Merit order by Gimelec

On 14 January 2013, Gimelec (French electrical supplies trade association) published a study on new energy efficiency solutions in buildings. The underlying assumption is that simply by actively monitoring consumption, massive amounts of energy could actually be saved for a rather moderate initial investment. This is all the more true as France is going to be seeking to reduce both its debt and carbon footprint in the years to come.

The study ranks up available energy sources – especially electric – in merit order, i.e. from the lowest to the highest cost of production, so that the cheaper sources are tapped in first. It defines priority targets in the building stock, chief of which are tertiary-sector buildings (office space, shops, schools) that can easily be broken into several usage-specific areas, thus allowing for the assessment and quick optimization of energy use. The study recalls that the energy savings that could be achieved by means of active consumption monitoring represent 75% of the Grenelle Environment’s goals for energy consumption reduction in buildings.

Although the development of the energy efficiency market is obviously chiefly driven by manufacturers themselves, the study ends with three major recommendations to the government: shift from a resource-based to a result-based approach, refrain from interfering and causing imbalances in the market, which would stifle competitiveness, and decentralize energy policies so that they best match each region’s specific needs.