Putting Efficiency First into practice – insights from the US and the EU

Start/Stop Date:
02 Mar 2021
Buildings Performance Institute Europe
Focus Areas:
Efficiency First
Type of Event:

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When? 2 March 2021, 4:00pm CET / 7:00am PST


Integrating the Energy Efficiency First principle in policymaking is a key requirement to meeting EU climate objectives and implementing the EU Green Deal.

Some Member States have taken the Efficiency First principle on as a guiding principle, such as Germany. Others have tried to design concrete policies around it, like Ireland. However, there is still no common understanding as to how Efficiency first can and should be implemented, and its concrete implementation is not yet widespread.

To fill this gap, the European Commission will soon release a guidance to Member States on how to make the principle operational across the energy system and the built environment when implementing EU and national legislation. The ENEFIRST project aims to provide a complementary support in this field by developing resources and disseminating concrete examples (as presented in a first webinar).

In this second webinar, we will first discuss what barriers can hinder the implementation of Efficiency First before providing first insights on how Efficiency First is or could be integrated in different policy areas and instruments. Then two guest presentations will illustrate opportunities for Efficiency First, based on current developments related to the power system in California and in France.

Dr. Robert Peterson and Naseem Golestani (California Public Utilities Commission) will present California’s experience in promoting demand-side options as alternative to supply-side investments, focusing on the recent developments to foster Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) as substitutes for grid upgrades. They will discuss innovative approaches used to capture the grid value of DERs.

Dr. Bianka Shoai-Tehrani and Dr. Simona De Lauretis, researchers at RTE (French operator of the electricity transmission system), will present the results of recent studies looking at the impact that energy efficiency in buildings can have on the electricity system up to 2035, and at the benefits for the power system associated with demand-side flexibility (e.g. for electric water heaters, heating and electric vehicles).


16:00 Welcome and latest news from the enefirst project – Jean-Sébastien Broc, IEECP
16:10 Success factors and barriers to implementing E1st in the EU– Senta Schmatzberger, BPIE
16:25 Case study 1: Demand-Side Alternatives to Traditional Supply-Side Investments: Updated and New Approaches in California – Robert Peterson and Naseem Golestani, CPUC, California Public Utilities Commission
16:45 Case study 2: Energy Efficiency, Electrification and Flexibility in TSO’s prospective studies: insight from the French TSO – Bianka Shoai-Tehrani and Simona de Lauretis, RTE, Réseau de Transport d’Electricité
17:05 Q&A, Discussion with participants
17:15 End