Furthermore, the proposal to assess buildings’ readiness to store energy and respond to the needs of the electricity grid, as part of a proposed “smartness indicator”, is welcomed. As indicated in a recently published study by 3E, commissioned by the Concrete Initiative, thermal mass in heavyweight buildings can provide this flexibility by allowing for consumer energy demand to be shifted in time (“active demand response”) by using structural thermal energy storage. This could result in up to a 25% CO2 reduction per dwelling, up to 50% reduction in the need for peak electricity supply capacity and savings of up to €300 per household per year.
From a social point of view we fully agree that importance of indoor environments, and thus the health and wellbeing of occupants, also needs to be borne in mind in addition to environmental aspects. It is also necessary to consider the benefits of making buildings more energy efficient to consumers, in particular those at risk of energy poverty.
From a financial perspective, it is clear that push towards more energy efficient buildings will require adequate financing. As such, we welcome the Smart Finance for Smart Buildings initiative and its focus on improving access to public and private funds for energy efficiency investments.