The topic of multiple benefits in energy efficiency has been explored in different contexts over the past years and is slowly gaining momentum. The European Commission’s final report on Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency Investments for Financial Institutions focuses on methods on how to monetize the benefits and integrate them in investment decision-making and financial procedures and on decision-making processes related to energy efficiency investments and how benefits can play a role on increasing the uptake of energy efficiency measures.
In addition to research, eight meetings were conducted with the first two focusing on the multiple benefits in the context of COVID recovery. During the third and fourth meeting, the working group discussed health and well-being in the context of social housing, while the fifth meeting focused on EU Taxonomy and building certification. The multiple benefits of managing and supervising of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risk and the impact of investing were discussed on the sixth and seventh meeting respectively, while the final meeting was dedicated on policy recommendations.
It’s not yet clear for financial institutions how their business can be improved but pertinent indicators will help, and they are a prerequisite for disseminating the best corporate practices. In order to operationalize multiple benefits, it is important to define who receives them; the consideration of non-energy benefits can help designing energy efficiency programs adjusted to the customers’ needs.
The key recommendation from the thematic input is that the taxonomy criteria should cover multiple benefits that are out of the scope of the taxonomy. Many of the non-energy benefits overlap with the environmental, social and governance criteria that are used by stakeholders to screen investments and measure their portfolios against. Research activities are needed to increase project pipeline for energy efficiency investments. The identification and evaluation of multiple benefits strengthen the connection between energy efficiency investing and impact investing and can increase their attractiveness to impact investors. The last recommendation made was that data should be collected in a more systematic way to make multiple benefits operational for various stakeholders.
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