On September 22nd, Dian Grueneich, Senior Research Scholar, held a seminar on the “Next Generation of Energy Efficiency” at Stanford.

The goal of this seminar was to identify the most successful existing energy efficiency efforts in terms of cost, persistency of savings, scalability, market share, ease of implementation and examining a new regulatory structure to support new approaches to energy efficiency.

In America, the results are far from as good as had been predicted. Even if California is an exception and has better results than most states, new measures in energy efficiency have to reach the targeted levels.

First, new tools have been developed in order to improve Energy Efficiency, such as smart meters. Indeed there are 43 million smart meters in the US that precisely measure energy consumption in buildings generating data points every 15 minutes to full hour. In addition, sensors are becoming cheaper and more precise so, this number, is likely to increase.

Second, the other important element, indispensable Energy Efficiency, is a strong Energy Efficiency framework. For instance, there is no national EE program, each state has its own program and own rules. EE needs to be highly regulated at a governmental scale through different steps (development, implementation, assessment, oversight).  However, public funds will not be sufficient to cover all of these the expenses. In the world of Energy Efficiency, over the last few years, the utility customer funding has increased but the projection is still not that positive (only doubling from 2014 to 2025). It will be necessary to pull massive private investment to sustain the several steps needed.

The main actions for the next generation of EE through 2050 will be mobilization, implementation, and to guarantee a consistency of the savings. The next generation of energy efficiency will be based on developing a new framework and setting up new technology and innovation. The main focus will be mobilization, avoiding GHG emissions and delivery, fitting within an integrated demand. The main opportunities will be leveraged in data and analytics, behavior change and social decision-making, and driving private sector investment from profit makers by combining the private and public sectors.

To do so, new regulatory models will be necessary. Mainly market information and transparency, setting clear GHG goals, policies and incentives and establishing regulatory agencies (PUCs, air quality regulators, energy offices).

Finally, it will be important to enhance evaluation, measurement and verification. There are still many things to do especially about climate, grid stability and affordability and in the coming years solutions will have to be interdisciplinary.