The European Union set a target of achieving 20 percent energy savings by 2020, thereby saving consumers money, increasing the security of supply, reducing emissions, and creating jobs. The EU faces several challenges with this goal and is taking steps to meet it, including revising the 2006 Energy Services Directive. In this context, RAP is helping policymakers and stakeholders identify the mechanisms, programmes, and sources of funding needed to realize deep, cost-effective energy savings.
RAP made significant contributions through the Energy Savings 2020 study, which found that the EU will need to triple its efforts to meet the 2020 goal. This is achievable and would save EU’s energy consumers up to €78 billion ($100 billion) annually. RAP also demonstrated that energy efficiency policies can help meet carbon reduction goals at lower cost, creating space to tighten carbon caps and reduce the cost of protecting high-emitting industries and new Member States. In Prices and Policies: Carbon Caps and Efficiency Programmes for Europe’s Low-Carbon Future, RAP argues for energy efficiency as an essential component of a combined strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest social cost.
A crucial element in tapping Europe’s efficiency potential lies in ensuring that deep and broad efficiency savings are tapped from the existing building stock, which currently account for 40 percent of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. RAP’s Residential Efficiency Retrofits: A Roadmap for the Future outlines a series of strategies designed to maximize savings efficiencies from home retrofits.
Importantly, RAP helps policymakers tap the full potential of energy savings obligations to fill the critical efficiency “policy gap” in Europe. Rethinking and Reframing Energy Savings Obligations outlines the policy context, the myths and facts about energy savings obligations, and the lessons learned from international experience in designing them.
RAP also assists Member States and the European Commission in addressing the key questions they face as they apply the Energy Efficiency Obligation provisions of the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and take other steps to scale up energy efficiency. Examples include:
- Implementing Energy Efficiency Obligations – What Does Article 7 Require and How Are Savings Measured? and related workshops with stakeholders and decision makers set out how energy savings should be credited to the EED targets, clarifies flexibility provisions, and early action credit provisions, among others. RAP also authored the Energy Efficiency Obligation chapter in The Guidebook for Strong Implementation produced by the Coalition for Energy Savings, in order to help Member States and stakeholders implement the EED.
- Partnering with the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, RAP developed a best practices guide to Determining Energy Savings for Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes to help ensure that the EED is implemented in a transparent, consistent, and coherent manner when it comes to evaluating the energy savings from such obligations.
- Representatives of the Parliament, Energy Regulatory Office, Ministry of Economy, and Polish Power Exchange participated in a RAP-organized workshop on European Experience with Energy Efficiency Obligations (EEOs) in Warsaw, Poland. Mr. Andrzej Czerwinski, head of the parliamentary subcommittee on energy and Mr. Marek Woszczyk, the President of the Energy Regulatory Office jointly hosted the workshop, which included representatives of the Italian, Portuguese, and UK energy efficiency obligation schemes.
- RAP provided in-depth support to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) on design elements for a large-scale retrofits programme, helping the SEAI design policies that moderate the high cost of existing fuel subsidies and reviewing the effectiveness of Ireland’s building codes. Drawing on US lessons and problems encountered in the UK during their transition to a Green Deal financing program, RAP is also advising on development of the Irish “PAYS” initiative to finance investments in efficiency.
- As Germany grapples with how to meet its aggressive Energiewende targets for end-use efficiency, RAP’s Berlin office communicates in German the global experience with energy efficiency obligations and how they can be effectively tailored to Germany’s policy, regulatory, and institutional context. The Positive Effects of Energy Efficiency on the German Electricity Sector quantifies the system and overall economic benefits of energy efficiency.
- An alternative approach to scaling energy efficiency, the so-called “Energy Efficiency Feed-In Tariff” (FiT) offers the potential to create new markets and enable new market entrants to uncover and deliver energy efficiency resources. RAP’s Can Competition Accelerate Energy Savings? Options And Challenges For Efficiency Feed-In Tariffs frames the design and implementation issues for consideration in adopting this model. This concept is being considered within the UK government as a possible complement to its electricity market reforms, and RAP met with the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change and various efficiency trade associations to discuss efficiency FiT design considerations that would be critical to its success.