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Runwise Live Event: The biggest scams in energy management


Thumbnail image credit: Diana Robinson

Here is a summary of the key discussion topics from the event:

1. Complexity of Energy Efficiency Measures

Energy efficiency is not about implementing a single measure, but requires a holistic approach. Often, measures that seem promising fail to deliver expected results when not combined with other necessary changes.

2. Debunking Popular Energy-Saving Myths

  • Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs): Contrary to popular belief, TRVs have not shown significant energy reductions in practical applications. Despite being promoted as energy savers, data from thousands of buildings reveal no notable energy savings.
  • Co-generation (Co-gen): Although appealing as a concept where buildings generate their own electricity and heat, co-gen systems often fail to pay for themselves, providing marginal returns and proving economically inefficient in the long term.
  • Electrification and Heat Pumps: In cold climates, electrification through retrofitting, particularly with heat pumps, often results in higher operational costs compared to traditional gas-fired boilers. The efficiency of heat pumps diminishes in extremely cold temperatures, leading to increased electricity use and overall higher costs.

3. Strategic Measures for Compliance and Efficiency

Focus on measures with the best ROI before considering major capital expenditures:

  • Insulation and proper venting: Simple, cost-effective measures that can significantly reduce energy bills.
  • Smart controls: Technology that optimizes heating efficiency and energy use by using software to make use of indoor temperature sensors. In the case of Runwise's system, the smart controls also intelligently use weather forecasts and system-learned building behavior to maximize comfort and energy savings.
  • Adjustments to heating systems: Such as upgrading to modern, efficient boilers or adding secondary heat sources for non-winter months.