This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 839509
Making Energy Efficiency First principle operational
Enefirst will identify the most relevant policy areas where the E1st principle can be applied to achieve the highest impact in terms of energy system benefits. The project partners therefore need, as starting point, to come up with a clear and comprehensive definition of the principle, to identify policy areas for a potential application. International experience and existing definitions used in Europe for the concept will be benchmarked, especially the European Parliament’s from 2018 and the European Climate Foundation’s from 2016.
E1st is sometimes understood as simply more energy efficiency – however, this is not what it means. To unveil the actual meaning of E1st (to assess whether demand-side alternatives can provide the same services as supply-side resources more cost-effectively), enefirst will focus on demand-side resources in buildings, including energy efficiency and demand-response, storage and more, influenced by a range of different policy areas.
Existing definitions in legislation are very high-level and do not provide enough clarity and guidance for policymakers and market stakeholders. To synthesise the various approaches, enefirst will take stock from at least 20 international practices related to the E1st principle and the lessons learned in the areas of Integrated Resource Planning and Least Cost Planning, which are related approaches. The definition of E1st will be developed both at general policy level and specifically for buildings, as a key sector to the project. Definitions for at least 5 different policy areas will also be developed (such as network codes, renewable energy policy, building regulations, capacity markets, tariffs, energy networks and others) in addition to the overarching definition and consulted with experts’ groups.
E1st is a necessary decision tool to ensure a cost-effective decarbonisation of the economy, including enabling the transition to a future powered by renewable energy. Across energy systems, it asks the question: Would it be cheaper or more valuable, from a societal perspective, to help customers invest directly in energy-saving actions and demand-side response, rather than paying more for generation plants, fuels, and infrastructure? The result is a more cost-effective allocation of resources across the energy systems, including in the many emerging opportunities for customer engagement (prosumers). In this way, E1st provides what has been a missing link in fully implementing two other guiding principles of climate and energy policy: cost-effectiveness and consumer protection. In practice, Efficiency First means giving energy efficiency a fair chance in the models and impact assessments that policymakers use to make decisions, strengthening those laws that already target efficiency, and integrating it into all other Energy Union policies. That includes funding decisions and infrastructure planning. Applying this principle will help correct the persistent bias towards increasing supply over managing demand, a bias which has impeded Europe’s ability to create a least-cost, jobs-rich, low-carbon energy system.
- to define the principle of E1st in practical terms,
- to assess how it has been applied internationally and how it applies to the EU context,
- to assess the value of applying E1st across different policy areas for buildings’ end-use energy efficiency and to quantify the impacts of increased building energy efficiency for the future energy system in the EU,
- and to identify key policy areas for the application of E1st and develop policy proposals for its implementation in the EU Buildings Sector.
- INSTITUTE FOR EUROPEAN ENERGY AND CLIMATE POLICY STICHTING
- REGULATORY ASSISTANCE PROJECT
- BUILDINGS PERFORMANCE INSTITUTE EUROPE ASBL
- FRAUNHOFER GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER ANGEWANDTEN FORSCHUNG E.V.
- TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET WIEN
- IREES GMBH - INSTITUT FUR RESSOURCENEFFIZIENZ UND ENERGIESTRATEGIEN
- KOZEP-EUROPAI EGYETEM
Start date: 1/10/2019 - End date: 28/02/2022