What is Active Efficiency?
As energy efficiency enters the digital age, it incorporates a wider range of features, including:
1. Time-dependence: from static to highly time-dependent and responsive (e.g. building envelope improvements to demand response);
2. Integration: from component-level to multi-system integration (e.g. LEDs to building-to-grid integration);
3. Benefits: from energy savings and economic productivity to resilience, health, and emissions reductions.
These three features can be visualized by the three dimenstions of a cube. In the late 20th century, energy efficiency focused on the corner that relates to static, component-level technologies to produce energy savings. As technology has evolved, the Alliance moved in the 2010s to promote the value of energy productivity and system-level integration, effectively considering a “sheet” within the cube.
But the problems of the day, including critical considerations such as climate, grid resilience, and equity issues, call for leveraging all the tools at our disposal to maximize energy efficiency opportunities across the full cube.
This is Active Efficiency. It optimizes the use of energy by integrating the benefits of traditional energy efficiency measures with the opportunities presented by digital technologies.