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Policy packaging or policy patching? The development of complex energy efficiency policy mixes

Journal Article

The ambition of energy policy has long been to reduce carbon emissions, secure energy supply and provide affordable energy services. In recent years an increasing number of policy instruments have been introduced to promote energy efficiency in different sectors across the EU. While previous research has largely analysed the effectiveness of individual policy instruments and their impact on the diffusion of particular energy efficient technologies or practices, our analysis takes a broader view and examines the mix of existing policies aimed at stimulating reductions in energy use. The empirical focus of the paper is on policy goals and instruments aimed at stimulating energy efficiency in buildings in Finland and the United Kingdom (UK). We trace the development of the policy mixes during 2000–2014 and analyse their emerging overall characteristics. The analysis is based on a mapping of policy goals and instruments, documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews with stakeholders. We find that both countries have increasingly complex policy mixes, encompassing a variety of goals and instruments and make use of a range of different instrument types to encourage users to reduce their energy consumption. Despite the shared EU influence, the way in which the policy mixes have evolved in both countries were found to be quite different.

Read more about our project ‘Policy synergies and trade offs for low energy innovation‘.