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Content archived on 2024-05-07

Effective policy instruments for energy efficiency in residential space heating-an international empirical analysis


The existing policy instruments have been analysed in the participating countries and some other EU-countries. The national results of these task have led to an international comparison of policy instruments directed at the energy consumption for residential space heating. A techno-economic model has been developed for the empirical analysis in the next step. Using this model national empirical analyses of the existing instruments have been made, which have been summarised and compared in an international comparison of the empirical results. Additionally the empirical results have been compared with the results of a technical building simulation model. Based on the empirical results recommendations for existing and future policy instruments have been formulated.
Energy consumption for space heating accounts in northern and moderate climatic zones for the major share of residential energy consumption. As large saving and emission abatement potentials have been identified the member states of the European Union have implemented a broad variety of policy instruments - standards, taxes, subsidies - aiming at the realisation of these potentials. Further tightening of these instruments seems however required to achieve CO2 emission stabilisation. Yet given other policy goals such as competitivity and stimulation of innovations new regulations are, if at all, only acceptable, if they are as effective as possible.
Given these policy objectives an international comparison of the effectiveness of existing instruments is necessary based on empirical investigations. This has to be done on behalf of sample surveys to account not solely for theoretical considerations - stemming from economic analysis and technical simulation models - but also for practical aspects such as information problems or incomplete application.
Thus the proposed research aims to tackle the issue of effectiveness of policy instruments in the field of space heating by a three-step-approach:
1. a detailed analysis of existing instruments for the countries involved in the project(Germany, France, Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden), including the mode of operation of the instruments and their application context
2. an empirical investigation of factors influencing heating energy efficiency and effects of the existing instruments based on a large sample
3. Recommendations for further regulations drawn from the theoretical and empirical analysis of existing instruments
The recommendations obtained as final result of the research should provide an important input to policy formulation in the European Union, especially at the European level but also for national, regional and locall authorities that stipulate standards, enact taxes or giye any kind of financial support to the owners or tenants of buildings.

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