Open Energy Efficiency Savings (OpenEnEffs)
Investment in carbon mitigations such as retrofit is hampered by the lack of standardised ways to quantify the impact of energy and carbon savings.
Summary: impacts and findings
This project successfully developed a prototype software tool, adapting and developing a US methodology, to track the impact of retrofit measures over time. It found that there is potential for this type of tool as part of a broader evaluation offering, but barriers remain to commercial rollout, including data access issues.
Project aims and approach
The project worked on a standardised, open methodology to quantify the impact of energy and carbon saved by specific energy saving measures and interventions such as retrofit.
The aim is that implementing such a standard will open up new business models, providing financial institutions with the confidence to invest based on measurable long-term savings and additional revenue streams.
The project adapted and extended the existing US open source CalTRACK methodology for quantifying avoided energy use, by combining smart meter data, weather feeds and information on energy efficiency interventions.
You can watch a short ‘show and tell’ presentation about this project below, recorded in September 2022. Start from timestamp 59:40.
- Carbon Co-op (lead)
- People Powered Retrofit (PPR)
- Energy Systems Catapult
July 2022 to March 2023
Achievements and barriers
One of the key outputs from the project has been the PowerShaper Tracker software tool, designed to track the impact of retrofit measures over time, drawing in additional data inputs from other Carbon Coop services.
In line with the principles of the Open Digital Solutions competition, the project has created an open, publicly available methodology for assessing avoided energy, offering complete transparency between actors. The tool has been published under a permissive open licence in the hope of encouraging others to contribute to, build upon and adapt this work to advance metered energy saving solutions in the UK.
The project showed that there is significant demand for this approach as well as a range of potential income streams. But at the moment, business development and exploitation of the innovation is limited by the relatively low technological readiness of the innovation in a UK context, along with key gaps in methodology such as accounting for energy use changes such as purchase of EVs.
Lessons from the project included:
- Access to UK smart meter data is the major limiting factor to developing and testing data-led evaluation methodologies. Current projects addressing this problem, while maintaining user privacy, will be vital to the next steps.
- While open source solutions are a route to more rapid development, there are gaps around governance and the development of business models.
- There is a strong need for distribution network operators (DNOs) to better understand how energy efficiency measures can be deployed and to quantify their value to the local network, but the tendering of energy efficiency measures by DNOs is at an early stage.
- PowerShaper Tracker is now being used in a live environment as part of PPR’s retrofit evaluation service. Carbon Co-op are continuing development of the tool and broadening user testing.
- The findings from the project are being fed into a new Carbon Co-op project funded by the Strategic Innovation Fund, RetroMeter, which proposes the first metered energy savings demonstrator.
- Carbon Co-op and People Powered Retrofit are partnering in a Green Homes Finance Accelerator project focusing on the use of a metered energy savings approach combined with building renovation passports to support financing of retrofit.