Bringing buildings’ energy measurement into the 21st Century – Green Finance Institute puts forward new protocol

Bringing buildings’ energy measurement into the 21st Century – Green Finance Institute puts forward new protocol

London, Tuesday 16 February 2021. The Green Finance Institute’s Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (CEEB) today releases a report recommending a new protocol for real-time ‘metering’ of energy savings in UK buildings, and outlining the data points it should include. A national, standardised way to measure the energy saved by retrofit works to our homes is vital to unlock up to £65 billion of investment1 needed to decarbonise our existing building stock. Creating a robust new measurement standard underpins the UK Government’s drive towards greener homes, detailed in its 2020 Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution2.

Towards a protocol for metered energy savings in UK buildings is the outcome of collaboration by over 20 CEEB member organisations, including EnergyPro, Energy Systems Catapult and University College London (UCL). Recognising that technology is now sufficiently advanced to provide an accurate measurement of household energy use, the report sets out recommendations for a new protocol to calculate real-time energy savings – based on the estimated amount of energy that would have been used in a specific building had an energy efficiency retrofit not taken place.

Establishing a UK-wide, standardised metered energy savings protocol is a critical part of building a mainstream finance market for residential retrofitting. With it, financial institutions could better assess the risk of providing capital to energy efficiency projects, helping to underpin the development of new financial products and services. It will also help lenders certify the environmental impact of green home retrofits – a current challenge to scaling the green home finance market – and allow them to measure the overall energy performance of their mortgage portfolios. Insurers will have accurate risk data with which to underwrite energy-efficiency programmes, providing protection for both consumers and investors, and enabling contractors to offer performance guarantees.

The CEEB is now inviting feedback from energy, data, retrofit and finance professionals, in order to further develop the technical proposal and demonstrate the benefits the protocol can unlock with pilot retrofit projects – two of which have already been identified.

1,BEIS Green Finance Strategy July 2019 (publishing.service.gov.uk)
2,https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/936567/10_POINT_PLAN_BOOKLET.pdf

 

 “It is vital to design and embed a more accurate, granular and real-time approach to measuring energy savings than is currently available. Adoption of a Metered Energy Savings protocol by the energy and retrofit sectors would build confidence among the finance community and benefit consumers looking to decarbonise their homes, thereby creating the enabling conditions for the retrofit finance market to scale at the pace the UK desperately needs.” Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE, Chief Executive of the Green Finance Institute

“The UK needs to mobilise vast investment to decarbonise its buildings. The good news is that these investments create cost savings and other benefits for residents and the energy system as a whole, but there is currently no standardised, affordable way to measure these outcomes on a building-by-building basis. Instead we rely on estimates and models, which tell us nothing about the impact of a retrofit on a household’s finances, or whether good comfort and health outcomes have been achieved. This is a major barrier to developing the new policies, programmes and financial products needed for at-scale retrofit.

This report proposes a universal methodology for ‘metering savings’ that is based on good practice from around the world, and that addresses the issues that are important for the UK: protecting householders and their data, assuring quality, and integrating with the array of other initiatives being piloted by the GFI and elsewhere. We will be developing and testing the new protocol over the coming months with the aim of releasing it in a fully documented, open source form that the whole industry can benefit from.” Alex Rathmell, Managing Director, EnergyPro

“A standardised approach for measuring energy savings will help to improve consumer confidence in the market and help make financing retrofit more straightforward. It’s an important part of creating a good customer journey to help people decarbonise their homes.” George Simms, Senior Project Manager, Energy Systems Catapult

“Reducing energy demand in our homes is key to the UK meeting its climate targets. The national roll-out of smart meters is revolutionising the way we can monitor our net zero transition. This report lays the foundations for developing a standardised method of measuring the energy impact of the transitions that our homes will have to go through in the coming decade. This is an important tool to help home owners and businesses to value the impact improved insulation and heating can have on energy use in our homes.” Tadj Oreszczyn, Professor of Energy and Environment, UCL Energy Institute

