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Seeing is believing – visualizing helps realize the hidden benefits of energy efficiency

Panel: 2. Policy: governance, design, implementation and evaluation challenges

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Authors:
Agneta Persson, eceee President, Sweden
Kristina Landfors, WSP Sweden

Abstract

Most people agree that energy-efficiency measures contribute to several benefits in addition to saving energy and costs. However, the true value of these additional benefits are often neglected since it is difficult to calculate their value. By visualizing the different added values that comes with an energy-efficiency project it is possible to raise awareness, interest and knowledge among all kinds of stakeholders.

Based on the IEA report “Capturing the Value of the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency” a model for visualizing the hidden benefits of energy-efficiency projects, implemented at local and regional level in Sweden, has been developed and tested. Based on interviews with the project managers of eight different projects, estimates of the impact on the 15 benefit categories identified by IEA have been made. The impacts have been estimated at four different levels to indicate whether the effects occur at an individual, local, national or global level. Finally the results have been presented in a pie chart diagram showing the multiple benefits for each project.

The goal was to visualize the added benefits, or values, of energy efficiency measures. No attempt to calculate the actual values of these benefits has been made.

The results from the model are presented as a visual picture of the normally hidden benefits of energy efficiency. The model can be used for different purposes for instance:

• In early project planning to assess what added values the project may contribute to, and thus be used as part of a decision-making document

• Follow-up and evaluate implemented projects.

• Increase knowledge and awareness of the effects of energy-efficiency projects.

The model was developed in 2015 and has since been further developed and tested. Today it is a free of charge, easy to use-tool readily available for local and regional actors to use. The aim is that the tool should support local actors to accelerate the implementation of energy-efficiency measures.

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