[133] High quality and local jobs

Building automation deployment in Europe will create up to about 300,000 additional direct jobs in the BACS industry over the next 10 years — mainly to the benefit of the national economies.

Even the greatest europhiles in the European Parliament are not insensitive to the impacts on their local constituency. As job creation is open to interpretation, we shouldn’t rely too much on exact numbers. But we can be quite confident about the local character of each and every additional job in this industry.

[98] Infrastructure cannot be smart without proper management

The context of this tweet is the EU’s goal to replace at least 80% of electricity meters with smart metering systems by 2020.

However, consumers must be actively encouraged to use them. This involves effective and ongoing consumer education to encourage them to make the most of the opportunities arising out of smart meter data. This requires much better communication by governments, retailers, networks, consumers and community organisations as part of the smart meter rollout.

[91] No efficiency without flexibility

Those values are useful to compare the energy efficiency of a cogeneration system with that of separate generation. But seen from a distance, aren’t they relics from another era? If you exchange an electricity grid connection and a natural gas boiler for a solar PV panel generating the electricity for both your house and your heat pump, isn’t that also a cogeneration system? Moreover, one with infinite efficiency? That is, if you are going off-grid, which is unlikely, because you will have difficulty to match supply and demand.

This brings us to another weakness of those efficiency calculations: they don’t take the time of electricity and heat production into account, while in fact both vary considerably in value over time.

[71] Missed opportunities

This study identified five intelligent control systems that are highly cost-effective but which are not or only partially included in the national cost-optimality reports (from 2013) required by the EPBD. Those reports have a strong impact on the market and can improve the competitiveness of the efficiency measures and technologies they identify as being cost-optimal.

Midway through 2018, Member States are still submitting their second edition of these reports to the Commission. We look forward to evaluating progress made and identifying next steps.

[70] Efficiency in use

The many attempts to define ‘nZEB’ all come up with a list of stand-alone requirements, such as a well-insulated and airtight building shell, efficient HVAC system and a high share of renewable energy. Never mentioned is how to connect them. The EPBD 2018 recast, with its improved focus on controls and automation, could fix the broken chain in the building codes [62, 115].

Any remaining missing links? How about a lifecycle dimension: nearly zero-energy on a spreadsheet is still far from real and persistent performance [124]. Let’s not build policies on the sandy grounds of predicted savings but make user-centric thinking the driver for continuous improvement – even when the building changes function.