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... To improve resource efficiency and promote sustainable consumption, governments are required to establish adequate policy frameworks. Local, regional and national governments can apply a wide range of different instruments for improving resource efficiency, including regulatory, economic, information, education, research, and development instruments as well as voluntary agreements and cross-sectional measures (Vreuls 2005;GTZ et al., 2006) (see Appendix 1). Each of these basic instrument groups covers a range of sub-categories which can be combined in order to enhance the desired effect. ...
... It should be noted that the terms policy measures and instruments are used interchangeably throughout this report. Following Vreuls (2005), we define policy measures and instruments as political actions or market interventions 192 European Commission (DG ENV) Study on water efficiency standards designed to persuade water consumers to reduce water use and encourage market parties to promote water efficient products and services. ...
... However, given the limitations outlined above, the analysis presented in this study will largely draw from qualitative and anecdotal data for a discussion on study limitations and future work). By focusing on the whole policy process, we aim to generate insight into the mechanisms and success or failure factors of different policy instruments thus helping to design new measures and improve existing ones (Blumstein et al., 2000;Vreuls 2005;Khan et al., 2006). Adopting a theory-based approach allows us: ...
Water scarcity and droughts affect many parts of Europe. Climate change and population growth are predicted to make the existing water problems even worse in many regions. In recognition of the acuteness of water scarcity and drought challenges, the European Union has adopted a Communication addressing the challenge of water scarcity and droughts. The Communication provides a fundamental and well-developed first set of policy options for future action, within the framework of EU water management principles, policies, and objectives. The Commission is exploring the ways in which the European Union can address water scarcity and droughts and a number of recommendations were made in the Communication in this regard. Amongst the various identified policy options, one of them suggests analysing the potential of water efficiency standards for Water-using Products (WuPs) at EU level.
This study analyses the need for introducing water efficiency standards for water-using devices at the EU level and to discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of such an approach based on existing evidence in EU Member States (MS) and beyond.
... In order to improve resource efficiency and promote sustainable consumption, governments are required to establish adequate policy frameworks. Local, regional and national governments can apply a wide range of instruments including regulatory, economic, information, education, research, and development instruments as well as voluntary agreements and cross-sectional measures (Vreuls 2005;GTZ et al. 2006). Each of these basic instrument groups can have different sub-categories which can be combined in order to enhance the desired effect. ...
... Theory-based policy evaluation establishes a plausible theory on how a policy instrument (or a package of instruments) is expected to lead to efficiency improvements. Application of the theory-based approach in ex-post policy evaluation means that the whole policy implementation process is unravelled to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the different steps of the implementation process (Blumstein et al. 2000;Vreuls 2005;Khan et al. 2006). Adopting a theory-based approach allows us ...
... Whilst theory-based evaluations are increasingly popular in the field of energy policy 12 , they have, to our knowledge, not been applied to water efficiency policy instruments. Drawing from these recent experiences (Vreuls 2005;Khan et al 2006), the evaluation process was carried out in three steps: ...
Water scarcity and droughts affect many regions of Europe. Climate change and population growth are predicted to make existing water resource problems even worse in many regions. In recognition of the acuteness of the water scarcity and drought challenges in Europe, the European Commission (EC) adopted a Communication addressing the challenge of water scarcity and droughts in the European Union (EU). This Communication provides a fundamental and well-developed first set of policy options for future action, within the framework of EU water management principles, policies and objectives. The Commission is exploring the ways in which the EU can address water scarcity and droughts, and a number of recommendations regarding these issues have already been made in the Communication. Amongst various identified policy options, one proposal suggests analysing the potential of introducing requirements related to the water performance of buildings (WPB) at EU level.
This study analyses the need for introduction of water performance of buildings requirements at EU level and discuss the potential advantages and disadvantages of such an approach, based on existing evidence from EU Member States (MS) and beyond.
... Being a relatively new instrument, case studies of building certificates and labels was scarce in the literature and this situation was aggravated because their effect is difficult to separate from those of building codes. Only two programs could be quantitatively evaluated in our study[23,52], and even these do not clearly separate the impacts from those of building codes. The environmental effectiveness of the building certificates programs was found similar to that of building codes, probably as a result of the problems with separation. ...
... The environmental effectiveness of the building certificates programs was found similar to that of building codes, probably as a result of the problems with separation. The cost-effectiveness of a Danish programwas found particularly high; however — as stated before — individual values should not be used with care. Nevertheless, it is likely that building certificates alone and in combination with building codes also produce net social economic benefits and their main economic benefit may be to increase the value of properties[81 ]. ...
... The cost-effectiveness of awareness raising and information programs varies widely, from exemplary low costs (such as[53,68]) to programs with net societal costs. At the same time, the environmental effectiveness is moderate, in the range of 0.005–5 TWh, and unrelated to the size of the country where the programs took place. ...
