In the recently published report on “Efficiency First”, the European Climate Foundation asks the EU Commission to analyse Energy Efficiency from a societal perspective,
“to quantify, monetise and factor in the wider social benefits of energy efficiency”, namely to “benefits beyond direct savings to individual households. These benefits include better energy security, air quality, job creation and a reduction in CO2 emissions” and to apply lower discount rates.
This briefing explains what “Efficiency First” is and why it should underpin the Energy Union. In a nutshell, it comes down to prioritising investments in energy efficiency -– whether end-use savings or demand response – whenever they would cost less or deliver more than investing in supply or networks. Applying this logic to all energy policy decisions can strengthen Europe’s economic recovery, lower fuel imports, build competitiveness, create jobs, improve air quality and bring down the costs of the transition to a low-carbon society.