Energy Efficiency

Original energy efficiency efforts in many countries date back to the 1970’s as a reaction to increasing energy prices, resulting in well established institutional settings and continuous lines of development, such as industrial norms, regulatory policies and technology development. The driving forces for energy efficiency were mostly not climate-oriented, but include energy security, support for local industries, technology leadership etc.  Accordingly, they are not part of consistent policy packages but cover isolated issues. Additionally, the level of ambition is rather low because a greater effort on energy efficiency is regarded politically as harmful to business.

Policy on energy efficiency is still a long way from a symbiosis of economic and environmental interest as it drives renewable energy development. In energy supply, common business models work in a way that higher consumption equals higher profits. Saving energy and therefore reducing cost is a welcomed co-benefit for users of energy alone but is mostly not pursued actively. Due to the more complex market structure of energy efficiency, it is more challenging to address with effective policies.