As more states commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions – and some, like California, have ambitious goals – to improve energy efficiency will be an important tool in meeting those goals. Additionally, as efficiency-as-a-service pioneers have demonstrated, energy efficiency can represent an added revenue stream. The technology continues to evolve, and, with it, how it’s perceived and utilized both on the supply side and behind the meter.

Here are five articles on the rapidly changing technology and role of energy efficiency:

Energy World: Committing to an Energy Efficient Future by Mohandas Mekanapurath

In India, energy demand is soaring – the energy-hungry market has become the third largest user of solar energy. Providers face a balancing act between the government’s commitment to lowering emission and meeting growing demand reliably. There’s no one magic bullet, but complimentary approaches, including renewables, improved storage, incorporating technology and increased efficiencies, will be key to meeting both needs.

“Comprehensive energy reduction requires implementation of energy-efficient measures that cut across all aspects of energy – generation, distribution and utilization within a facility. Such measures are typically complex to design and implement, especially if the regular operations cannot be disrupted during the implementation.”

Energy Manager Today: 11 Experts Predict the Future of Energy Management in 2019

As energy efficiency continues to realize potential as an energy management tool, demand for real-time information and automated management will soar. Likewise, the interest in investment will only increase as tools become available, making the results of such investments clearer.

The future of energy efficiency can include solar, wind turbines, and more.

“As energy becomes increasingly on-demand, energy data management needs to do the same. ‘With more and more of our partners and customers, waiting for a monthly invoice to take action on energy management is too late,’ says Tim Porter, Director of Partner & OEM Sales at Urjanet. ‘As energy management moves into 2019, we expect to see more energy managers taking advantage of whole building interval data and submeter data to make real-time decisions and get proactive with their strategy.’”

Stanford University: Future of Energy: Efficiency by Amy Adams

The brightest engineering minds of the next generation are exploring ways to reduce energy usage and re-use energy in new and creative ways. This series examines Precourt Energy Efficiency Center projects that look to increase efficiency, including using rooftop reflectors to cool buildings and wireless recharging for electric cars. The cutting edge technology of today soon will be the expectation of tomorrow.

“Yi Cui, a professor of materials science and engineering who works on energy efficiency as well as improved batteries, said he started thinking about heating and cooling when he looked at where most energy goes.

‘We spend 30 percent of electricity to cool and heat the building, which is about 13 percent of total energy consumption,’ he said. ‘The estimation is, if you can change the set point of air conditioning by 1 degree Celsius, you save 10 percent of energy use in the building heating and cooling.’”

AEE: Pioneering a Performance-Based Future for Energy Efficiency, California Utilities Are Creating an Opportunity for Innovation Not to Be Missed by Matt Golden

As providers and states work together to meet new renewable and emissions standards, energy efficiency will be an important part of ensuring demand flexibility. This will include increasing the availability of pay-for-performance programs in households and small businesses, beyond the commercial and industrial markets, removing barriers to energy efficiency programs and reaching disadvantaged communities.

“Combining pay-for-performance with time and locational meter-based savings represents a major leap forward for energy efficiency, enabling it to compete as a true distributed energy resource.

‘Our focus in this process is the customer and how do we put the highest quality programs at their fingertips,’ says Matthew Braunwarth, Manager of Energy Efficiency Program Procurement at PG&E. PG&E’s RFA is designed to invite innovation and broaden the pool of potential applicants by minimizing the barriers of entry to submit new program ideas that deliver value for building owners and the electric power system.”

Utility Dive: Integration is the Next Step in Demand Side Management: Here’s How Three Utilities Are Pursuing It by Robert Walton

The article explores how PG&E, Con Ed and Eversource are using energy efficiency and demand response as part of Integrated Demand Side Management. IDSM is allowing these utilities to defer infrastructure investment, engage customers in demand response programs and be proactive with energy efficiency projects.  

Mary Ann Piette, senior scientist and director of the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, also spoke on the webinar and reminded utilities that ‘many building owners don’t really understand the nuances of the electric system and the different programs, but they understand their bill.’

These customers want technology in their buildings that can ‘help them both increase energy efficiency and reduce peak demand, and respond to demand response events,’ Piette said.”

Whether a provider uses energy efficiency programs to improve customer engagement– which improves customer satisfaction and ROI – or pursues it as an additional revenue stream, we have only begun to explore how it can change the energy industry.  

Utilities are looking for opportunities to connect more deeply with customers. HomeServe helps to improve customer engagement for our utility partners through the integration of complementary home protection programs with utility initiatives such as energy efficiency and safety, offering customers greater access and choice. Partnership allows the utility to leverage HomeServe’s marketing and communications expertise to educate their customers through a variety of channels. For more information visit www.homeserveutility.com/energy-efficiency or contact me