How to deal with the inherent complexity of systems?

A systems approach to energy end use will inevitably be more complex than considering the energy efficiency of each component separately, which is sometimes seen as a barrier to adoption. It is important to keep in mind, however, that this complexity does not have its origin in the approach but is inherently part of the system. Put simply, if a systems approach to energy use is not adopted, this complexity will go ignored, which always comes at a cost. A better option would be to find a way to deal with, and ultimately overcome, the system’s complexity.

This section covers a diverse set of strategies, methodologies and instruments to help with this:

International standards are also of great importance in making the systems approach more accessible, and are discussed in another section.


Complexities are inherent to each system. Ignoring them comes at a cost.