How Narratives can improve Energy Efficiency and Security in Europe

After analysing the insights of over 1,200 experts on the progress in energy efficiency policies as well as trending narratives across Europe, the EEW4 project brings you its final results.

Over the last 15 years, the importance of energy efficiency in European policy has steadily increased. The adoption of the “Energy Efficiency First” principle and the Green Deal brought a new policy era, also for energy efficiency. Since 2006, Energy Efficiency Watch (EEW) projects have accompanied this policy development and implementation process. The EEW creates feedback loops on the implementation of European and national energy efficiency policies and thus enables mutual learning on effective policy making across the EU.

Additionally, the Energy Efficiency Watch 4 project (EEW4) introduced a new element – a focus on narrative development and implementation. A key finding of the EEW3 was that the levels of policy ambition strongly depend on the existence of underlying national or regional narratives about the multiple benefits of energy efficiency. Where these are accepted and shared by policy makers, key stakeholders and parts of the population, energy efficiency has become an integral part of economic and social policy – instead of “just” a climate policy. If such narratives do not exist, energy efficiency is neglected or controversially debated, leading to a lack of ambition or frequent policy changes (“ups-and-downs”). Effective and strong narratives are therefore needed to further drive the energy transition on Europe’s pathway to climate neutrality.

EEW4 is extremely significant as it identifies narratives for energy efficiency that resonate in different national or regional contexts by linking the debate to recognised benefits that, beyond energy and costs savings, include aspects such as technological innovation, entrepreneurial competitiveness, job creation, better quality of life and increased resilience against geo-political price shocks – in essence a comprehensive understanding of its contribution to public welfare and overarching economic relevance.

The project outcomes help improve the level of communication on energy efficiency. It offers supporting tools for policy makers. And in my case, it helps to accompany the drafting process of the recast of the EED and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

Nils Fuglsang, Member of the European Parliament and EUFORES Vice-President

The Energy Efficiency Watch 4 project focused therefore on analysing how enabling narratives for the energy transition emerge, what makes them tick and how can we develop and roll them out.

  • Learn HERE the main conclusions from the project

The EEW4 project is funded by the H2020 programme and coordinated by Eufores. It runs from June 2019 to May 2022. Further information:

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