“Accelerating the scale and pace of green home retrofits will be crucial for getting the UK on track to meet its climate targets. However, currently it’s nearly impossible to accurately measure the energy and carbon savings associated with these measures, such as installing new roof insultation or double glazing. This new protocol for ‘metering’ energy savings in the UK will be critical to getting largescale investors on board to support to new markets for green home retrofit products and services – with accurate data providing the confidence needed to scale up action and investment.” Pedro Guertler, Programme Leader, Place Based Transitions, E3G

Contact: Rosie Cade, rosie.cade@gfi.green +44 (0) 7838 368194

About the Green Finance Institute
The Green Finance Institute is an independent, commercially focused organisation, supported by HM Treasury, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the City of London Corporation.  As the UK’s principal forum for public and private sector collaboration in green finance, it is uniquely placed to mobilise capital to accelerate the domestic and international transition to a sustainable, net-zero carbon economy that is also climate resilient. The Green Finance Institute convenes and leads mission-led coalitions to identify and unlock barriers to deploy capital at pace and scale towards impactful, real-economy outcomes.

For more information visit greenfinanceinstitute.co.uk and follow @gfi_green.

About the CEEB
The Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings (CEEB) was established by the Green Finance Institute, with support from E3G, as its flagship coalition in December 2019. Made up of more than 300 individual members from the finance, property and energy sectors, and across policy, academia and non-profit organisations, the CEEB’s remit is to develop the market for financing a net-zero carbon and climate-resilient built environment in the UK and internationally.

In May 2020, the CEEB released its phase-one report assessing the market for energy efficiency improvements in UK homes across the owner-occupied, private-rented and social-rented tenures, and identified specific initiatives where finance and government can bridge investment gaps to drive systemic change. The report outlines a portfolio of 21 demonstration projects, developed collaboratively by members. In December 2020, the Coalition’s Zero Carbon Heating Taskforce released Financing zero carbon heat: turning up the dial on investment, a major piece of analysis of the investment barriers to widescale decarbonisation of the UK’s domestic heating and details of a portfolio of 12 financial solutions and policy, regulatory and data enablers to overcome them, turning the challenges into an opportunity for the finance sector and a green economic recovery.

The CEEB’s work has been positively received by the sector and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which called it “a positive step towards achieving our Green Finance Strategy ambition to build the market for green home finance”. The CEEB and its members are bringing selected demonstration projects to market – testing, demonstrating and scaling potential finance solutions to stimulate further innovation across financial services.

Metered Energy Savings working group members
Chris Jofeh – Chair of independent advisory group to Welsh Government on decarbonising existing housing
Tim Hedgeland; Kate Fielding; Kieron McGlinchey; Clare Lowe – Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Shamir Ghumra; Jose Ortiz; John Riley; Jack Hulme; Tamsin McCabe – Building Research Establishment (BRE)
Luke Smith – Build Test Solutions
Murray Birt – DWS
Juliet Phillips (deputy chair) – E3G
David Williams – Economic Consulting Associates
Ian Rigarlsford; Dan Capstick – Ecology Building Society
Randolph Brazier – Energy Networks Association (ENA)
Alex Rathmell (Chair) – EnergyPro
George Simms – Energy Systems Catapult
Molly Webb – Energy Unlocked
Dr Alastair Martin – Flexitricity
Sean Gulliford – Gemserv
Jamie Sivewright – Governex
Emma Harvey; Daisy Bidault – Green Finance Institute
Dr Kerry Mashford, OBE – Interfacing; Chair of the drafting panel for the development of a British Standard for Building Performance Evaluation
Tim Lunel; Adriano Figueiredo – Low Carbon Hub
Sandra Haye – National Energy Foundation
Russell Smith; Liz Lainé – Parity Projects
Aneysha Minocha – Quantenergy
Sam Thomas – The Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP)
Soren Nellegaard – RetrofitWorks
Andy Sutton; Matt Kane – Sero Homes
Matt James – Smart DCC
Jon Bootland – Sustainable Development Foundation
Derek Wilson – Transport for London Homes
Prof Tadj Oreszczyn; Prof David Shipworth; Dr Cliff Elwell; Prof Paul Ruyssevelt – University College London (UCL)
Dr Ahsan Khan; Joshua Sykes – Active Building Centre.

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