IEECP researcher and consultant Jean-Sébastien Broc, one of the authors of the report, said: “Energy efficiency is not just an explanatory factor for changes in energy consumption: it is a resource helping to meet energy needs while reducing energy supply needs.
“This report is in line with the Energy Efficiency First principle, that aims to ensure energy efficiency is considered on a level playing field with other energy resources such as renewables and fossil fuels. The principle applies to planning, policymaking and investment decisions. In the study, we focused on energy data and how the energy mix or balance is represented, as this is an essential input for planning and policy making.”
“We found that there is already data available to make it possible to factor energy savings into the energy mix. Discussions with experts also highlighted how complementary figures could effectively demonstrate, for example, the important role energy efficiency plays in the reduction of greenhouse emissions or energy imports.”
The findings provide policymakers and market players with the insight they need to change the perspective on energy systems and give energy efficiency the prominence it deserves in cost-effective and sustainable energy strategies, said Jean-Sébastien.
MISSING FROM THE MIX: no excuse
The study examined how the subject of energy efficiency is under-represented in the main energy statistic publications by organisations such as Eurostat, the European Environmental Agency and International Energy Agency as well as in national publications in France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain.
The report finds that “the quantitative contribution of energy efficiency to the energy mix is missing in the main pictures of the energy balance” while energy efficiency is often included in “last chapters” or separate reports.
This means that energy efficiency is not discussed together with the other energy carriers. Current figures make sense to represent energy flows from a supply perspective. However, omitting energy efficiency is as if there would be no option possible to act on energy demand. As energy efficiency is hidden in these key figures, decision-makers see actions possible on the supply-side more easily than the ones on the demand-side. This creates a bias in energy debates.