Energy efficiency policies have the unique capacity to contribute to a more sustainable energy future at an economic net benefit even when co-benefits are not included in the evaluations. The purpose of this paper is to present quantitative and comparative information on the societal cost-effectiveness and the lifetime energy savings of all light eight building energy efficiency policy instruments.
While certain instruments, such as product standards and labels are shown to be able to achieve the largest energy savings, from a cost-effectiveness perspective, it is not possible to clearly prioritize the policy instruments reviewed. Any of them can be cost-effective if selected, designed, implemented and enforced in a tailored way to local resources, capacities and cultures.
... The 'Model Energy Efficiency Program Impact Evaluation Guide' (Dietsch, 2007) defines the baseline as what 'Would have occurred had the program not been implemented'. In the 'Evaluation Guidebook Volume I' (Vreuls, 2005) the baseline is defined as the answer to 'What would market actors who participated in (or who were exposed to) the programme have done in the absence of the programme?'. Likewise is the baseline energy consumption understood in the 'International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol, IPMVP' (Kromer, 2007). ...
... The variables relevant for the determination of the baseline energy consumption (here load and operating hours) are defined and retrieved from e.g. market analyses, customer surveys, codes and standards or official statistics (Reed et al., 2007;Nilsson et al., 2008). Vreuls (2005) categorises the major strategies for assessing the values of the variables in cross-sectional or quasi-experimental methods, historical or time-series analysis, self-reporting of programme influence and references to codes and standards. Some approaches for the determination of the baseline use a combination of these mainly data-based approaches with expert opinions and lessons learned from past experiences to model the future development of the energy consumption without the programme effects. ...
... Some approaches for the determination of the baseline use a combination of these mainly data-based approaches with expert opinions and lessons learned from past experiences to model the future development of the energy consumption without the programme effects. Vreuls (2005) refers to this proceeding as backcasting and other normativ approaches. ...
One of the central variables in bottom-up energy efficiency and saving calculations is the energy consumption baseline. In the evaluation of energy efficiency measures, developing this baseline is a challenging task, which may involve serious problems, especially if the energy service of the analysed subject has changed while the energy efficiency measure was being implemented. In this paper we present a formalised concept of the process of developing the baseline that is flexible enough to deal with various difficulties, such as changes in the levels of the energy services involved. We also discuss the most relevant options for deriving the necessary variables.
... To some extent, the situation described above is consistent with the fact that there are a limited number of systematic energy (efficiency) policy evaluation studies and that practices in the field of energy (efficiency) are not harmonised (see e.g. Blok, 2006;Taylor and Jollands, 2007;Vreuls et al., 2005). To systematically capture the impact and outcome of energy-efficiency policy instruments, evaluation frameworks have been developed (see Harmelink et al., 2007;Khan et al., 2006;Sebold et al., 2001;SRC et al., 2001;Vreuls et al., 2005). ...
... Blok, 2006;Taylor and Jollands, 2007;Vreuls et al., 2005). To systematically capture the impact and outcome of energy-efficiency policy instruments, evaluation frameworks have been developed (see Harmelink et al., 2007;Khan et al., 2006;Sebold et al., 2001;SRC et al., 2001;Vreuls et al., 2005). 4 However, energy-efficiency policy evaluation studies have traditionally targeted the narrow area-albeit challenging to quantify-of impact, in terms of energy savings, emission reductions and saving costs (see e.g. ...
... 4 However, energy-efficiency policy evaluation studies have traditionally targeted the narrow area-albeit challenging to quantify-of impact, in terms of energy savings, emission reductions and saving costs (see e.g. Boonekamp, 2005;Gillingham et al., 2006;Harmelink et al., 2007;Vreuls et al., 2005). Some work also highlights the need to assess policy outcomes, i.e. the changes in the energy system affected by the policy instrument (Neij and Å strand, 2006). ...
Recent years have witnessed regained political momentum on energy efficiency and interest in establishing markets is growing. As a result, Tradable White Certificate (TWC) schemes of differing design have been implemented in Great Britain, Italy and France. Much attention is being paid to justifying and evaluating such schemes. In this paper, we develop and apply a multi-criteria framework for evaluating TWC schemes—an approach that attempts to cover their individual design features. A broad evaluation is conducted regarding energy-saving and environmental effectiveness, economic efficiency, cost-effectiveness, transaction costs, political feasibility, administrative burden and technical change. The results show the design and performance of TWC schemes to be case and context-specific, and generalisations are thus inappropriate. This evaluation supports the cost-effectiveness modelled for the British scheme and the assumption that a TWC scheme is an economically efficient policy instrument. For the other, more complex TWC schemes, more data and experience are needed to judge their ex-post merit. On the whole, the proposed multi-criteria evaluation requires considerable data and complementary methods. However, the framework improves the understanding of the broad effects and attributes of TWC schemes. It deals with various empirical and normative aspects that can be applied in their evaluation.
