[139] Which action doesn’t matter as long as we take action

The result of this poll was 48% mandatory, 24% strongly encourage, 24% incentivised and 4% voluntary.

Energy efficiency does not happen without regulation [3] but is difficult to regulate [122]. For professional users, energy audits could resolve this dilemma by requiring energy users to review and consider energy saving opportunities, without prescribing which opportunities to pursue.

[129] You are the best auditor

If you’re wondering why to self-assess the energy efficiency of your plant, here’s one good reason.

Plant engineers and operators generally have a much greater insight into their plant than external advisors – and identification of promising opportunities for saving energy requires thorough insight into the plant’s processes and a profound knowledge of the process design.

After the self-assessment, external consultants can then conduct more accurate and comprehensive assessments as a complementary effort.

[124] Management trumps fit-and-forget

Frequent updating of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) improves their credibility and demonstrates the effectiveness of renovation measures, which makes them a more reliable instrument for financing mechanisms.

Digital solutions are not only necessary to avoid high additional implementation costs, they also open up the gateway to a next-generation of performance certificates. Or, as stated in an ongoing H2020 call, ‘certificates that value buildings in a holistic and cost-effective manner across several complementary dimensions: envelope performances, system performances and smart readiness.’

See also [4762, 70, 115].

[123] A necessary but not sufficient condition

‘First you measure it, then you improve it’. Allow us to freely adapt this famous quote by Lord Kelvin. Energy management standards, such as EN ISO 50001, offer a comprehensive approach to the behavioural, technological and regulatory requirements related to energy efficiency.

This involves more change management than technical management. The new breed of energy managers understands the baseline and energy savings potential, forecasts energy needs, strategically sources energy, calculates return on investment and understands the regulatory environment. As these are rare birds still today, there is a need for an initiative that centralises energy management training across borders and in a coherent manner.

[111] Europe’s biggest energy & carbon saving potential

An increasing trend in energy management is the adoption of cloud-based energy management software. Such a cloud-based system can offer increased flexibility, greater capacity and high scalability, while reducing IT expenses.

The challenge is no longer the availability of data. Metering devices and sensor technology have provided us with a deluge of data. It is now a matter of converting these data into key performance indicators [38] as well as turning it into actionable knowledge.