KEY MESSAGES FOR POLICY MAKERS
- On the meso-level (i.e. the level of bottom-up energy system models), the results suggest that taking into account specific factors impacting on the Implicit Discount Rates leads to the realization of additional economic energy saving potentials in the New Actor-Related Scenario NAMS. This scenario integrates findings from the micro-level analysis and assumes that policy measures are applied that affect the discount rates and decision behaviour of low-income households.
- Compared to the Intensified Measures Scenario IMS (which assumes that existing measures are intensified but no actor-specific measures are applied), this presents a further improvement both with respect to energy efficiency and the penetration of renewable options in the building sector.
- In combination, the difference between the two scenarios is largest when expressed in avoided CO2
- The difference arising from the New Actor-Related Scenario NAMS is smaller for appliances covered by eco-design standards than for buildings, as the transitions to higher efficient appliances is strongly driven by minimum energy efficiency standards and, hence, the effect of discount rates in decision-making is limited.
- Multiple-benefits are important: Policies that underline the improved comfort after a building upgrade can be a strong driver towards increasing the energy performance of the building stock.
- On top of intensified energy savings policy measures, lowering household-specific barriers to invest into renewable energy technologies can significantly increase the share of renewable energy in the building stock. The simulations indicate that lowering the discounts rates of low income households would support the uptake of those technologies.
- The results also suggest that additional monetary policy measures like subsidies can further reduce final energy demand and stimulate investments in energy efficiency significantly. However, this would have to carried out with care: a programme subsidizing the purchase of very efficient white goods appliances for low-income households in all EU member states would only lead to minor savings in the projected energy demand.
- The technical performance of the product or installation is crucial. Besides light bulbs, participants rated performance criteria as the most important criteria in almost all countries. It is, however, important not to “oversell” these technologies (e.g. heat pumps in Italy/Austria during the 80ies, early CFC’s). If the technologies are not able to fulfill the expectations of investors the technologies might run into the risk of being generally perceived as
- unreliable.Environmental criteria play a significant role in the decision process. Thus, by addressing the environmental benefits of energy efficiency technologies, the share of the population with a high(er) environmental identity can be influenced.
Further reading from the library
- BRISKEE draft policy recommendations (micro- and meso level). See report.