... One of the projects in the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Demand Side Management Programme performed an overview study on energy efficient program evaluation in 2005 and looked at general frameworks for measuring and verifying impacts as well as evaluating effectiveness and efficiency of policy measures (Vreuls 2005). Specific to impacts from standards, labeling, and incentive programs, Table 7 shows that there is overlap between the inputs, outcomes, and impacts as defined by the IEA. ...
... The Canadian Appliance Manufacturing Association conducts confidential data surveys for each manufacturer to submit shipment data on their sales of major appliances. The study assumes a frozen baseline for calculating energy savings resulting from MEPS (Vreuls 2005). ...
... energy consumption, health problems, etc.) (see e.g. EEA, 2001;Fischer, 1995;Hildén et al., 2002;Vreuls et al., 2005). ...
... Th seems to be consistent with the historical development of energy efficiency policy in general, whe we have witnessed a substantial use of economic instruments, such as rebates, su s, they is re bsidies, taxes and soft loa stment e is a tax rebate and resultin sents costs ; osts ons on legal or market availability of specific technologies; and modification of the purchase price and efficiencies of specific technologies. Similarly, the reviewed modelling exercises with al and economic parameters, such as energy intensity levels or efficiency ratios, O&M costs, emission factors, energy prices, capital costs, discount rates, and technol es for as key technical variable to model ns ( Vreuls et al., 2005). Taxes and subsidies dominate the area of economic policy instruments being modelled. ...
Energy efficiency ex-ante policy evaluation is commonly, but not exclusively, concerned with the simulation and modelling of policy instruments and resulting technological change. Using the residential sector as case study, the paper provides a meta-analysis of models and modelling exercises and scrutinise their relevance for the field of energy efficiency policy evaluation. The methodology of study is based on: identification of modelling methodologies, selection of case studies, and cross-case analysis. We identify four types of ex-ante methodological modelling categories: simulation, optimisation, accounting and hybrid models. The analysis shows that modelling exercises have impact evaluation as their main research goal. Market and behavioural imperfections are often not explicitly captured and sometimes the use of implicit discount rates is identified to address this critical issue. Regarding modelled policy instruments, the majority of the cases focus on regulatory aspects (e.g. minimum performance standards, building codes). For the rest, evaluations focus on economically-driven policy instruments which are represented through technical factors and costs of measures. Informative policy instruments were identified as being much less modelled. Regarding modelling outcomes, studies are very context-specific so no generalisations can be made. The findings confirm some of the criticism and flaws related to bottom-up energy-economy modelling tools. At the same time, the study stresses that, albeit imperfectly, well-formulated energy modelling tools provide valuable frameworks for organising complex and extensive end-use data. Findings strongly suggest that there is no single-best method to evaluate (residential) energy efficiency policy instruments. Potential research areas to further advance energy-economy models are identified.
... The evaluation of energy efficiency programs started thirty years ago. Significant experience has been acquired, specifying the issues to address (Vine, Misuriello & Hopkins 1994) and gathering information to build rich methodological materials, from the first manual (CPUC and CEC 1987) to current reference guidebooks (e.g., CPUC 2006, IPMVP 2002, SRCI 2001, Vine and Sathaye 1999, Vreuls 2005). This has resulted in developing a community of evaluation experts, with regular sharing events, such as conferences sponsored by the International Energy Program Evaluation Conference (IEPEC), the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE). ...
... The evaluation of energy efficiency programs started thirty years ago. Significant experience has been acquired, specifying the issues to address (Vine, Misuriello & Hopkins 1994) and gathering information to build rich methodological materials, from the first manual (CPUC and CEC 1987) to current reference guidebooks (e.g., CPUC 2006, IPMVP 2002, SRCI 2001, Vine and Sathaye 1999, Vreuls 2005. This has resulted in developing a community of evaluation experts, with regular sharing events, such as conferences sponsored by the International Energy Program Evaluation Conference (IEPEC), the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), and the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE). ...
With the "think global, act local" trends, local levels are taking an increasing role in the implementation of action plans, especially in the field of energy efficiency. An inventory of local energy efficiency operations in France confirmed a significant expansion of these activities, but also highlighted how rare their evaluation is, although a rich methodological evaluation material is available. The research question for this study was then how to fill the gap between theory and practice. This was addressed through studying the issue of evaluation use. The first step was to find in the evaluation literature the key components of evaluation use and the success factors to overcome the barriers to evaluation practice previously identified. This was used to adjust our evaluation methods and approach, and then to apply this to a particular case study. Key success factors for evaluation use were highlighted, such as the constructive and regular contacts between evaluators and program partners, and presenting the evaluation as a win-win collaboration. Finally, the main evaluation use was not to quantify the results of the operation, even if it was initially the most important stakeholder expectation, but to learn how to work together, how to supervise and use an evaluation, and how to improve the operation management and the operations themselves. This way, the evaluation really appears to be a learning-by-doing tool for all stakeholders involved in the implementation of local energy efficiency activities.
