Chairman’s Report 2018

The IEA Efficient World Scenario assesses the global potential of energy efficiency. It finds that the global economy could double between now and 2040 with little increase in energy demand and in the process unlock multiple benefits across all end-use sectors. The IEA Energy Efficiency market report however notes that realising this potential is proving challenging, as economic growth is outstripping efficiency gains and many cost effective measures go unimplemented. Efficient technologies can only deliver benefits if users adopt them and use them as intended. Energy efficiency is energy use per unit service delivered – and technologies that aren’t adopted and used as intended don’t deliver the services or energy savings envisaged. Put simply, the value and usability of technologies and services to users is as integral to their efficiency as their engineering.

The DSM TCP is focused on the needs and roles of users throughout the energy system. Our Tasks are focused on finding ways of reaching them, understanding their needs, earning their trust, and engaging them by delivering services they find valuable and useable. This work is essential to realising the multiple benefits energy efficiency can bring for security and sustainability.

This has been a year of transformation for the DSM TCP. Having started 2018 in a state of flux, we end it with a clear sense of strategic direction and new momentum with a suite of new Tasks emerging around the fundamental issues of access, trust, value, service and engagement. We commissioned an external review of the TCP’s strategy and management and were granted a one-year extension to our mandate in which to implement the recommended changes. This will lead us into 2019 with new momentum and a fresh strategic plan for 2020 to 2025. The transition will continue throughout 2019, but we are now well-placed to begin a new phase of the TCP in 2020.

These developments gave us the opportunity to pause and reflect upon the tremendous opportunity offered by the DSM TCP and the changes needed for us to take advantage of that potential. Dedicated Executive Committee members have pushed forward new proposals and engaged enthusiastically in the process of refreshing our management practices.

The Executive Committee has certainly been busy in 2018. We met six times in all: in Bergen, Norway in April; in London, UK in October; and four times via teleconferences. In Bergen, we agreed to begin a new phase of Task 25, focussed on Business Models for DSM; this was a significant moment, as no new projects had been funded since 2015. We also welcomed Australia to the DSM TCP as our 16th member country and 19th contracting party. Our Australian delegates have brought fresh ideas to the TCP which have been warmly welcomed.

In London, we bade farewell to two of our most successful Tasks and agreed to take four new Task ideas to full proposal in 2019. Task 16 on Competitive Energy Services came to a natural end after four phases over a period of a decade during which the Task’s Think Tank developed a series of innovative measures to support the energy services sector. Task 24 on Behaviour Change in DSM completed a second phase focussed on helping the behaviour changers, winning awards for the application of its Behaviour Changer Framework.

The new Tasks being developed point to the exciting new strategic direction for the DSM TCP. All of them are focussed around the interaction between people and technology. With digitalisation changing the possibilities of what energy services can mean, and end-users becoming central to the energy transition, this is one area in which the DSM TCP can add value. New tasks on peer-to-peer energy trading and the social licence to automate will examine key issues where technology is enabling consumers to become producers of energy services. Meanwhile, further new Tasks will examine the take-up of DSM technologies amongst hard-to-reach consumer segments, drawing upon the work of Task 24, and provide a platform for government practitioners, applying behavioural insights to policy in the energy sector. Each of these touch on core issues of access, trust, value, service and engagement that stand at the heart of placing users at the heart of the transforming energy system. Details of the new Tasks under development are set out in the next section of this Annual Report.

We began the year having been without a Chair or ever having had an Operating Agent. At our London Executive Committee meeting, I was honoured to be elected as the TCP’s new Chair, and the Executive Committee has also approved and appointed an Operating Agent, Sam Thomas, for one year. The management structure of the TCP has now been considerably strengthened, with a Chair, a Vice-Chair Finance (Even Bjørnstad), and an Operating Agent joining our invaluable secretary Anne Bengtson. We also established an Operating Agent selection subcommittee (Josephine Maguire; Gerdien de Weger; Kajsa-Stina Benulic; Tony Fullelove and myself), and a Finance Subcommittee (François Brasseur; Simone Maggiore; Maria Bürgermeister-Mähr). Special thanks also go to Josephine Maguire for providing additional support and advice to the ESC throughout the year and for leading on communications issues.

I am very grateful to the support I’ve received from both my predecessors in the role of Chair: Rob Kool, who continued to provide a guiding hand to the DSM TCP ship during the first half of the year; and Hans Nilsson, who more than anyone, formed the first successful incarnation of the DSM TCP, as Chair and then Adviser over many years. In the DSM University, Hans created an asset that we are fortunate to be able to continue developing, ensuring the dissemination of high quality research and analytical findings to the wider DSM community. Now as Chair myself, I look forward with optimism for the next phase of the TCP as a new set of Executive Committee members grasp the challenges ahead.

