ICT instruments in multi-apartment buildings: Efficiency and effects on energy consumption behaviour

Panel: 9. Dynamics of consumption

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Authors:
Ina Renz, Institut Wohnen und Umwelt GmbH (IWU)
(Institute for Housing and Environment), Germany
Georg Vogt, empirica Gesellschaft für Kommunikations- und Technologieforschung mbH, Germany

Abstract

Article 9-11 of the energy efficiency directive [2012/27/EU] requires all EU members to introduce individualised metering and billing to multi-apartment buildings. Inducing behavioural change in consumption is a cost-efficient path to unleash the saving potentials in the building stock being only slowly renovated.

This paper describes the key results of the EU-funded ICT PSP project BECA (Balanced European Conservation Approach) and analyses the effectiveness and efficiency of ICT feedback instruments in field trials that cover heat energy, hot water consumption as well as electricity consumption and have been implemented at seven pilot sites in seven countries including more than 1,500 pilot households in total.

Following a quasi-experimental design with pre-post comparisons and comparisons with control groups, the effects of the services on behaviour change is investigated. Evaluation of effectiveness of services is carried out on two levels: (1) the level of energy consumption and (2) the level of specific energy behaviour based on panel survey data allowing for comparisons of individual behaviour before and after service operation. Furthermore, a multi-stakeholder cost-benefit analysis widely following EC guidance [2012/148/EU] compares the ‘Do-Nothing’ scenario with the cost and benefits of BECA ‘Intervention’.

The trials provide evidence that ICT feedback instruments focusing on behaviour can change domestic energy behaviour and lead to energy savings. Energy behaviour was mainly affected with respect to heating and electricity whilst there was found no meaningful influence on specific behaviour related to hot water consumption investigated at BECA. The success of services is furthermore influenced by service and user-related factors as well as local circumstances such as combination with management services applying on building level, motivational aspects or financial conditions. Socio-economic break even is reached in all pilot sites.

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