eu.bac’s mission is to create a regulatory environment which recognizes that building automation and controls (products, systems and services) can play a key role in improving the energy efficiency and indoor environment quality of homes, tertiary buildings, and industry.
The role of the Advocacy Panel is to turn this into reality by convincing authorities, both at the EU as well as national levels, that the member companies of eu.bac can help them achieve their political objectives of making a better, more efficient use of energy, decrease CO2 emissions and reduce the need for energy imports. Thus, benefiting consumers by offering increased flexibility in energy management and improved indoor environment quality, with a direct impact on health, comfort, productivity and well-being.
When the Commission adopted its Energy Union Framework Strategy in February 2015, it recognized that 75% of the EU’s housing stock is “energy inefficient” and that “heating and cooling is the largest single source of energy demand in Europe”. And yet, while speaking about energy efficiency, it did not immediately recognize the significant improvements in the buildings’ energy performance that can be brought about through the use of building automation and controls.
This is what the Advocacy Panel has concentrated upon over the last few months; we have met with a large number of commission officials and member state representatives to explain how we can help them meet their political and economic objectives, and how EU legislation must be adapted to enable us to move forward. We are now reaching out to the members of the European Parliament for that very purpose.
We have discussed with those making policy decisions the optimum way in which specific articles of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) need to be adjusted, and have explained that they should reconsider their approach in particular with regard to smart appliances. Even though smart appliances might allow more flexibility for the end-user’s energy consumption they will not help reduce consumption per se as much as automation and controls would. We also described how our products, systems and services can help integrate distributed energy generation while introducing the ability for demand side management.
Moreover, we have elaborated upon the fact that increased volatility in energy supply, caused by greater dependence on weather-based energy sources, can be mitigated by using controls to achieve a good balance between consumption and storage. At the same time, we have outlined how our systems can create storage potential in homes and buildings by smoothing out the gaps between variable supply and demand.
Last but not least, we have actively contributed to all the stakeholder’s sessions organized by the Commission since its publication of the Energy Union Roadmap, early in 2015. With legislators focused on building envelope and the merits of insulation or double/triple glazed windows, it has become a challenge to position the building automation and controls industry as a key provider of value-added solutions for the improvement of a buildings’ energy performance.
The pressure created in recent years by the need to improve the EU’s energy security and to substantially decrease CO2 emissions, is opening a window of opportunity that we are set to seize upon in order to create opportunities for building owners, consumers as well as the industry. This is what we will continue to work towards in the next few months by reinforcing our external communication tools as well as creating synergies with other working group segments within eu.bac.
Iliana Axiotiades, Chairperson of eu.bac`s Advocacy Panel
Director Government & Trade Relations at Johnson Controls International