In the Energy Union Strategy, Energy Efficiency was recognised as a resource in its own right, which should be enabled to compete on equal terms with generation capacity and to have primary consideration across all policies. However, two additional aspects need to be taken into consideration in order to create effective future policy scenarios and allow for financial and political decision making, while prices of fossil fuels remain relatively low:
- the real value beyond the fuel's cost and the (energy and non-energy) impacts of energy efficiency;
- psychological and contextual features (such as consumers’ behavioural biases, superfluous complexity of alternative options or external barriers to energy efficiency) which can negatively impact the quality of consumers’ decision-making.
Actions should test energy efficiency behavioural change interventions through field trials informed by behavioural science. These trials should be aimed at selecting effective approaches to deliver the largest impact and should be targeted to specific energy behaviours. Research may involve a mix of methodologies including different qualitative and quantitative research methods (e.g. RCTs, A/B testing, before-and-after trials, observation, focus groups, surveys, exploitation of existing datasets, quasi-experiments, etc.).
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