EU Policies to Promote Smart Appliances and Buildings

Tue, 01/22/2019 - 13:37 -- MrGreen

On November 29, 2018, the Electronic Devices and Networks Annex (EDNA) of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Technology Collaboration Program on Energy Efficient End-Use Equipment (4E) held a workshop in Stockholm in conjunction with the Swedish Energy Agency to discuss how connected devices can help to realize the potential of demand response. The workshop brought together industry and government stakeholders to explore how connected devices could enable the provision of energy services into the future and was part of a broader two-day workshop, also covering the concept of a “Network Zero” challenge for connected devices.

In his introduction, Hans-Paul Siderius, chair of EDNA, declared that a key focus has been demand-side flexibility plus the integration of renewables to secure energy supply while reducing carbon emissions. Active consumers are important to achieve those goals, so the European Commission, informed by the Ecodesign Preparatory Study on Smart Appliances (Lot 33) undertaken since 2014, plans to promote smart appliances and buildings in the EU. To enable a broad introduction of smart appliances, an “Energy Smart” icon has been under discussion; such a labelling option is preferred by most stakeholders. Historical challenges with the adoption of smart products have resulted from a cycle of behaviour, where a lack of reward for consumers and manufacturers leads to a lack of smart products in the market which in turn leads to a lack of utility incentive programs due to market immaturity. With that said, more and more smart products are entering the market today, as other non-energy benefits may be helping to drive adoption.

At the building level, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is under revision with requirements for Building Automation and Control Systems (BACS) and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Beyond harmonizing with EN standards, potential Ecodesign requirements include minimum functionality and control accuracy requirements for certain BACS functions, interoperability, efficiency, and demand response. Also, as part of this initiative, a smart readiness indicator, or SRI score, is being established and represents a weighted sum of various impact scores.

Other topics at the workshop covered customer perspectives on demand-side flexibility including the need for enabling technologies to ease the complexity for customers, provisions on connected devices for demand-side flexibility in the US, and the idea of balancing supply and demand by adjusting prices using dynamic rates. In the end, workshop attendees agreed on the following priorities: grid resilience, safety, and security, interoperability, co-benefits and convenience to users, and data privacy.

More information on the mission and activities of the IEA 4E EDNA can be found at their website: https://edna.iea-4e.org/.