The missing “WHY” for energy efficiency

Recent survey collects insights from over 1,200 European experts


Publication date

May 7, 2021

The Energy Efficiency Watch project presented 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 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.

Progress is slow – strong narratives are needed

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 for this process on EU level and in each country.

We need to show economic benefits of energy efficiecy interventions

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.

Read more in the official press release

Including local authorities in the discussion

Energy Cities has been engaged to present and discuss these survey results with its members. We held 4 national workshops, 3 national webinars and 2 European webinars addressing the Covenant of Mayors signatories and Energy Cities’ members. Thanks to these events, we collected inputs on the narratives while providing municipalities with information on key themes, such as financing opportunities and the renovation wave.

Four additional national workshops are in the pipeline, to discuss these narratives and inform on sustainable financing for the energy transition. Two of those will take place in May:

  • On 7th May in Czech Republic, together with SEMMO, the Czech Association of Local Energy Managers;
  • On 19th May in Bulgaria, in partnership with the government association EcoEnergy.