The Times Are A-Changin’

Energy Efficiency

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23 January 2019

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Rod Janssen


In 1964, Bob Dylan wrote one of those classic songs that have remained powerful over the years. He wrote the song as a deliberate attempt to create an anthem of change for the time. What does this mean for us in the early days of 2019? It seems as if we are in the midst of constant change and constant concern about change. While there is much we can’t control, there is also much we can.

Let’s just take climate change and what reducing our energy consumption will mean. According to the 2018 special report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we are not doing enough. If we go beyond a 1.5°C increase in global temperature, the impact will be dire. Reducing emissions through reducing our energy consumption is one of the key ways forward. And reducing consumption through improved energy efficiency is fundamental, as you all know.

We have to find every way possible to mitigate those emissions. Fortunately, the European Commission has funded some projects to help de-risk energy efficiency projects. I am involved in the Investor Confidence Project (ICP) and we are working in the areas of industry, street lighting and district energy.

The concept of ICP is relatively simple to understand. It is designed to facilitate the relationship between asset owners and developers by setting up a standardised system that can be monitored, thus giving confidence to those two groups as well as the financial community that is needed to eventually fund the projects.

A potential project in a factory or a district heating system, for example, is identified. Someone has to do the necessary calculations to determine the viability. Someone has to be identified to install it (often the same organisation). And some organisation needs to fund it. What this project does is standardise the procedures so that all players gain confidence in the system. The factory owner is happy. The developer/auditor/installer is happy. The financial institution is happy. There are protocols in place and third-party monitoring to ensure everything is done correctly. The protocols are developed by interested experts and not by commercial interests.

Reviewing the ICP approach

ICP's Investor Ready Energy Efficiency™ (IREE™) is an international certification that insures best practices, the right professionals and third-party validation are used to deliver high-quality projects that you can bank on.

The IREE™ certification is based on the ICP framework, which assembles best practices and existing technical standards into a set of Protocols that define a clear roadmap for developing projects, determining savings estimates, and documenting and verifying results.

The ICP Protocols are now available on the ICP website.

The process is described in the Protocols and the Project Development Specification documents. The PDS provides a clear roadmap for Project Developers to correctly implement each requirement specified in the ICP protocols based on current best practices and available resources. It represents the collective project development knowledge of a large team of experts and has been designed to allow various stakeholders to develop projects that meet a consistent level of quality and conform to the ICP Protocols. As with all of ICP's offerings the Project Development Specification is a living document and ICP seeks the continuing input of all stakeholders.

Where are we now?

ICP has finalised the first project accredited under the project. The first has been awarded to a waste heat utilisation project at GMS GOURMET GmbH in Vienna, Austria (PDF dowload).This is a major step, given that there are many financial institutions [add link - http://europe.eeperformance.org/investors.html#!directory] that are part of our investor network, willing to provide financing for projected that gain our label. In coming weeks, I will provide details on the projects that have made it through our system.

Final words

We all have our work cut out for us as we weave our way through this seemingly chaotic situation. But, if you as an asset owner or project developer want to see a smoother way forward, certainly give consideration to our approach. Do not hesitate to look at our ICP website or to contact me about any question you may have. If there is anything you need to know, look at the ICP website  and definitely contact me directly at rod.janssen@ee-ip.org.

And, for an anthem, listen to Peter, Paul and Mary singing The Times Are A-Changin’ on YouTube. That melodic voice of Mary Travers has to inspire all of us.

Now over to you. All the best in 2019

About the Author

Rod Janssen is the President of Energy Efficiency in Industrial Processes (EEIP).

Rod is also member of various Steering Groups and boards such the ICP Europe Steering Group, the SEIF advisory board and the board of ECEEE