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IEA Paper Highlights Socio-Economic Benefits of Improving Energy Efficiency

IEA29 March 2012: The Energy Efficiency Unit of the International Energy Agency (IEA) has published a report titled “Spreading the Net: The Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency Improvements.” The report highlights improved health and wellbeing, social development, industrial productivity, improved asset values, and reduced environmental damage as benefits attributed to the uptake of energy efficient measures.

The report describes many of the multiple benefits of energy efficiency, such as poverty alleviation, increases in disposable income at the household level, and reduced public-related energy spending. The report recommends that energy efficiency be considered as part of mainstream economic policy and not only an energy issue.

It explains that although energy efficiency programmes are usually evaluated only on the basis of the energy savings they deliver, these benefits also provide a range of benefits not often included in the calculations of the welfare gains they provide. The report outlines reasons for this including that many of socio-economic benefits of energy efficiency improvements are intangible, and thus unquantifiable; and that evaluators and policymakers working on energy efficiency issues are usually energy professionals, with little experience of how energy efficiency affects non‐energy sectors. [Publication: Spreading the Net: The Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency Improvements]