Taxes, loans and grants, trading schemes and white certificates, public procurement and investment in R&D or infrastructure: known collectively as "economic instruments", these tools can be powerful means of mobilising the finances needed to achieve policy goals by implementing energy efficiency measures. The role of economic instruments is to kick-start the private financial markets and to motivate private investors to fund EE measures. They should reinforce and promote energy performance regulations.
This IEA analysis addresses the fact that, to date, relatively little effort has been directed toward evaluating how well economic instruments work. Using the buildings sector to illustrate how such measures can support energy efficiency, this paper can help policy makers better select and design economic instruments appropriate to their policy objectives and national contexts.
This report’s three main aims are to:
- Examine how economic instruments are currently used in energy efficiency policy
- Consider how economic instruments can be more effective and efficient in supporting low-energy buildings and
- Assess how economic instruments should be funded, where public outlay is needed
Detailed case studies in this report assess examples of economic instruments for energy efficiency in the buildings sector in Canada (grants), France (tax relief and loans), Germany (loans and grants), Ireland (grants) and Italy (white certificates and tax relief).