May 26, 2009
Provision of home energy audits
2006-2008, UK, Italy, Belgium, France, Germany and Portugal
Summary of the case
The aim of the European research project Eco n’Home, supported by the IEE (Intelligent Energy Europe) Programme, was to monitor and reduce the energy consumption of 940 households across Europe between January 2006 and December 2008. A second aim was to evaluate current methodologies and deliver a new method for advising households on sustainable energy in their dwelling and travel.
The overall method consisted of an initial contact (1) between household and energy advisor, an Energy Audit (2), an Audit report (3), an Action Plan (4), a Follow-up (5) and a Final evaluation report (6). The strength of the method is the personal contact and long term focus (the measures recommended are measured after 1 and 2 years, but are intended to have further impact). The nine project partners implemented the six step Eco n’Home method in a flexible way in nine samples in six European countries.
40% of the 940 participating households withdrew during the project mainly due to personal circumstances. This lead to a number of 268 households on which the evaluation of the outcomes is based. These households met the target (10%) on heating reduction (13% per household, on average). The other targets on the reduction of total energy consumption, the specific use of electricity, transports and CO2 emissions were not met:
· Total energy reduction was 9% (target was 10-20%)
· CO2 emission reduction was 0,8 ton (target was 1 ton)
· Specific use of electricity reduction was 140 kWh (target was 300 kWh)
· Transport energy saving was 5% (target was 15%)
(All outcomes per household, on average (AGENEAL, 2008, p14)).
Apart from these general outcomes, the nine samples had diverse outcomes on specific aspects that in many cases can be explained by the variations of the overall method used in practice and the different local contexts of the samples, for example local policy or stakeholders involved.
Apart from the data evaluation the project partners of the Eco n’Home project also performed a self evaluation on the method. This led to 10 recommendations and lessons for future energy service projects focusing on for example the recruitment of participants, the Audit Report and Action Report, the relation between energy advisor and household, etc.