If smarter energy use for a clean energy future is what you want, how important is accurate, readily available and well-targeted data?
Hold that thought.
The Australian Government is busy creating a whole new suite of acronyms in the domain of energy saving, with a funding pool of $340 million up for grabs.
It’s great news for energy efficiency advocates, and if done well will help prime the pump for energy saving for years to come, with Round 1 projects likely to start in the second half of this year and potentially run through to 2016.
Around the nation, local councils, community groups, non-profits large and small, industry associations, professional institutes and even some for-profit energy services players are doing their numbers – working out how to bid for a slice of the Clean Energy Future funding pie.
There’s EEIG – the Energy Efficiency Information Grants program, with total funding of $40 million, with grants in the range of $100,000 to $1 million. It’s all about education, aimed at SMEs and community organisations, with industry associations, professional institutes and non-profit organisations eligible to apply. Round 1 closes on March 16.
Then comes CEEP – the Community Energy Efficiency Program, with $200 million aimed at non-residential energy saving projects by local councils and community organisations, in a wide range from $20,000 to $5 million. Round 1 closes on March 23.
Finally, there’s LIEEP – the Low Income Energy Efficiency Program, which starts as a call for competitive ‘expressions of interest’ for trial projects in a funding range of $1 million to $10 million. It’s aimed at groups of loca and state governments, community welfare organisations and energy companies. Round 1 closes March 16.
The common tagline for the EEIG/CEEP/LIEEP combo is ‘smarter energy use for a clean energy future’. Obviously this is territory of considerable interest to Wattwatchers, as makers of ‘tools for the Energy Information Age’.
Great energy use data may be handy for CEEP, and it’s easy to imagine an EEIG project that is based on real-time energy data from real homes and appliances delivered online – after all, seeing is believing. But it’s LIEEP where likely proponents are being challenged to make data capture integral to their bids.
The LIEEP factsheet says: ‘The program will collect and analyse data and information to assist future energy efficiency policy and program approaches.’
The LIEEP guidelines say: ‘As the program is based on trials, robust data collection and monitoring arrangements will be critical to the success of all projects.’ (See page 9 for Monitoring and data analysis requirements, which cover before, during and after.)
In early discussions with potential applicants for LIEEP, all are very focused on the data challenge. One ventured that the expectations in this regard are unprecedented, in an area where hard data sets are notoriously few and far between.
Perhaps you are looking for a whole new approach to smart energy use backed by real data. Can we help you?