Page 19 - European Energy Innovation - Winter 2016 publication
P. 19

Winter 2016 European Energy Innovation  19


Boosting the energy efficiency of buildings

By Steen Schelle Jensen, Head of Product Management, Kamstrup

Almost half of Europe’s energy consumption                        performance of substations and quickly identify errors or
goes to buildings, many of which are supplied                     opportunities for improvement.
by inefficient individual oil or gas boilers. As a
result, they represent an unparalleled potential                  PERFORMANCE OPTIMISATION
for energy savings. Improving the energy                          Data-based knowledge about how individual buildings
efficiency of buildings is a multi-phased process                 perform under different wind and weather conditions enables
that begins with connecting more buildings to a                   utilities to continuously make informed decisions about their
district heating system based on waste heat and                   energy production and distribution. It also allows them to
renewables.                                                       evaluate the building characteristics to determine when and
                                                                  how to push for renovating buildings in the most efficient way.
Today, buildings are responsible for 40% of energy
consumption in the EU – not to mention more than a third          INVOLVING END USERS
of CO2 emissions. As a first step, connecting more buildings      Energy consumption and peak demands are still closely
to a district heating system would mean getting rid of            connected to end-user behaviour and so, when comparing
inefficient individual boilers and allow utilities to supply the  identical buildings, energy consumption will differ
buildings with more clean and sustainable energy sources.         significantly. Smart metering coupled with advanced data
                                                                  analytics enable utilities to provide targeted energy advice
OPTIMISING EXISTING BUILDING STOCK                                to individual consumers. Also, visualisation tools already
The energy performance of individual buildings varies             available today allow end users to follow their consumption
significantly not least due to their age. About 35% of EU         by the hour and to benchmark how they compare to other
buildings are over 50 years old and were built with little or     end users with similar profiles.
no attention to energy efficiency. With frequent data from
smart meters, utilities gain detailed insight into how different  ENERGY STORAGE IN BUILDINGS
buildings perform, which allows them to target their efforts.     Today and in the future, buildings are a key factor in the
                                                                  energy efficiency equation – and technological advances
The next step is, therefore, to look closer at the buildings      continue to present new opportunities. For example, as
that consume the most energy and uncover their potential          the energy efficiency of buildings increases so does their
within three main areas: substation efficiency, building          potential as energy storage. Storage-in-buildings (SIB) – both
envelope performance and end-user behaviour.                      deep storage in the structural core e.g. in walls, and shallow
                                                                  storage in gypsum etc. improves heat load shifting without
MONITORING SUBSTATIONS                                            reducing thermal comfort or requiring new constructions.
An energy efficient heat supply is dependent on well-             The result is a higher quality of the energy mix enhancing the
functioning buildings and low return temperatures in the          integration of renewables in the district heating system, which
district heating network. However, Swedish research has           is the very prerequisite for the energy efficient heat supply.
shown that 75% of all substations are misadjusted. Hourly
values from smart meters allow utilities to monitor the           Learn more at l
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