Modernisation of Energy Efficiency through Digitalisation - webinar 6: Smart, Energy-Saving Consumer Devices
Energy efficiency is changing, with new digital technologies enabling greater control, optimisation and analytics. New policies and new business models will greatly enhance end-use and systems efficiency.
A topic of fast-growing interest to member countries and partners, the IEA has embarked on a cross-agency initiative – Modernising Energy Efficiency through Digitalisation – to explore the potential impacts of digitalisation on energy efficiency and the implications for policy makers. We are developing an analytic framework for assessing impacts and undertaking deep dive research on key topics. This webinar is the sixth in a series on the topic of digitalisation and energy efficiency.
Demand flexibility programs are designed to incentivise consumers to alter their energy usage patterns to better match the electricity supply profile, which is particularly useful to accommodate intermittent renewable power generation. In the residential sector, such programmes involve larger consumer loads (water heating, space heating/cooling, refrigeration, etc.) being controlled by utilities, third parties or consumers themselves.
‘Intelligent efficiency’ ecosystems are systems of devices that operate intelligently to save energy, for example as part of a home energy management system (HEMS). Their objective is to save energy, rather than provide demand flexibility.
These two kinds of initiatives are currently relatively immature, but are expected to flourish in the future. However, large consumer appliances can last 10-20 years, and thus may be ‘locked out’ of such initiatives. One solution is to ensure that consumer appliances become ‘smart’ now. This would mean that they incorporate (as a minimum) in-built communication and control capabilities which can be readily used in future demand flexibility programs and intelligent efficiency systems such as HEMS.
This webinar, and a report to be released by the Electronic Devices and Networks Annex (EDNA) of the IEA’s Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP) on Energy Efficient End-Use Equipment (4E), will examine the topic and provide guidance for policies to encourage ‘smartness’ within consumer devices.
Steven Beletich is the principal of Beletich Associates, the Operating Agent for the Electronic Devices and Networks Annex (EDNA) of IEA 4E. For the past 19 years, he has provided invaluable advice to governments, energy utilities and the private sector to ensure that their energy efficiency initiatives achieve results.