Published Monday, 14 October 2013

Costs and benefits of energy savings 

The untapped economic potential for energy savings in the EU is huge. Its relevance for a transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon and climate-resilient economy is undisputed. Despite progress in recent years, including the adoption of the Energy Efficiency Directive in 2012, it is expected that the indicative 2020 EU target of 20% energy consumption reduction, compared to business as usual, will not be reached. Greater policy effort is required at EU, national and regional level to exploit this potential. At the same time, concerns about the costs of further binding policy action on energy efficiency and savings resurface in policy debates.

IEEP has therefore reviewed existing studies on the costs and benefits of energy savings with a particular focus on the impacts on competitiveness. The report presents ex post evaluations of energy efficiency programmes from different European countries including Germany, Switzerland, Ireland and the Scandinavian countries to strengthen the empirical evidence in support of a more ambitious energy efficiency policies contributing to jobs and growth. This report forms part of IEEP’s support to the Coalition for Energy Savings in its positioning in the debate on the EU 2030 climate and energy policy framework.