Improving energy efficiency can deliver a range of benefits to the economy and society. However, energy efficiency programmes are often evaluated only on the basis of achieved energy savings. As a result, the full value of energy efficiency improvements in both national and global economies may be significantly underestimated.
Nevertheless, the recognition of the importance of intangible benefits derived from energy efficiency projects is increasing within the international policy community. At the same time, the role of sub-national actors is being more widely understood: policy, programme and project innovation does not emerge only from national governments. There is an increasing interest in how local authorities, social enterprises, community groups and other ‘middle actors’ can design and implement energy efficiency initiatives.
Given this new understanding of the variety of actors and networks which can deliver energy efficiency, and the important of intangible benefits, new frameworks and tools are needed to record, analyse and communicate the depth and breadth of this activity and its potential for delivering social and economic benefits.
The main goal of the project is to address the topic of energy efficiency and to consider all intangible benefits of improving energy efficiency by adopting a multi-disciplinary approach, combining methods and datasets from cutting edge research in law and economics, humanities and consumer behaviour, regulation and environmental sciences, as well as engineering.
The overall outcome is a set of policy recommendations for the EU and public/private institutions in charge of promoting energy efficiency, competitiveness and environmental and social sustainability.
Specific project objectives will be: