On this episode, we speak with Rod Janssen, the man behind the Energy in Demand weekly newsletter and website. He is also the president of Energy Efficiency in Industrial Process. But more aptly, Rod is a true expert in energy efficiency. As you’ll hear in this episode Rod’s pool of knowledge goes back to the aftermath of the 1970s oil crisis. He shares his experience from then and the renewed focus on energy efficiency to survive another energy crisis. But as we learn from this conversation, good energy efficiency takes years to be built and can’t be done just by hooking up a heat pump.

However, as we discuss Europe does have a good foundation on energy efficiency if it and member states decide to actually get serious about energy efficiency. Rod shares his experience consulting SMEs in Turkey to implement and comply with EU regulations on energy efficiency. These may be EU directives and rules, but as Rod tells us, these are just good and practical policies.

You can also learn why Rod loves heat pumps. I’ll give you a hint, his living room in Canada holds 100 people where it gets down to minus 25 degrees.

In the second half of the interview, we go into details about the interplay between energy efficiency and government policies. This includes how Germany became too dependent on Russian energy and companies to provide gas while also overlooking the security benefits of energy efficiency. As Rod emphasizes, energy efficiency is the ‘first fuel’, that is you have to look at the demand side before you expand and change the supply side of the energy system. Why build bigger power plants when investing in reducing energy demand is more cost-effective and secure?

Overall, we have a lively – and entertaining – discussion on a better design to energy security – which is investing in reducing the demand for energy.  He also appeared on a previous podcast episode. The link is here.

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Dr. Michael LaBelle is an associate professor at Central European University in the Department of Environmental Sciences. He produces the My Energy 2050 podcast to change how we communicate and improve the energy transition.