COMBI paper: Measuring multiple impacts of low-carbon energy options in a green economy context

A COMBI paper will be published on October 1, 2016 in Applied Energy and is already published online. The article can be openly accessed via ScienceDirect until October 18, 2016:

Measuring multiple impacts of low-carbon energy options in a green economy context


  • Including co-benefits into the cost-benefit analysis of energy options is pivotal.
  • This is not done mainly due to lack of adequate methods, this paper fills this gap.
  • We identify the key challenges to integrating co-impacts into cost-benefit analysis.
  • We propose a menu of solutions to each challenge.
  • An analytical framework systematically addressing interactions among co-impacts.


The economic assessment of low-carbon energy options is the primary step towards the design of policy portfolios to foster the green energy economy. However, today these assessments often fall short of including important determinants of the overall cost-benefit balance of such options by not including indirect costs and benefits, even though these can be game-changing. This is often due to the lack of adequate methodologies.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive account of the key methodological challenges to the assessment of the multiple impacts of energy options, and an initial menu of potential solutions to address these challenges.

The paper first provides evidence for the importance of the multiple impacts of energy actions in the assessment of low-carbon options.

The paper identifies a few key challenges to the evaluation of the co-impacts of low-carbon options and demonstrates that these are more complex for co-impacts than for the direct ones. Such challenges include several layers of additionality, high context dependency, and accounting for distributional effects.

The paper continues by identifying the key challenges to the aggregation of multiple impacts including the risks of overcounting while taking into account the multitude of interactions among the various co-impacts. The paper proposes an analytical framework that can help address these and frame a systematic assessment of the multiple impacts.

Full article via ScienceDirect

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New ECF report: Looking at EE from societal perspective including wider benefits

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.


Full report:


Driving competititveness, energy security and decarbonisation through increased energy productivity


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.

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COMBI at the IEPPEC Conference in Amsterdam

From Paris to Amsterdam – The route to successful energy policies: meet COMBI at the IEPPEC Conference in Amsterdam!

The next IEPPEC Conference will be the largest gathering of energy program and policy evaluators of Europe and Asia, hosted in Amsterdam, from 7-9 June, 2016. The event under the motto “Make the Paris agreement a reality with effective evaluation for energy efficiency” aims at fostering successful carbon neutral/mitigation policies and programmes in the future.
The purpose of the conference is to provide a forum for the presentation, critique and discussion of sound evaluations, as well as for experience sharing about evaluation practices. The conference aims at gathering new ideas, inputs for current and upcoming debates, experience feedback and lessons learnt about all the stages of evaluations (preparation, realisation, analysis of results, evaluation use).
On the first day of the conference, Tuesday afternoon, 7 June from 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. in the session of „Innovations in the evaluation of multiple benefits of energy efficiency” (Moderated by Jim Scheer, SEAI) Felix Suerkemper from Wuppertal Institute will a paper submitted by COMBI partners:
Widening the Perspective: An Approach for Evaluating the Multiple Benefits of the 2030 EU Energy Efficiency Potential

The paper presents an overview of the methodologies that will be applied within COMBI for quantifying the Multiple Impacts of energy efficiency in Europe.

For a more detailed programme and other useful information please visit the website of the IEPPEC event.

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IEPPEC academy webinar on Evaluating Multiple Benefits on April 19

IEPPEC is partnering with the European Copper Institute’s Leonardo Energy Initiative to produce a series of free webinars to help accelerate the understanding and use of evaluation in meeting energy efficiency policy and programme objectives.

On April 19, 15-16h CET, Kevin Cooney (Navigant) and Anca-Diana Barbu (European Environmental Agency) will hold a webinar on

Conceptual Framework for Evaluating
Multiple Benefits from Energy Efficiency

Summary of the presentation

The International Energy Agency (IEA) launched their recent publication, “Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency,” at IEPPEC in Berlin (September 2014). Following the launch of the publication, the IEA and IEPPEC collaborated on a project to explore and address the evaluation process relating to these multiple impacts/ benefits.

This webinar will cover one focus area of that collaboration – i.e., the development of a conceptual framework aimed to provide some guidance regarding the evaluation process of these multiple benefits/impacts within the scope of an energy efficiency programme or policy.
Looking for feedback at this session:  It will also provide an overview of the draft framework as well as an early opportunity for researchers and evaluators to offer feedback prior to more in-depth panel discussion at this year’s IEPPEC 7-9 June in Amsterdam.

Information and registration for the webcast

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Report on the employment and social impacts of EE published by the EU Commission

New report by Cambridge Econometrics et al. (2015)


This study assesses the direct and indirect linkages between energy efficiency, labour markets and social welfare, at both the micro and the study macro levels, using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative approaches to carry out the analysis. The key research questions addressed in the study are:

  •  What instruments can be provided to policy makers to support assessment of the impact of energy efficiency policies on employment?
  •  What are the social impacts of energy efficiency?
  • What are the skills that are needed to implement large-scale energy efficiency programmes?

Find the full report online

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EU boiler ecodesign: Large effects on energy savings, imports and fuel poverty expected

Euractiv note:

New energy standards for home boilers entering into force this month are expected to take offline the equivalent of 47 Fukushima-type nuclear power stations in Europe by 2020, according to official EU data compiled by the European Environmental Bureau (EEB).

The stricter Ecodesign standards for home boilers – and corresponding labelling coming alongside – will enter into force on 26 September, after years of gruelling negotiation between the European Commission and industry representatives.

The Euractiv post explains, how these energy savings are related to fuel poverty and what governments need to do to rip the respective impacts, how effects on energy imports are and how this may even contribute to limit financing terrorism…

Read the Euractiv post

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COMBI presentation at Smart and Sustainable Planning for Cities and Regions Conference

COMBI researcher Nora Mzavanadze from University of Manchester will be one of the keynote speakers at the SSPCR 2015 conference in the thematic session 3 on “Benefits, costs and opportunities of urban transition” toward a more smart and sustainable dimension: accounting and assessment of values and trade-offs within the decision making processes.

Have a look at the program and find out about the conference tracks.

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New UNEP DTU partnership report on Multiple Benefits of EE

The UNEP DTU Partnership has just launched a report entitled “The Multiple Benefits of Measures to Improve Energy Efficiency”.
The report combines energy modelling with a survey of 25 national programmes, to provide an overview of the various benefits associated with improvements in energy efficiency. It is the first study providing comparable country- and sector-specific forecasts of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and macro-economic variables for most G20 countries.
The report puts forward three main conclusions:

  • The efficiency with which energy is transformed, distributed and used is likely to improve, even in the absence of targeted policies to promote energy efficiency. However, introducing such targeted policies could unlock much larger energy savings and associated benefits across economic, social and environmental agendas.
  • Monitoring the nature and extent of the benefits associated with energy efficiency programmes spurs the development of new programmes and helps improve their design. At present, most benefits, even the most politically-appealing ones, such as employment creation, are often not quantified.
  • Energy efficiency programme design should place additional emphasis on targeted information provision and capacity-building activities, as they are essential for overcoming barriers to energy efficiency. Such activities are often not prioritised and as a result lack the sufficient human and financial resources, which are indispensable to ensure that the programmes deliver their full potential.

The report is based on four technical reports, all available from UNEP DTU Partnership. Non-technical summaries of these reports are also available.

Download full report

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Two studies on Multiple Benefits: on missed benefits of countries’ national contributions and of multifamily buildings

Assessing the missed benefits of countries’ national contributions

New Climate Foundation. Study for the Climate Action Network (CAN)

This report first provides an overview of the general co-benefits that climate action may have and how they could be used to incentivise further ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions. We then provide illustrative results for the cobenefits achieved by the INDCs of the U.S., China, the EU, Canada, Japan, India, South Africa and Chile, as well as an indication of the forgone or missed benefits that could have been achieved through action that leads to 100% renewable energy in 2050.

Making all the benefits of multifamily retrofits count

Rachel Cluett, ACEEE blog post

Energy efficiency retrofits for multifamily buildings offer a host of benefits beyond energy savings to building owners and tenants. The problem is that efficiency programs that spur investment in this kind of work are not always assessed fairly. In our new report, Multiple Benefits of Multifamily Energy Efficiency for Cost-Effectiveness Screening, we describe the wide range of benefits resulting from multifamily efficiency retrofits and provide solutions for how to establish their value and include them in regulatory testing, for fairer assessment of multifamily efficiency programs by regulators. [Read full ACEEE blog post]

Full study: Multiple Benefits of Multifamily Energy Efficiency for Cost-Effectiveness Screening

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