stock

The eensight tool paves the way for creating innovative business models that help to reverse falling investment in energy efficiency, meeting investor expectations.Metered energy savings are the basis for integrated technology solutions for performance guarantees and performance-based contracts. The EU is in need of an updated regulatory environment to set up pay-for-performance programmes that enable investments in industrialised solutions targeting the building sector says Filippos Anagnostopoulos, Senior Associate at the Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy (IEECP) and coordinator of the SENSEI project.

For additional information on the uses of eensight and Pay-for-Performance programmes, please visit our publications page to learn more about existing examples and the necessary regulatory framework.

[1]https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/eu_renovation_wave_strategy.pdf

[2] EEFIG was established by the European Commission and UNEP FI www.eefig.eu

[3] DWS May 2020. “ www.dws.com/en-gb/insights/global-research-institute/green-healthy-buildings-as-economic-stimulus/