Evaluating the co-benefits of low-income energy-efficiency programmes
The International Energy Agency’s Energy Efficiency Unit (EEU) has begun a new programme of work on innovative energy-efficiency policies for mitigating fuel poverty. The IEAs current research focuses on the potential for low-income weatherisation programmes to address poor housing quality – the main driver of fuel poverty - as well as innovative methods for financing and evaluating such programmes.
A common problem is that the energy-saving benefits accruing to fuel-poor households barely offset the investment required, suggesting a weak return on government spending. However, these investments have additional co-benefits for participants as well as for energy providers, property owners, local communities and society as a whole. This first IEA workshop focused on methods for incorporating the range of co-benefits into evaluation of low-income weatherisation programmes. The presentations given by top experts in the fuel poverty field are summarised in this report, along with conclusions and proposals for further research.