In a year’s time, I expect to be writing this report, reflecting upon another year of transition, one in which we have agreed new projects and processes, and we are looking forward to a successful five-year term, beginning in 2020.

David Shipworth (Chair)


Future of the DSM TCP: New Tasks under development in 2019

Global Observatory on Community Self-Consumption and Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading

The DSM TCP Global Observatory on Community Self-Consumption and Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading is an international forum for understanding the policy, regulatory, social and technological conditions necessary to support wider deployment of these market models. The Observatory’s aim is to support all stakeholders in the peer-to-peer and community self-consumption field through being technology-neutral and applying open innovation principles to pre-competitive and early-stage research. It brings together the leading organisations researching the design and implementation of such models across the world to draw lessons from the international comparison of field trials operating under different regulatory regimes and in different social and technical contexts. For policy makers and regulators, the Observatory will deliver learnings on the extent to which existing policies and regulations support or frustrate application of such models in their country, and how to design such systems to deliver different policy objectives while minimising potential adverse impacts. For businesses, lessons will be drawn on how the environment in different countries shapes the design and viability of possible business models. For researchers, the Observatory provides a route to research impact, a collaborative platform with business and government, and a global community of researchers.  Findings will be designed for dissemination through IEA publications and global forums such as the Clean Energy Ministerial.

Social Licence to Automate DSM

This Task will collate global experience of automating DSM implementation. Given the very early stage of the growth of the automated distributed energy resources sector, we propose identifying key emerging research in social sciences, technology and policy to investigate customer barriers and drivers for the uptake of other similarly challenging consumer facing technologies, to ensure that the regulatory and commercial environment created by policy and industry actors is conducive to delivering network and system-wide benefits. The project will also consider the implications of increasing automation for:

  • the policy environment broadly, to ensure wider network, environment, and social benefits are met and appropriate safety nets are maintained; and
  • the need for a “Social Licence to Operate” automated DSM systems so as to pass through the maximum value from utilities to customers. This social licence to automate in the energy sector requires shared insights and lessons from around the world, given the novelty of the challenge we face.

Energy-sector Behavioural Insights Platform

This Task will bring together government officials applying behavioural insights to energy sector policy issues and researchers working in the field. Participants will share experiences and expertise, develop guidance and build capacity amongst participating countries and the wider policy making community. Experience in the use of randomised control trials, mixed methods studies, behavioural needs analysis and the scaling up of pilots to full interventions are all potential capacity building topics.

Hard to Reach Energy Users

This Task will apply the Behaviour Changer Framework developed by the DSM TCP to the issue of policy aimed at energy users that are “hard to reach”, such as fuel poor households and small and medium-sized enterprises. Experts from government, industry, research and the voluntary sector will come together to identify how such energy users are defined and have been addressed in their countries and sectors in the past. Based upon the learnings from each other’s programmes and research, guidance will be developed on how best to target measures to hard-to-reach consumers, how to run engagement trails and how best to monitor and evaluate outcomes.


DSM University

The DSM University is a joint activity run between the DSM TCP and Leonardo Energy where Leonardo Energy is also responsible for the administration and technological support for the webinars and also markets these together with the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee) who gives the DSM TCP access to their database of recipients of information.

According to plan, we have organised monthly webinars with speakers both within the DSM TCP and from companies and organisations with interest in energy efficiency. In total 37 webinars have been held by the end of 2017. Over the past four years, DSMU has evolved into a community of practice through which DSM practitioners meet on a monthly basis. So far, DSMU has engaged over 4,500 persons in 124 countries worldwide.

During 2017 Leonardo Energy changed their platform for administrating webinars, (see Leonardo Energy calendar: http://www.leonardo-energy.org/calendar) which has lead to a wider audience. The webinars are recorded and both slides and supporting material is made available for registered users. A flyer has been produced that provides data on past webinars and information on where material can be found for registration and downloading from Leonardo Energy and from YouTube (see: http://www.ieadsm.org/wp/files/DSMU-Sept2018.pdf ).

The material from the DSM TCP is arranged in the following themes to make best use of the output from the different Tasks:

  • The logic of DSM
  • Governance
  • Energy efficiency – load level (technical issues)
  • Flexibility – load shape (technical issues)
  • Integration (with RES and distributed generation)
  • Business models

During 2018, nine webinars were held:

For more information on the DSM University
For more information about all DSMU webinars www.dsmu.org