Benefits of Energy Efficiency
The term "multiple benefits" aims to capture a reality that is often overlooked: investment in energy efficiency can provide many different benefits to many different stakeholders. In other literature, the multiple benefits of energy efficiency have been variously labelled "co-benefits", "ancillary benefits" and "non-energy benefits" – terms often used interchangeably with “multiple benefits”. The IEA uses the term multiple benefits, which is broad enough to reflect the heterogeneous nature of outcomes of energy efficiency improvements and to avoid pre-emptive prioritisation of various benefits; different benefits will be of interest to different stakeholders.
The IEA's Efficiency Exchange Platform contains up-to-date information on the multiple benefits, including reports and case studies.
Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency
Published: 11 October 2015
The IEA study of the multiple benefits of energy efficiency seeks to expand the perspective of energy efficiency beyond the traditional measures of reduced energy demand and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by identifying and measuring its impacts across many different spheres. By revealing the potential of energy efficiency to support economic growth, enhance social development, advance environmental sustainability, ensure energy-system security and help build prosperity, this work repositions energy efficiency as a mainstream tool for economic and social development.
Early investigations of these multiple benefits suggest that they are significant, however they are left out of most policy and programme evaluations for various reasons, including lack of relevant data and evaluation methods, estimation challenges and perceived credibility risk.
A multiple-benefits perspective helps to understand the impacts, as well as the sources and causes, of an observed rebound effect and accordingly to manage better any trade-offs that might take place.
This publication was supported by a two-year research programme including broad consultation with a range of international experts who make up the Multiple Benefits Network and a series of expert roundtable discussions on several key benefits areas in order to share experience, discuss issues and challenges, and assemble good practice policy and evaluation approaches.
2014 Press release: Energy efficiency: a key tool for boosting economic and social development
2012 Insights paper: Spreading the Net: The multiple benefits of energy efficiency improvements
2013 Roundtable Report: Roundtable on the Health & Well-being Impacts of Energy Efficiency Improvements
2011 Workshop Report: Evaluating the co-benefits of low-income energy-efficiency programmes
For more information or to join the Multiple Benefits Network, contact Samuel.Thomas@iea.org
Our work on Energy efficiency
Global Trends in Energy Efficiency
Released October 2017
The annual Energy Efficiency Market Report tracks the core indicators of energy efficiency, providing insights on the latest trends, drivers and market prospects
Energy Efficiency in Emerging Economies
The IEA is supporting the scale-up of energy efficiency activities that generate economy-wide benefits in major emerging economies
Benefits of Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency is often defined as achieving the same services with less energy. This definition grossly understates the power of energy efficiency to provide benefits beyond energy savings for society and for the economy
Energy Efficiency Statistics
Good data is an essential component of effective policy making on energy efficiency. Access our global datasets, indicators and training manuals here
Best Practice in Energy Efficiency Policy
From a choice of policy instruments to optimal design and implementation, countries can learn from a wealth of global expertise
Future Scenarios for Energy Efficiency
Access our latest modelling and analysis to gain insight into potential future scenarios for energy efficiency globally
Market Report Series: Energy Efficiency 2017
Global tracker examining the trends, indicators, impacts and drivers
Market-Based Instruments for Energy Efficiency
Market-based instruments offer the potential for policy makers to access more cost-effective efficiency gains
India's Ujala Story - Energy Efficient Prosperity
Case study of the Indian Government’s domestic efficient lighting programme
- Commentary: Unlocking energy savings from buildings
11 December 2017
- The IEA Energy Efficiency Indicators Database
5 December 2017
- Energy Efficiency Training Week for Latin America begins in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
27 November 2017
Events & workshops
IEA Workshop on Energy Management Systems and Digital Technologies for Industrial Energy Efficiency and Productivity
OECD (Boulogne), 46 Quai Le Gallo, 92100, Room BB1
Identifying Technology Innovation Needs and Opportunities Under Mission Innovation Challenge n°2: Off-grid Access to Electricity
OECD Conference Centre, 2 rue André Pascal, 75016 Paris, France