... 6 In the literature, an outcome is understood as participants' response to policy instruments (e.g., adoption of new technologies, development of new business plans). An impact is understood to be the societal and environmental changes generated by an outcome (e.g., energy consumption, health problems) (see e.g., Fischer, 1995;Hild en et al., 2002;Vreuls et al., 2005). 7 The developers provided design and consulting services to five utilities that introduced OBF programs based on the PAYS V R system (Lachman, 2013). ...
On‐bill financing (OBF) schemes have been welcomed as innovative mechanisms for encouraging the adoption of low‐carbon energy technologies. Yet while the potential effects of these schemes have received growing attention, less is known about their actual performance. Departing from New Institutional Economics and insights from Behavioral Economics, this theory‐driven assessment examines the How$mart® program in Kansas (United States) and the Green Deal in the United Kingdom. The study identifies the mechanisms designed to trigger behavioral change and technology adoption. We focus on market agents, and related market failures and behavioral anomalies that often prevent energy efficiency improvements. The paper adds to our theoretical and empirical understanding of public and utility‐driven OBF programs applied to the residential sector. Our findings suggest that simple, carefully designed on‐bill programs, where the financing of efficient technologies takes the form of a service rather than a loan, are more effective for the diffusion of low‐carbon energy technology and the reduction of transaction costs. At the same time, on bill‐financing schemes challenge the core business of utilities, and given the complexities and dynamics of energy efficiency markets and energy use, other policy interventions are needed.
... By comparing company-level savings in the Irish Large Industrial Energy Network (LIEN) to total industry savings (calculated using a top-down method), it could be estimated that 38 % of total savings could be attributed to participation in the program (Cahill 2012a). An analysis of seven VAs by Vreuls et al. (2005) found that around 50 % of efficiency improvement could be credited to the program. Rietbergen et al. (2002) used two methods to isolate the impact of LTA1, the first Dutch agreements on energy efficiency. ...
In 2008, the Dutch voluntary agreements on industrial energy efficiency faced fundamental changes to their monitoring methodology. Where the old method was based on measuring the improvement of energy use per unit of production, the new method focuses on the energy savings from projects implemented by participating companies. Advocates of the new method claim that it gives a better view of the companies’ efforts to save energy, as it shows their deliberate changes in production processes, whereas opponents emphasise that the relation with ‘real’ energy efficiency is lost. By applying the two methods on the same group of companies, the results can be compared and show to what extent the choice of monitoring method affects the key message to policy makers. Of special interest is the relation between energy and production in the period 2008–2012, a period with large fluctuations in the level of production and energy use as a result of the economic crisis. The data show that energy-saving projects made a significant impact on energy use in the analysis period, although their effect is smaller than that of other factors such as fluctuations in production and in the number of participating companies. The old method shows a result for the period 2005–2013 that is less than half of that of the new method, mainly because of a decrease in efficiency during years of decreasing production. The analysis clearly shows that the two methods do not show the same development of energy efficiency improvement and should be presented as such.
... The way in which we study energy DSM also has implications for what is perceived of as successful (Table 1, row 7). A conventional, economic approach evaluates policy interventions from a costebenefit perspective : programmes should be effective in reducing demand for energy and they should be cost-effective (provide a reasonable return in terms of energy saved compared to the cost of the programme). Less often addressed in the economics literature is the 'political' nature of energy DSM programmes [20,37]: What sort of dynamics do such programmes have, and do they change the nature and patterns of energy demand permanently? ...
Exchange of experience between researchers and practitioners is important for arriving at new knowledge that is translatable into practice and at the same time endures in science. This notion has been central in CHANGING BEHAVIOUR, a project aimed at a better understanding of why energy demand-side management (DSM) programmes succeed or fail. Generally, there is a growing tradition of evaluation that encompasses the co-construction of programmes, technology and context. Nevertheless, most current research and evaluation in this particular area focuses solely on the influence of programme characteristics while overlooking contextual factors and transdisciplinary integration. This paper presents the outcomes of theoretical and empirical work involving new insights regarding the crucial conditions for successful energy DSM programmes. In addition, we demonstrate the usefulness of an Action Research methodology that aims to explicitly promote social change though transdisciplinary collaboration between researchers and practitioners. We conclude that a conceptualisation of energy behavioural change as nested within and interacting with broader social processes differs from existing models that place individual change processes at the centre of attention. The toolbox we developed for and with practitioners (involved in designing and implementing energy demand-side programmes) differs accordingly, among others in that it is context-sensitive.
