The missing “WHY” for energy efficiency

The Energy Efficiency Watch presents the results of its new survey, bringing together the insights of over 1,200 experts on the progress in energy efficiency policies and key factors for narrative development in all EU Member States.

The missing “WHY” for energy efficiency

As the energy efficiency community is looking towards June, when the European Commission is expected to publish its proposal of revisions to the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) to implement the ambition of the new 2030 climate target, the Energy Efficiency Watch (EEW), an EU-funded project, publishes the results of its new EU-wide experts survey “The missing “WHY” for energy efficiency“.

The survey results compile the opinions and insights of 1,270 energy efficiency experts in all Member States and provide valuable information that can help put the EU on the path to climate neutrality.

The survey presents how energy experts see the “real-life” progress of energy efficiency policies in their own country. It
was also designed to contribute to a deeper understanding of what constitutes a successful narrative for energy efficiency and the current positioning of energy efficiency in the public debate.

The study establishes that the perceived energy efficiency progress remains too slow across the EU27 and new dynamics are lacking. Policy ambition seems more strongly maintained, despite political changes, in the countries or regions where a consensus has been reached on “WHY” it should be done. This emphasises how effective and strong narratives are needed to drive the energy transition and achieve Europe’s climate neutrality goal. The survey results provide interesting new insights into this process on the EU level and in each country.

Christiane Egger, Deputy Manager of the OÖ Energiesparverband (ESV) and main author of the study, commented: “Across all Member States, the survey results show that more attention needs to be paid to the positive economic impacts of energy efficiency on jobs, industry and competitiveness to gain the buy-in and participation of influential stakeholder groups.” A key finding of the study is that we need to strengthen the link between economic elements and energy efficiency in the public debate and require better data showing these benefits beyond climate protection and cost savings.

Egger added: “The EU Recovery Plan and the debate around the revision of the EED present a unique opportunity to reposition energy efficiency as a key recovery strategy and economic driver. We therefore urgently need compelling narratives that can help shape the debate on energy efficiency on the local, regional and national levels, and create new dynamics for successful implementation of energy efficiency policies in the Member States.”

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