Energy efficiency needs to be visible and integrated in the energy mix – study

(eceee news, 10 Nov 2023) A new study “Make Energy Efficiency Visible in the Energy Mix”, by the IEECP analyses possible ways to add energy savings as an “energy source” in its own right to national and European Union energy balances.

Energy efficiency is rightly considered “the first fuel” in policy debates, since there is no cleaner and cheaper energy than the one which has not been consumed. However, energy efficiency is typically absent from energy balances, which makes it difficult for energy savings to become part of energy strategies.

According to IEECP, energy efficiency improvements need to be monitoredfor efficiency to be correctly considered as an energy resource in its own right on a level playing field with other energy resources. Energy efficiency data also needs to be integrated together with energy data about other energy resources.

The main objective of integrating energy efficiency data in the main energy figures is to ensure that energy efficiency is at the forefront of the general energy debate.

The study integrated 2021 big picture ‘energy savings’ data from the ODYSSEE- MURE project. It shows the impact that energy savings made in the energy mix, using classical graphs where energy savings is included. According to the study energy savings contributed 12% to the European Union’s energy mix, 12.7% to the energy mix in Germany, 13.6% in France, 14% in Italy, 16.3% in Spain and 10.4% in Poland in 2021.

Further actions and research could support the long-term process of getting energy efficiency data recognised as official statistics, according to IEECP.

The study lists complementary actions which could increase the visibility of energy efficiency:

Action 1: Integrating energy efficiency in the energy mix

Adding next to the current figure about the energy mix (in terms of energy supply in the latest year available), a graph should be added that shows the evolution of final energy consumption per energy carrier, including ‘energy savings’ or ‘energy efficiency’ on the top.

Action 2: Integrating the energy mix in the energy efficiency publications

Figures showing the energy efficiency share in the energy mix should be added to the main figures of energy efficiency publications (or chapters dedicated to energy efficiency)..

Action 3: Making energy efficiency visible in forward-looking scenarios

In the graphs showing the results of energy scenarios, the share related to additional energy savings or energy efficiency improvements should be added. These correspond to additional energy efficiency improvements.

Action 4: Allocate means to data collection in line with data needs

Enough means to collect, process and analyse the data needed to monitor trends in energy efficiency improvements and results from energy efficiency policies must be allocated

Action 5: Establish a European working group on energy efficiency data

A forum is needed where national and European experts could exchange regularly about methodologies, with the view of preparing more formal discussions to agree on methodological choices for the publications of energy efficiency data in a consistent manner across countries.

Action 6: Improving the visibility of the results of energy efficiency policies

Results from energy efficiency policies must be published on a regular basis, and must be easily found and accessed. This is required by the Energy Efficiency Directive for the policy measures reported to its Article 8 (Member States’ energy savings obligation).

Action 7: Highlighting the topical impacts of energy efficiency

The energy efficiency data available should be complemented on a regular basis with ad-hoc studies providing evidence and key figures about the multiple impacts of energy efficiency.

View the study here

Press release