... Policies operating outside the field of sustainable consumption and production as well as a number of economic, technological, and socio-demographic developments-both long-term trends and short-term eventswill exert an influence too. For instance, many energy efficiency improvements occur through "autonomous" technological change rather than policy intervention (Vreuls 2004). Finally, establishing causality is all the harder as in (environmental) sustainability research chains of causation tend to be long, complex, nonlinear, and highly dependent on local situations. ...
Putting sustainable consumption into practice is a challenge that requires the effort and coordination of numerous societal
domains and actors. The paper deals with the contribution of policy making and policy evaluation. More specifically, it addresses
the question of how to evaluate the effectiveness of policy instruments dedicated to rendering household consumption more
sustainable. Despite the extensive literature on instrument effectiveness, sustainability assessment, and consumer behaviour,
only a few accounts deal with the specific characteristics and impacts of policy instruments for sustainable consumption.
Against this backdrop, a framework is suggested for the ex post analysis of effects resulting from such policy instruments.
Instrument effects include changes in consumption patterns (“outcomes”), subsequent changes in the state of the environment,
society and/or economy (“impacts”), and side effects. Step-by-step guidance is provided through the evaluation process. The
approach helps to assess the extent to which sustainable consumption policy instruments have achieved their stated goals,
but also encourages a critical reflection of these goals. In addition to evaluating instrument effects, the framework serves
to explain these effects. It does so on the basis of theoretically grounded hypotheses that tackle drivers of and barriers
to instrument effectiveness, thus exploring this relatively new policy field. Methodologically, a combination of qualitative
methods (narrative reconstruction) and quantitative methods (e.g., material flow analysis) is recommended to causally link
policies to changes in consumption patterns and impacts on sustainability.
KeywordsSustainable consumption–Policy instruments–Policy evaluation–Impact assessment–Effectiveness
... Beside the EMEEES project, additional literature exists providing guidance for the calculation of energy savings. Among others, highly elaborated documents are the Model Energy Efficiency Program Impact Evaluation Guide (Dietsch, 2007), the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol, IPMVP (Kromer, 2007) and the Evaluation Guidebook Volume I (Vreuls, 2005a) and Volume II (Vreuls, 2005b). Input from these project reports are used to develop the harmonized bottom-up model, in order to meet the requirements for measure evaluations in the light of the ESD. ...
With the ongoing efforts on the European level to promote energy efficiency, the need for the development of harmonised evaluation
criteria for energy efficiency measures arises. Such criteria will allow extensive comparisons of the success or failure of
the implementation of energy efficiency measures throughout Europe and will support the development of a first–best strategy
for the realisation of energy savings targets in Europe. Two fundamental evaluation possibilities exist: bottom-up andtop-down
quantifications of energy savings. Bottom-up calculations give a more detailed view of the impact of energy efficiency measures
but are much more costly and time consuming than top-down calculations. In our opinion, this effort can be reduced without
losing precision in the savings calculations by the homogenisation of these energy efficiency measures. In this paper, we
develop a framework specifying how such a homogenisation could look.
KeywordsEnergy efficiency measure-Strategic measure homogenisation-Quantification of energy savings
... Second, most of the reviewed case studies have policy impact evaluation as their research goal, e.g., (45)(46)(47)(48)(49). Note that policy impact evaluation is different from policy outcome evaluation (50)(51)(52). Whereas an outcome is understood as the response to the policy instrument by subject participants (e.g., adoption or learning processes related to new technologies), an impact is understood to be the resulting changes generated by outcomes on society and the environment (e.g., emission reductions, energy savings, or improved energy consumption patterns). ...
The growing complexities of energy systems, environmental problems, and technology markets are driving and testing most energy-economy models to their limits. To further advance bottom-up models from a multidisciplinary energy efficiency policy evaluation perspective, we review and critically analyze bottom-up energy-economy models and corresponding evaluation studies on energy efficiency policies to induce technological change. We use the household sector as a case study. Our analysis focuses on decision frameworks for technology choice, type of evaluation being carried out, treatment of market and behavioral failures, evaluated policy instruments, and key determinants used to mimic policy instruments. Although the review confirms criticism related to energy-economy models (e.g., unrealistic representation of decision making by consumers when choosing technologies), they provide valuable guidance for policy evaluation related to energy efficiency. Different areas to further advance models remain open, particularly related to modeling issues, techno-economic and environmental aspects, behavioral determinants, and policy considerations.
