Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency
By Charles Michaelis
Energy Evaluation has worked with the International Energy Agency since 2014 to support their work to raise awareness of the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency (MBEE). Policy makers need good evaluation evidence of the MBEE to enable them to make better decisions the energy evaluation community has helped to bring together evidence at several of our conferences and by participating in IEA workshops. The most recent IEA workshop was held in March 2018; over 70 participants attended the workshop throughout the course of three days, from government, academia and the private sector. Key findings included:
- The geographical coverage of the evidence base is limited. More work is needed to increase the evidence for how energy efficiency achieves multiple benefits in emerging economies and developing countries.
- Policy makers’ needs are diverse and have different priorities in different contexts. That said, certain benefits of energy efficiency are emerging as priorities around the world, particularly health and wellbeing and macroeconomic benefits.
- The multiple benefits framework is a powerful communications tool, which can be useful for crafting compelling stories about energy efficiency. The communicative power of the multiple benefits framework is crucial to convince decision makers of the need for stronger action on energy efficiency.
- There is a need to engage meaningfully with other communities outside of the energy efficiency community. Building a consensus on the need for energy efficiency means overcoming fragmented institutions, both within governments and more broadly. Further work is needed to ensure that proponents of energy efficiency are “speaking the same language” as the communities they are trying to influence.
- The IEA’s MBEE handbook and interactive tool https://www.iea.org/topics/energyefficiency/benefits/
- The COMBI project (https://combi-project.eu/) quantifies the multiple impacts of energy efficiency focusing on an European audience
- The US Environmental Protection Agency has produced a guide to quantifying the multiple benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy https://www.epa.gov/statelocalenergy/quantifying-multiple-benefits-energy-efficiency-and-renewable-energy-guide-state this is focused on State and Local governments in the US.