From Theory Based Policy Evaluation to SMART Policy Design

20 case studies to deliver more effective energy efficiency policies

Published: 01/08/2007

To realise effective energy efficiency policies, there is a demand for a systematic evaluation of such policies. Theory-based policy evaluation is a standard method in policy analysis. A model is formulated that describes the mechanisms through which the policy makers think the policy will work. This model is then systematically tested with help of quantitative indicators.

This approach was applied to 20 energy efficiency policies across different sectors and different countries. Policies were found to have an effectiveness ranging from 0.02 – 0.5% additional energy saving per year. Theory-based evaluation demonstrated to be a valuable evaluation method, which provides results that previous evaluation methods have not captured. However, evaluators encountered several problems, the most important one being the lack of adequate monitoring data. It was also shown that policy-based evaluation can be used for the design of effective policies. The method forces policy makers to systematically analyse the effectiveness of intended policies.

The project “Active Implementation of the European Directive on Energy Efficiency” (AID-EE) was coordinated by Ecofys and carried out together with Lund University, the Politecnico di Milano and the Wuppertal Institute. The work was supported by the European Commission in the framework of the programme Intelligent Energy for Europe.

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