Full text at: http://www.annualreviews.org/eprint/VhHC6YaSGmnVJA87ipba/full/10.1146/annurev-environ-052810-164840
... In terms of timing of instruments, WhC should probably follow the implementation of VAs, in order to trigger energy efficiency activity. The institutional setup of our combined scheme could have a higher degree of complexity due to the various administrative bodies that are required for the proper design, information diffusion, negotiation and implementation of the scheme (Vreuls, 2005). Monitoring is particularly essential when addressing VAs since two typical policy questions arise: whether they 'achieve an appropriate level of environmental performance and whether their environmental performance is achieved with the least cost compared to other possible policy instruments (Ekins and Etheridge, 2006). ...
In this paper we examine the implementation of a combined policy scheme that consists of a traditional instrument, the voluntary agreements (VAs), and an innovative one, the white certificates (WhC). The basic structure of this scheme is that energy suppliers who undertake an energy efficiency obligation under a white certificate scheme can make use of voluntary actions to enhance investments in innovative energy savings projects. Energy suppliers and other market parties can additionally or in parallel participate in voluntary agreements and set energy efficiency targets. For fulfilling their voluntary agreement target, these market parties can receive tax exemptions or receive white certificates that they can sell in the market. Transaction costs and baseline definition for demonstrating energy efficiency improvement deserve special attention. This policy can assist a country to enhance energy efficiency improvement while it stimulates innovation. Cost effectiveness can be higher than the case of stand-alone policy instruments, since more financing options are available for more expensive projects. Nevertheless, the added value of the scheme lies more in the implementation of innovative measures for enhanced energy efficiency. Furthermore, market parties can discover more business opportunities in energy efficiency and establish a green image; hence an integrated scheme should achieve higher political acceptability.
Improving residential energy efficiency is
widely recognised as one of the best strategies for reducing
energy demand, combating climate change, and
increasing security of energy supply. However, progress
has been slow to date due to a number of market and
behavioural barriers that have not been adequately addressed
by energy efficiency policies and programmes.
This study is based on updated findings of the European
Futures for Energy Efficiency Project that responds to
the EU Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014–2015
theme ‘Secure, clean and efficient energy’. This article
draws on five case studies from selected European
countries—Finland, Italy, Hungary, Spain, and the
UK—and evaluates recent energy efficiency developments
in terms of indicators, private initiatives, and
policy measures in the residential sector. Our analysis
shows that the UK government has implemented a
better range of policies, coupled with initiatives from
the private sector, aimed at improving energy efficiency.
However, its existing conditions appear to be more
problematic than the other countries. On the other hand,
the lack of effective and targeted policies in Finland
resulted in increased energy consumption, while in Hungary,
Spain and Italy some interesting initiatives, especially
in terms of financial and fiscal incentives, have
Refrigerators and freezers (subsumed under the term 'cold appliances') are among the most widely used electrical appliances in the residential sector all around the world. Currently, about 1.4 billion domestic cold appliances worldwide use about 650 TWh electricity, which is 1.2 times Germany's total electricity consumption, and cause CO 2 emissions of 450 million tons of CO 2 eq. Although the specific electricity consumption per volume of cold appliances has decreased during recent years due to technical progress and policy instruments like labelling and eco-design requirements, total worldwide energy consumption of these appliances is on the increase. Scenario calculations were carried out for 10 world regions by the Wuppertal Institute. Results show that about half of the energy consumption could be saved with the most energy-efficient appliances available today, and even higher savings will be possible with next generation technologies by 2030. According to the analysis, these savings are usually very cost-effective. All these aspects are part of the new website " bigEE.net – Your guide to energy efficiency in buildings " which aims to provide information about technical options but also about policies to support the development of energy-efficient appliances. To initiate and foster market transformation of energy-efficient appliances it is highly advisable for policymakers to generate appliances-specific policy packages. Since each regional market has its specificity (e.g. energy prices, typical appliance affecting the cost effectiveness of efficient appliances), the barriers for the market transformation of single product groups are also specific and need to be addressed by appropriate policies and measures. Elements of measures to build appropriate specific policy packages for refrigerators will be presented in the paper, and the refrigerator package from California (USA) demonstrates the successful implementation of a sector-specific package.
