The Policies and Measures database can be searched according to the following six criteria:
Country: The sovereign state that promulgated the policy or measure.
Jurisdiction: The level of government at which the policy was formulated or applies. The available categories are: local, state/regional, national and supranational.
Year: The year in which the policy became effective.
Policy Status: The current implementation status of the policy. The available categories are: planned, in force, ended and superseded (where an ended policy has been directly replaced by another). Note that policies with planned status are rarely included in this these databases.
Key Word Search: Terms typed into this field will be searched for across the title of all database records.
Policy Type: The particular kind of policy instrument planned or implemented.
- Information and education: Policies and measures designed to increase knowledge, awareness and training among relevant stakeholders or the general public. This can include general information campaigns, targeted training programmes for professionals and labelling schemes that provide the purchaser with information on a product’s energy usage or emissions performance.
- Economic instruments: Policies and measures that stimulate certain activities, behaviours or investments using financial supports and price signals to influence the market. These include fiscal and financial policy instruments such as taxes, tax relief, grants or subsidies, feed-in tariffs for renewable energy, and loans for the purchase or installation of certain goods and services. They also include direct public funding and procurement rules, and market mechanisms such as tradable permits.
- Policy development and reform: Refers to steps in the ongoing process of developing, supporting and implementing policies. This includes strategic plans that guide policy development and the creation of specific bodies to support policy
- Research, Development &Deployment (RD&D): Policies and measures aimed at supporting technological advancement, through direct government investment, or facilitation of investment, in technology research, development, demonstration and deployment activities.
- Regulatory instruments: Covers a wide range of instruments with which a government imposes targets, obligations and standards on actors requiring them to undertake specific measures and/or report on specific information. Examples include energy performance standards for appliances, equipment, and buildings; requirement for companies to manage energy consumption, produce or purchase a certain amount of renewable energy or deliver energy efficiency to customers; mandatory energy audits of industrial facilities; requirements to monitor and report on greenhouse gas emissions or energy use.
- Voluntary approaches: Refers to measures that are undertaken voluntarily either by public agencies or by the private sector unilaterally, or by the two in a negotiated agreement. Unilateral commitments are when entities set themselves environmental targets and communicate successful compliance to their stakeholders. Public voluntary schemes invite companies to meet specified environmental targets established by public authorities. Negotiated agreements set environmental targets agreed between a government and a private sector entity, and may require reporting information on energy use to the government, being subject to audits, and undertaking measures to reduce energy use.
Policy/Technology Target: The particular sector or focus of the policy instrument. These will vary for the three databases, being more specific in the renewable energy and energy efficiency databases.
- Climate change policy targets: the primary sectoral categories are Buildings, Appliances, Transport, Industry and Energy production (including renewable energy). Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is also included and relates to initiatives in industry or power.
- Energy efficiency policy targets: are divided on a sectoral basis and with reference to the IEA’s 25 Energy Efficiency Policy Recommendations, into Buildings, Residential appliances, Commercial equipment, Lighting, Transport, Industry and Energy Utilities.
- Renewable energy targets: are divided on the basis of technology into Bioenergy, Geothermal, Hydropower, Multiple renewable energy sources, Ocean, Solar and Wind.
- NB. Multi-sectoral policies are those which target several sectors at once, for example a programme to reduce household energy consumption could target buildings, appliances and small-scale renewable energy production. Framework policies are those which set out broad-ranging strategic plans and form the basis for more specific measures.