Building a Market for Energy Efficiency: call for evidence

Published: 5 February 2018

The Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) welcomes the opportunity to respond to the call for evidence on Building a market for energy efficiency by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

BEIS is seeking evidence and views on additional measures and incentives that could encourage home-owners to invest in energy efficiency improvements. The call outlined a range of barriers to investment in energy efficiency on both the demand and supply side, and invited views about the role of government in overcoming barriers and stimulating the market through more direct interventions. Finally, it considerd a range of potential solutions, many of which have been advocated by businesses and industry representatives.

The ESC is working with the UK government and local authorities to deliver the Smart System and Heat (SSH) Programme, determining the most effective means of decarbonising the UK’s 27 million homes and contributing to the target of an 80% reduction in the UK’s Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2050.

A key element of this work is the development of Local Area Energy Strategies using the EnergyPath Networks modelling tool, jointly developed by the Energy Technologies Institute and Baringa. These local area energy strategies seek to determine the most appropriate forms of heating in specific areas.

A key element of the SSH programme is also the development of a Home Energy Systems Gateway (HESG) which will allow the smart operation of domestic heating and other applications.

Key points
  • coherent local area planning processshould be the basis of developing energy efficient plans for local areas, with a number of partners including local authorities, Energy Service Providers (ESPs), the ESC, as well as network companies working together to deliver these plans.
  • Integrated demonstrations of increasing scale are required to show how energy efficiency measures can be financed, delivered and how they bring benefits to householders. Demonstrating the benefits will be key to overcoming the barriers to installing new heating technologies and encouraging uptake.
  • Consumer engagement is key to changing behaviour significantly in order to improve and extend household take-up of energy efficiency measures.
  • The ESC believes that the introduction of a portfolio obligation on Energy Service Providers to reduce the carbon intensity of energy services over time (in principle similar to the EU emissions standards applied to fleet average emissions of automotive manufacturers) could significantly enhance incentives to integrate innovative approaches to energy efficiency into service offerings to consumers.
  • Smart devices that can learn about the heating characteristics of buildings, such as the Home Energy Services Gateway (HESG) (which is being tested currently by the ESC), will allow more accurate measurement of the thermal performance of buildings than smart meters on their own. HESG will also enable tailored business models, such as Heat as a Service, to be offered to customers based on how they use energy. This is expected to optimise (and reduce) energy consumption when used in conjunction with energy efficient retrofits, whilst maximisingcustomer satisfaction.