Workshop — Copenhagen, Denmark

Roundtable on the Health & Well-being Impacts of Energy Efficiency Improvements


‌This workshop is the second in a series of five focused roundtable discussions which support the latest phase of the IEA study on Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency – a study which seeks to broaden the discussion of energy efficiency policy as part of wider economic and socioeconomic strategy. The IEA Energy Efficiency Unit began this study by considering the many impacts delivered by energy efficiency, identifying 15 key benefits frequently cited in studies, which merit further investigation. An Insights Paper published in May 2012 provides a preliminary assessment of this topic and these benefits.

The Energy Efficiency Unit has started in-depth study of five selected benefit areas:

- macro-economic benefits and jobs
- health and well-being
- industrial productivity and competitiveness
- energy provider and consumer benefits and
- public budget impacts

A series of expert round-table discussions focusing on each benefit category is guiding this work, in order to share experience, discuss issues and challenges, and identify and assemble good practice approaches for each benefit category. The first in the series, the Roundtable on the Macroeconomic and Employment Impacts of Energy Efficiency, was held on 24 January.

The second, the Roundtable on the Health and Well-being Impacts of Energy Efficiency Policy will feature sessions focused on the relationship between energy efficiency improvements and indoor air quality, special issues related to vulnerable groups, and unravelling the harder-to-measure impacts on mental health and wellbeing as well as downstream social impacts. We will also discuss methodological issues and practical aspects of using health results for policy assessment and design. This roundtable of prominent health experts will help us to collate the latest insights on this subject, to feed into the ultimate output of this work stream – a handbook for policy makers on incorporating the multiple benefits of energy efficiency into policy decision-making. 

This event is by invitation only.  Useful information for participants below.   For further information please contact Audrey Glynn (



DAY 1 – APRIL 18, 2013

Session 1.  Introduction: Health and well-being impacts of energy efficiency improvements

Energy inefficiency as a medical issue: the range of measurable health impacts, Dr. Veronique Ezratty, Service des Etudes Médicales, EDF

Energy is a health issue: The WHO approach to evaluating health benefits of a green economy., Carlos Dora, Co-ordinator, Public Health and the Environment, World Health Organization

Capturing the health benefits of energy efficiency programmes in New Zealand – a success story, Philippa Howden-Chapman, He Kainga Oranga/Housing and Health Research Programme, University of Otago, New Zealand
Keeping the benefits while reducing risks – integrating health safeguards and energy upgrades , Ellen Tohn, Tohn Environmental Strategies, Massachusetts, USA

Session 2.  Understanding the impacts of energy efficiency on the indoor environment:

The health impact of poor indoor air quality & the need for holistic energy efficiency policy, Matti Jantunen, National Institute of Health and Welfare, Finland
The “Healthy Retrofits” project - avoiding children’s health risks during energy retrofits & home renovations in Ontario, Canada, Kathleen Cooper, Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA)
Mitigating the air quality impacts of school and office building renovations,  Eva Csobod, Regional Environmental Center (REC), Hungary
The need for a framework and tools for aligning EU polices related to indoor environment and energy efficiencyStylianos Kephalopoulos, European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre (JRC)
A policy directed framework for moving from unintended consequences to intended co-benefits, Alex Macmillan, Senior Research Associate, University College of London (UCL)

Session 3. Maximizing the benefits of energy efficiency by focusing on vulnerable groups:

Capturing the significant health benefits of energy efficiency programmes for at-risk populations, Brenda Boardman, Emeritus Fellow, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, UK
Identifying fuel poor households to maximize the benefits of energy efficiency interventions, Ute Dubois, ISG Business School, Paris, France
Estimating the health and well-being impacts of US low-income energy efficiency programmes, Bruce Tonn, Three3
Warmer, Healthier Homes; Liverpool's Healthy Homes Programme Ian Watson, Programme Coordinator (Healthy Homes), Liverpool City Council, UK
Health Impacts of economic recession - implications for addressing energy poverty, Helen McAvoy, Senior Policy Officer, Institute of Public Health, Ireland (PHI)

DAY TWO – 19 APRIL 2013

Session 4.  Mental health, well being and social impacts of energy efficiency policy:

Tackling Fuel Poverty: Mental health impacts and why these exist,  Christine Liddell, Professor of Psychology & Distinguished Community Fellow, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland
Psychosocial routes from housing investment to health: Evidence from England’s home energy efficiency scheme, Jan Gilbertson, Centre for Regional, Social and Economic Research & Prof. Geoff Green, Centre for Health & Social Care Research, Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Coping strategies: behavioural responses to fuel poverty and energy inefficiency, Karl-Michael Brunner, Institute for Sociology and Social Research, Vienna University of Economics and Business
The residential psychosocial environment, housing improvements and mental wellbeing  findings from the GoWell Programme, Prof. Ade Kearns, Professor of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow, Scotland
The impact of noise and energy conservation solutions in houses, Martin van den Berg, WHO Technical Advisor, EEA Expert Panel on Noise

Session 5. Incorporating health impacts into assessment of energy efficiency policies and programmes:

Estimating the health benefits of home energy efficiency interventions in England, Mark Ewins, UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)
The New Zealand Example: capturing health benefits for NZ’s vulnerable populations, Christine Patterson, Senior Advisor, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority of New Zealand (EECA)
Implementation of the Polish energy efficiency policy in housing sector and related health and well-being benefits and threats, Roman Babut, Advisor for International Affairs, Polish National Energy Conservation Agency (KAPE)
Considering health benefits in Irish energy efficiency policy formulation, Jim Scheer, Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI)