Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Non-price policy instruments for energy conservation

The study provides an ex-post evaluation of different policy instruments for energy conservation. Using a number of European Union (EU) countries as case studies, the private and social benefits and costs of policy instruments were assessed and the lessons for instrument design identified. The primary focus was on the analysis of the experience gained by Member State(s) in the use of a particular policy instrument for energy conservation.

The great benefit of the study's methodological approach was that it investigated real, as opposed to hypothetical, experiences. The study can therefore provide insights for policy-makers and lessons for the future. Another benefit is that it was possible to add to the modelling, or into the studies additional information about transaction costs. The weakness of this approach, though, was that policy is always initiated and implemented during a period when other factors change. Consequently, one of those factors is performance: energy prices, the implementation of other policy instruments, expectations about the future, the competence of the implementation process, rising or falling energy disposable income, are examples of such factors. The study generated insights and guidelines for those in the policy process as to what the strengths and weaknesses of various energy conservation instruments are in different situations, and can provide lessons for the design and implementation of policy in the future. It also strengthened the quality of the models and the studies developed by the JOULE programme.

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