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EEDO (Energy Effficiency Deployment Office) – call for evidence

by Mel Starrs on March 7, 2012

in Strategies & Consultations

For those not blinded with consultation fatigue, there is 4 weeks left to respond to the EEDO call for evidence for energy efficiency. By all accounts these guys need as much help as possible – the office has been set up with around 50 civil servants from all over (including Treasury) whose first strength may not be a deep knowledge of the topic.

A bit of background – the remit of EEDO is:

EEDO will support the delivery of our existing energy efficiency policies by improving our evidence base and analysis, ensuring effective delivery, and by bringing coherence of the Government’s ‘offer’ to the consumer. EEDO will also develop a far reaching energy efficiency strategy that will identify where there is further energy efficiency potential across the economy and how this might be realised. In doing so, the Office will collaborate closely with other departments, for example on product standards (Defra), low carbon transport (DfT), building regulations (DCLG) and the growth strategy (BIS).

EEDO will also work closely with the Devolved Administrations to ensure a UK-wide approach as far as possible, while respecting the devolution settlements. The Scottish and Welsh19 Governments are represented on EEDO’s management board, while the Office will maintain a strong working relationship with Northern Ireland, where the promotion and regulation of energy efficiency is devolved. EEDO will also play a leading role in the negotiation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive and in the promotion of energy efficiency benefits on the world stage, while ensuring the UK learns from the work of other leading economies on this agenda.

I know readers of this blog will have a lot to contribute. The call for evidence asks the follows questions (question e in particular should be of interest to some of you – send case studies please!):

24. To support the objectives of EEDO and the development of an energy efficiency strategy by the end of the year, this Call for Evidence asks the following questions:
a) The UK has become more efficient over time but there is significant additional potential that could be tapped in the sectors of domestic and non-domestic buildings, and industrial, electricity generation, services (excluding buildings), and transport sectors. Where would you prioritise further Government focus and why? How large is the potential for further energy efficiency gains? Which specific technologies and behavioural measures have the greatest unrealised potential? What are the costs and other constraints on realising that potential?

b) Barriers resulting in under-investment in energy efficiency include market failures and financial, organisational and behavioural barriers. Within the context of the existing and forthcoming UK policy framework, what lessons do you think we can learn from other countries to help us further overcome these barriers?

c) Investment in energy efficiency measures and energy service contracts by third party investors is believed to be an important aspect of improving energy efficiency uptake but to date there has been limited uptake in the UK. Can you provide examples of barriers to further uptake of third party finance solutions and examples of third party finance solutions, internationally or in the UK, that overcome the barriers to further uptake?

d) EEDO is commissioning two evidence reviews which will draw on empirical evidence to highlight the effectiveness of interventions designed to influence specific energy-related behaviours20 in both the domestic and non-domestic sectors, including those specific behaviours that result in increased energy efficiency. The reviews will pull out what works in driving improvements in energy efficiency and, for the non-domestic sector in particular, will also cover barriers to action and key organisational factors that promote action to energy efficiency. The reviews will identify any gaps in our knowledge and priorities for future research. Of what empirical evidence are you aware that looks at the effectiveness of specific interventions relating to energy behaviours in the domestic and non-domestic sectors?

e) We must ensure that energy customers have a clear understanding of the potential benefits of energy efficiency. Have you been involved in, or are you aware of, any case studies where energy efficiency benefits have been realised and effectively measured? What were the benefits of these projects and what were the costs, including those of monitoring?

f) Energy efficiency is not only about how we consume energy. It is also about producing and converting energy as efficiently as possible; that is, making sure that we get the highest possible amount of energy output from a given fuel input. Examples include the use of higher efficiency boilers, flue heat recovery systems, combined heat and power plants, recovery and use of heat discharged from industrial processes. Do you have any concrete examples where more efficient processes such as these are saving energy and money? What if anything should DECC do to incentivise such process efficiency?

g) What else should DECC do to deliver permanent, additional reductions in UK electricity demand to enable cost-effective achievement of carbon targets? Why should DECC do this?

h) If it were to develop a market incentive measure to achieve permanent reductions in electricity use, Government would need to estimate the counterfactual baseline that any associated efficiency improvements could be measured against. What methods might be used to achieve this?

Responses will feed into a strategy document which is due by the end of the year. A key theme to the current administration is evidence based policy – let’s contribute to that evidence base where we can!

Over at the NBS blog there’s a slightly less enthusiastic reception for EEDO:

Call me an old cynic (it won’t be the first time), but the Energy Efficiency Deployment Office sounds like something Mr Davey’s big new broom might have found lurking under the office carpet while having a moving-in-day cleaning blitz. Take away the militaristic-sounding “deployment” and you’re left with the EEO, the dear old Energy Efficiency Office set up under the Thatcher government and launched with a flourish in 1986, aka “Energy Efficiency Year” (and, incidentally, the year when the English House Condition Survey was first published). Remember that? I don’t suppose Mr Davey does – he was still at Oxford at the time.

The EEO, originally part of the Department for the Energy, was ahead of its time in many ways, not least for starting the long tradition of government-sponsored energy-related campaigns for all industry sectors and users. By the early 1990s, it was under the remit of the Department of the Environment and, in its heyday, was the source of the first good practice guides, fuel efficiency booklets and a series of energy consumption guides, not to mention countless events and free project-specific guidance. Eventually, having survived several departmental changes and reconfigurations, it was abandoned, with its guidance and advisory functions being shared among two quangos – the Energy Saving Trust and the Carbon Trust.

Interesting point regards EST and CT – which of course both have been set free as self-funding units in the bonfire of the quangos – will be interesting to see if they survive. Worth reading the rest of the NBS article too – they’ve picked up on the same question as I have above, and suggested some places for EEDO to start.