Multiple Benefits Symposium highlights how to influence energy-saving investments

(eceee news, 21 Nov 2019) A symposium arranged by two projects on multiple benefits of energy efficiency recently gathered around 60 participants in Berlin. Among the takeaways for building owners are reduced maintenance costs, reduced tenant complaints, and the associated lower administration costs, but prestige and climate protection were also identified as important benefits of highly efficient buildings

Sixty participants from industry, real estate, trade groups, research and academia gathered at a joint symposium on the multiple benefits of energy efficiency on 28 October 2019. They exchanged lessons, methods and tools on how to identify and communicate multiple benefits to investment decision-makers, building on the experiences of two projects: the EU-funded Valuing & Communicating the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency and the German project Multiple benefits as drivers for building renovation.

The day kicked off with an international exchange. Koen Verdru and Mijn Huis offered perspectives from Belgium on the tenants’ and housing sector. Robert Lung (US DOE) followed by sharing experiences on how multiple benefits integrate into the US industrial programmes and projects.

Adrian Joyce (EuroAce) moderated a round table session, where the group heard from Sibyl Steurer (BPIE), Koen Verdru and Mijn Huis, Robert Lung, and Reinhard Ungerböck (Graz Energy Agency). The panel discussed how projects can demonstrate competitive business impacts in the form of improved value proposition and reduced cost and risk, as well as experiences quantifying and communicating benefits such as contributions to improved product quality, enhanced employee productivity, better indoor air quality and improved asset value from energy efficiency.

Getting Serious: Playing the role of owners, investors and Energy Managers

In the afternoon participants split up to practice what they learned. One group played the Serious Game: a role-playing training tool allowing participants to put themselves in the shoes of an industrial Energy Manager at a “Pickles” company. Each team of 3-4 people acted as the new energy manager with the mission to identify the most relevant energy efficiency measures based on energy and non-energy benefits. The overall objective is for the groups to understand the process to acquire key information in order to perform an operational, strategic, and financial analysis. Then they are challenged to communicate the project proposal effectively to the investment committee, accounting for competitiveness, organisational and human factors and individual priorities!

The second workshop, sponsored by "Zusatznutzen als Treiber der energetischen Sanierung" (Multiple benefits as driver of energy-efficient building renovation) and funded by the German Federal Environmental Foundation (DBU), focused on the user perspective of owners and investors of apartment buildings in urban areas. Seventeen experts from universities, research institutes, consulting firms and an energy agency joined the Design Thinking Workshop and discussed decision-making processes relating to energy-efficient refurbishment from the perspective of housing companies, private small landlords and institutional investors.

Key benefits and messages emphasized for building owners included lower maintenance costs, reduced tenant complaints, and the associated lower administration costs. In the case of (small) private landlords, prestige and climate protection was also identified as an additional benefit of a state-of-the-art refurbished building. In general, participants pointed out that a detailed discussion on certain benefits of renovation measures should focus on very specific stakeholders as the circumstances and personal needs differ strongly.

More information about the projects is available here and here .