Energy efficiency is neither a target nor a collection of initiatives: it is a journey

About energy efficiency, we know the audits, the bulbs that consume less energy, thermal renovation of buildings, energy boxes and many other contributions. But can we say all these actions represent what can be energy efficiency?

The desire to reduce energy consumption is recent. It still faces the reluctance of energy suppliers, most of which have not yet found a way to offset the decline in revenue that results. Achieving 15-20% of savings was first a promise. It is now seen as an objective.

According to environmental protection needs, we know that this objective is not sufficient, that we will have to push the limits because every kWh saved will reduce, to varying degrees, CO2 emissions and other harmful substances.

Thermal renovation of buildings is, in our current vision, a sort of Holy Grail, expensive, distant. This will be, in many cases, an important step allowing substantial savings. But it is by no means a final step. After reducing the consumption significantly, also appears the need not to lose the gained performance. Energy efficiency will have two facets: saving and not losing.

The offers available on the market today are bricks contributing to energy efficiency: audits, EPCs, thermal optimization, energy efficient systems, thermal renovation of buildings. Designed and deployed independently of each other, they appear, as a consumer is moving forward in its efforts to save energy, increasingly expensive and difficult to implement.

Energy efficiency is therefore destined to become a lifestyle and manage our energy costs, a kind of on-going process. Each step influences the results of the following ones from the early stage of the energy audit. Any step taken independently may even penalize the entire process.

Having proposed this journey to consumers, utilities or investors, I had to answer the following questions: How to structure such a journey? How to finance it over the decades? How to support consumers (private or professional) throughout this process? How can public policies avoid interference by providing efficient tools?

Few actors have addressed the issue in this way; we are still suffering from punctual independent offers, from many efforts made to achieve the first results, still from a perceptible reluctance of investors: it only remains us, in these conditions, to transform energy efficiency into public programs and financing schemes… which is to bury the subject, among other reasons, for lack of means!

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