energy Russia energy china flag

ETI banner Energy technology initiatives

There are no quick fixes to long-term energy challenges. To find solutions, governments and industry benefit from sharing resources and accelerating results. For this reason the IEA enables independent groups of experts - the Energy Technology Initiatives, or ETIs1.

Demand-Side Management

Experiences in 19 jurisdictions were analysed, including this cost comparison of policy instruments in Denmark.*

Saving money and emissions

Policy context
Energy efficiency offers near-term solutions to the issues of energy security and climate change. Energy efficiency improvements have a significant impact on system performance, the environment and employment. Demand-side management is one way to achieve large-scale energy efficiency improvements through targeted policies, managing electricity demand and market transformation.

The ETI focusing on efficiency in electricity demand (DSM) focuses on electricity load shaping and load levelling, as well as cross-cutting issues such as resource planning, the role of municipalities, market transformation and technology procurement. There are 15 Contracting Parties, including India, and two Sponsors. 

There are many types of policy instruments for achieving energy efficiency savings. Energy efficiency obligations (EEO)1 require parties to meet quantitative energy savings targets by delivering or procuring eligible energy savings.

The final report from the recent DSM study, Best Practices in Designing and Implementing Energy Efficiency Obligations Schemes, examines experiences with energy efficiency obligation schemes in 19 jurisdictions in 11 countries within Asia, Europe and North America.

Experiences in individual jurisdictions were examined across 15 design parameters: policy objectives; legal authority; fuel coverage; sector and facility coverage; energy savings targets; sub-targets and portfolio requirements; compliance regimes; penalties; performance incentives; eligible energy savings; eligible energy efficiency measures; measurement, verification and reporting; trading of energy savings; and funding.

The study identified three broad types of energy efficiency obligation schemes for achieving quantitative energy savings targets:  those established relatively independently (often with their own enabling legislation); those that were integrated components of resource planning and acquisition by the obligated energy provider; and those established principally by governments as integral components of government policies.

Each of the three types of schemes is the product of quite different ways of thinking about how to use energy providers to deliver energy efficiency. For the first time, information about the three different types of schemes has been systematically classified into categories that apply to all the schemes. 

Through a comparative analysis of this information, the report identifies best practices in designing and implementing an EEO scheme.  Adopting these best practices when designing new schemes (or when updating existing schemes) should deliver cost‑effective energy efficiency schemes.

1. Also referred to as energy efficiency portfolio standards, energy efficiency resource standards, energy efficiency commitments or energy supplier obligations. 

*Data courtesy of the Danish Energy Agency. 

Current projects

  • Behaviour change in demand-side management: from theory to policies and practice
  • Branding of energy efficiency
  • Competitive energy services
  • Integration of demand-side management, energy efficiency, distributed generation and renewable energy sources
  • Standardising energy savings calculations
  • The role of customers in delivering effective smart grids

For more information:


1.Information or material of the IEA Energy Technology Initiatives, or ETIs (formally organised under the auspices of an Implementing Agreement), including information or material published on this website, does not necessarily represent the views or policies of the IEA Secretariat or of the IEA’s individual Member countries. The IEA does not make any representation or warranty (express or implied) in respect of such information (including as to its completeness, accuracy or non-infringement) and shall not be held liable for any use of, or reliance on, such information.