ep consultancy organised a roundtable in London in November 2022 with experts and stakeholders in the buildings sector to discuss the role of data in the net zero energy and carbon value chain. This effort is part of ep consultancy’s role as consortium member of EN-TRACK, an EU Horizon 2020 project that aims to increase net zero investments in buildings through an online platform featuring massive data gathering on energy, carbon and cost savings from energy efficiency projects. In addition to informing the development of EN-TRACK, the session was an opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices around data as an enabler for investments, and to explore the key barriers holding back progress. During the session, EN-TRACK consortium members were joined by investors, policy makers, technical experts and leaders from a select set of organisations including Amber Infrastructure, the UK Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE), the UK Department for Business and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Delta-EE, Eco-Wise, Elmhurst Energy, Incendium Consulting, and Repowering UK.
One issue that emerged early in the discussion is the lack of consistent, historical data on building energy efficiency investments. Steven Fawkes, Managing Partner at ep group, noted that, unlike mortgage data for example, standardised historical data on energy efficiency investments and building performance is highly limited. Participants agreed that energy performance certificates (EPCs) should, in principle, serve as a basis for tracking and comparing building energy performance. While participants acknowledged that, in some cases, EPCs do offer an important starting point, there was also wide acknowledgement that EPCs have been implemented differently across and within countries, leading to variances in quality and availability. This challenge was echoed by Stoyan Danov, EN-TRACK project lead and Staff Scientist at Spain-based engineering institute CIMNE, who indicated that in many cases less than 10% of available data on energy efficiency projects and building energy performance is useful for analytics.
Overcoming such challenges is at the heart of efforts like EN-TRACK, which is being developed in tandem with the De-risk Energy Efficiency Platform (DEEP), an existing database with projected energy, cost, and carbon impacts from thousands of energy efficiency projects in Europe. ep consultancy, which has supported and led on DEEP as well as complementary efforts such as the Investor Confidence Project (ICP), will continue to work with EN-TRACK and other partners and clients to improve data quality and availability, which are critical pillars for the net zero transition in buildings and beyond.