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GSR 2015

115RENEWABLES 2015 GLOBAL STATUS REPORT 06 SIDEBAR 10. THE STATUS OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY DATA Although improving energy efficiency is a policy priority in many countries, there is no internationally agreed upon high-level indicator for measuring and tracking energy efficiency trends at the national or global level. One of the most aggregated indicators commonly used to illustrate the rate of improvement in energy efficiency is energy intensity. However, the effectiveness of this indicator is limited because changes in energy intensity can be caused by factors other than energy efficiency, such as structural changes in the economy (e.g., shifting from energy-intensive industries towards services). Other approaches—such as energy efficiency indices, indicators, and scorecards—usually require detailed sectoral and/or policy data, which often are not available across different sectors and countries. In the building sector, one of the most crucial types of data is building energy performance. Although several databases exist and are publicly available, they typically are limited geographically and cover only a small number of buildings. Examples include the U.S. National Buildings Performance Database, the U.S. High Performance Building Database, the Net Zero-Energy Buildings Map of International Projects supported by the German government, and the New Building Institute’s “Case Studies of NZE Verified and NZE Emerging Projects”. Databases also exist to track the developments of passive houses. To address the lack of necessary data, the EU ZEBRA2020 project was launched in 2014 to monitor the market uptake of low-energy buildings across Europe (covering 17 Member States) and to generate data and evidence for policy evaluation and optimisation. Other efforts are taking advantage of the potential to collect building energy performance data through building certification and labelling schemes. In 2013, New Zealand launched a voluntary scheme (NABERSNZ) to measure and rate the energy performance of commercial buildings by adapting the successful National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS). Under NABERSNZ, the energy performance of commercial buildings is evaluated and a star rating is applied. The collection of performance data in various sectors can be used for comparative studies and information campaigns to demonstrate energy savings and other benefits of more energy- efficient solutions. For example, in 2014, Algeria launched a pilot project, Ecobat, to measure energy efficiency in buildings and to assess energy savings in heating and cooling in several provinces. As part of the assessment, the energy performance of houses subject to energy efficiency standards is being compared to the performance of conventional buildings. Improved quality and accessibility of energy efficiency data is an important prerequisite and foundation for sound decision making across sectors and regions. Although there have been improvements in data collection efforts and in the development of indicators, in general the quality and coverage of energy efficiency data still lag in comparison to data on renewable energy sources. Thereareseveralreasonsforthisproblem.First,energyefficiency is much less tangible than renewable energy, and uncertainties remain about how to define and measure energy efficiency improvements. Second, the demand for energy efficiency data is stilllowinmostcountries,duemainlytothelackofunderstanding of its importance, as well as to a lack of resources and capacities to establish robust data collection. Finally, in the countries where data collection efforts do exist, they often take place at different levels (e.g., national, sub-national, municipal, etc.) and have different methodologies and quality, which creates further difficulty in achieving consistency. Source: See Endnote 3 for this section.

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