Nearly 400 participants joined the IEC Academy webinar to better understand the role of the standards in addressing energy efficiency. Hosted by the IEC Advisory Committee on Energy Efficiency (ACEE), the webinar was moderated by Philippe Vollet, Chair of ACEE, with the participation of ACEE members Franco Bua, Luc Boutin and Jacques Peronnet.
The webinar provided an overview of the key principles of energy efficiency, its terminology and good practice for use in electrotechnical publications.
Understanding energy efficiency
The IEC defines energy efficiency as the ratio between output performance compared with the input of energy. According to Franco Bua, energy efficiency consists of using less energy for the same performance, using the same energy for better performance, or improving the conversion of energy into electricity.
Economic growth implies an increased demand in energy. However, this demand in energy can have negative consequences for the environment. For this reason, energy efficiency is a cost-effective means for supporting the growing demand for energy while simultaneously limiting greenhouse gas emissions. As noted by Philippe Vollet, “energy efficiency is key to addressing the challenge to support energy policies while preserving the environment”.
Many energy efficient technologies and solutions are readily available. Investments and a commitment towards energy efficiency abound, yet a number of barriers inhibits the deployment of energy efficiency solutions and impedes harvesting the full potential of energy efficiency.
According to Vollet, standards have an important role in helping to “break the barriers”. He noted that standards provide agreements on performance between manufacturers, users and operations, disseminate and promote energy efficient technologies, and set minimum energy performance requirements.
Adopting a systems approach
A challenge for the standardization of energy efficiency is to provide a systems integration approach. While improving the energy efficiency of individual devices can lead to better energy outcomes, an integrated systems approach allows much greater benefit. As Bua notes, “there is a need for a holistic approach which is a shift from traditional standardization which tends to focus on products”.
To help IEC technical committees develop standards that can address energy efficiency, ACEE has developed Guide 118 and Guide 119 which, according to Vollet, “aim to give advice to TCs on the way energy efficiency should be considered and included in IEC publications to ensure a consistent approach in standardization”.
Guide 118 seeks to harmonize the energy efficiency standardization and raise awareness that IEC publications can impact energy performance in both positive and negative ways. It provides a definition to the different aspects of energy efficiency that technical committees can address when developing standards and examples of how to do so.
In his presentation of Guide 119, Luc Boutin highlighted the need for a coordinated approach between IEC technical committees in order to achieve the best results for energy efficiency. According to Boutin, Guide 119 defines the technical and organizational procedures to follow for the preparation of these energy efficiency standards. It provides an overview of how a systems approach can be adopted and defines the types of publication (basic, group or product) based on the assigned energy efficiency function (horizontal, basic or group).
Guide 118 and Guide 119 were initially developed in 2017 and are now in the process of being revised. As Boutin noted, “we welcome inputs from technical committees so that we can make sure to improve the next edition”.
The presentation and recordings from the webinar are available on the IEC Academy webpages.