Green public procurement is often promoted as a tool to reduce energy use and CO2 emissions in the supply chains of public entities. However, only a limited number of studies has quantitatively assessed the environmental impacts of green public procurement schemes. The aim of this paper was to assess the potential impact of the CO2 Performance Ladder on the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in the Netherlands. The CO2 Performance Ladder is a new green procurement scheme that is currently used by several Dutch public authorities. It is a staged certification scheme for energy and CO2 management. Achieving certification gives companies a competitive advantage in the contract awarding process. Currently, more than 190 companies participate in the scheme. The scheme accounts for 1.7 Mt of aggregate CO2 emissions, corresponding to nearly 1% of national greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands. Since the introduction of the scheme, total CO2 emissions have decreased substantially. Nevertheless, these emission reductions should be interpreted with caution because the emission reductions are largely due to reductions by a few companies, and the level of emissions is affected to a large extent by economic activity. The companies participating in the scheme have set different types of CO2 reduction targets with varying levels of ambition. The projected impact of reaching these targets on CO2 emissions is a total CO2 emission reduction in the range of a 0.8–1.5%/yr, with a most likely value of 1.3%/yr. The CO2 Performance Ladder could therefore contribute significantly to achieve the annual reduction rate necessary to remain below the 2020 Dutch emission ceiling for sectors not included in the European Union Emission Trading Scheme.
This paper aims to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the options available to respond to competitiveness and leakage concerns. Free allowances are currently in place and border carbon adjustment (BCA) has been much discussed. This does not mean that both or either of the options are necessarily efficient or effective. Granting free allowances is politically expedient in that it largely avoids discussions around international trade and climate change negotiations and agreements. BCA is intuitively attractive, but practical and legal issues may severely constrain what taxes could be raised. The impacts of BCA on the wider economy are also likely to reduce its effectiveness. This paper therefore asks whether current responses to competiveness and leakage are appropriate, noting that current provisions could well become 'locked in‘ and difficult to move away from in the future.
The aim of this paper is to analyse the state of play on energy efficiency with regards to policy, legislation and technological issues in the European Union (EU) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Moreover, specific collaboration proposals between the two regions, with respect to the aforementioned, are elaborated on.
The approach of this paper utilizes and integrates the input from a large number of experts through excerpts from extensive international literature, dedicated meetings, bilateral interviews with experts and questionnaires regarding specific proposals for further collaboration.
Collaboration on energy efficiency between the two regions focuses mainly on three directions: policy, technologies and research. Specific collaboration proposals identified relate among others to the establishment of energy agencies and synergies at the policy level, building retrofitting technologies, labels and standards especially for air conditioning and exchange of know‐how on demand side management and third party financing.
Information on the state of play of energy efficiency in the GCC is, for the most part, scattered and fragmented. This paper is the first integrated analysis on the GCC status. Moreover, this paper provides solid collaboration modules between the EU and GCC, through an active participation of experts from both sides.
Europe now expects an evolution of the building sector towards „near zero energy‟ buildings. In Belgium, the passive house concept offers a feasible portal towards 0-energy developments. Meanwhile, for the major market of renovations, we still have to learn-by-doing what is achievable from demonstration projects.
Different technological options and concepts (low energy, passive house, zero energy) to reduce the energy consumption have been analyzed in the framework of the Belgian Low Energy Housing Retrofit (LEHR) project.
Based on the LEHR research, the paper discusses the Belgian context for 0-energy development, and the feasibility of achieving 0-energy renovations by means of the passive house concept in Belgium. We present a detailed case study and discuss results and lessons considering innovation adoption.
The research detected possibilities and hindrances considering the market introduction and early adoption in Belgium of innovative technologies and concepts for reaching near zero energy renovations in Belgium.
This paper explores demand side management (DSM) strategies, including both demand response and energy efficiency policies. The aim is to uncover what features might strengthen DSM effectiveness. We first look at key features of residential energy demand and the limits to energy indicators. We then turn to historical energy intensity trends in the sector which uncover its large untapped potential. A range of barriers to energy efficiency accounting for this gap are surveyed as well as a number of potential policy responses. This reveals the necessity of a portfolio approach with bundled strategies that simultaneously impact different parts of the market, enhance the strengths of individual measures while compensating for their weaknesses through the use of complementary policies. Evidence from the international experience, in Denmark, Germany, Japan, and US is reviewed. This helps us to contrast and shed some light on the UK experience. We conclude with an emphasis on the need for a holistic underpinning approach and the indentification of a number of attributes that reinforce DSM strategies.
While the commercial and domestic building sectors account for 33% of all energy-related CO2 emissions worldwide, approximately 30% of this energy consumption can be saved economically. However, numerous barriers such as hidden costs and benefits, distorted energy pricing, imperfect information, market failures and misplaced incentives prevent the realization of these energy saving potentials. For this reason, countries apply a variety of policy instruments such as building codes, energy efficiency obligations, subsidies and information campaigns. Since these instruments differ considerably in terms of their effects and costs, a research project conducted under the framework of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reviewed more than 60 ex-post policy evaluation reports for the 20 most commonly used policy instruments from app. 30 countries worldwide. The paper presents the results of this exercise regarding the environmental effectiveness and cost- effectiveness of these instruments, as well as identifies special conditions for their success. While most policy instruments achieved significant energy savings, appliance standards, building codes, tax exemptions and labelling were revealed as most effective policy instruments. Other instruments such as Kyoto Protocol flexible mechanisms or taxation have been less successful in the building sector. Several policy instruments achieved energy savings at negative costs for society; most cost-effective in our sample were appliance standards, demand-side management programs and mandatory labelling. Since no single policy instrument can capture the entire potential for energy-efficiency, buildings require a diverse portfolio of policy instruments for effective energy use reductions and for taking advantage of synergistic effects.
The Energy End-use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive (ESD) of the European Union requires the member states to define
and attain an overall target of at least 9% annual energy savings between 2008 and 2016. Even if this target is indicative,
this is the first international framework mandating countries to report on their energy savings results and prove achievement
of their targets. The directive thus also required the development of harmonised calculation methods that can be used by member
states for this proof and reporting. Existing literature covers most of the usual issues related to energy savings evaluation,
but mostly looking at single, given energy efficiency programmes or policies. The evaluation objective for the ESD implementation
is different, as it aims at accounting for the whole energy savings achieved in a country. Moreover, one of the main difficulties
is the diversity in history and experience on this topic among the member states. In this context, the European project EMEEES
has worked out an integrated system of bottom-up and top-down methods for the measurement of energy savings. The paper presents
the overview of its final results. The proposals, inter alia, include 20 bottom-up and 14 top-down case applications of general
evaluation methods. They enable more than 90% of the potential energy savings to be measured and reported. They were used
as a starting point by the European Commission to develop the methods recently recommended to the member states. Furthermore,
the paper briefly discusses the importance of the quantity to be measured—all or additional energy savings—and the effect
of measures implemented before the entering into force of the ESD (‘early action’), and what this meant for the methods to
be developed. It compares the main elements of calculation needed to ensure consistent results between bottom-up and top-down
methods at the overall national level. Finally, general conclusions are drawn about what could be the next steps in developing
an evaluation system that enables a high degree of comparability of results between different countries.
Realizing a 20% energy efficiency improvement in Europe by 2020 requires the introduction of good new energy efficiency policies
as well as strengthening and enforcing the existing policies. This raises the question: what characterizes good and effective
energy efficiency policies and their implementation? Systematic ex post evaluation of energy efficiency policies can reveal
factors determining not only what works and what does not but also explain why. Ex post evaluation of 20 energy efficiency
policy instruments applied across different sectors and countries in Europe among others showed that ex post evaluation does
not yet have a high priority among policy makers: Often, quantitative targets and clear timeframes are lacking, and monitoring
information is not collected on a regular basis. Our analysis, however, did reveal some general factors in the process of
design and implementation of policy instruments that appear as important including (1) existence of clear goals and a mandate
for the implementing organization, (2) the ability to balance and combine flexibility and continuity, (3) the involvement
of stakeholders, and (4) the ability to adapt to and integrate adjacent policies or develop consistent policy packages. The
analysis was performed using a uniform methodology called “theory-based policy evaluation”. The general principle behind this
approach is that a likely theory is drawn up on the program’s various steps of logic of intervention to achieve its targeted
impact in terms of energy efficiency improvement. The approach has several benefits over other ex post evaluation methods
because (1) the whole policy implementation process is evaluated and the focus is not just on the final impacts, (2) through
the development of indicators for each step in the implementation process, the “successes and failures” can be determined
to the greatest extent possible, and (3) by applying this approach, we not only learn whether policies are successful or not
but also why they succeeded or failed and how they can be improved.
The EU and its member states are developing their ow policies targeting at energy supply, energy demand an environmental goals that are indirectly linked to ener use. As these policies are implemented in an alread policy crowded environment, interactions of these i struments take place, which can be complements competitive or self exclusive. As a starting point, we tes White Certificates for energy efficiency improvement i the end-use sectors. Our main research questions are: i) to provide a genereral explanatory framework for analyzing energy and climat policy interactions by employing suitable methods, an ii) to evaluate these methods and draw conclusions fo policy makers when introducing White Certificates wit other policy instruments stressing the critical condition that affect their performance. A core lesson is that when evaluating ex-ante instru ments, a variety of economic and technological method must be applied. Based on these methods, several endo enous and exogenous conditions affect the performanc of White Certificates schemes with other policy instru ments. Due to the innovative character of White Ce tificates and the uncertainty of hidden costs embedde into it, ex-ante evaluations should focus not only on th effectiveness and efficiency of the scheme, but on sever. other criteria which express the political acceptabilit and socioeconomic effects. We argue finally that Whit Certificates can make effective use of market forces an can assist in overcoming market barriers towards ener efficiency, and we expect that under certain precondi Lions, it can be integrated with other policy instrument and allows to achieve cost effectively multiple enviro mental objectives.