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Accounting of energy savings in policy evaluation. How to get at least 8 different (correct!) results from the same data

Paper presented at IEPPEC - International Energy Policy & Programme Evaluation Conference, June 25 - 27, 2018, Vienna, Austria
: Voswinkel, Fabian

Volltext (PDF; )

2018, 14 S.
International Energy Policy & Programme Evaluation Conference (IEPPEC) <2018, Vienna>
Konferenzbeitrag, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer ISI ()

Policy evaluations in energy efficiency are used for a variety of purposes. Each of which requires different methods to be used in quantitative accounting of savings. In broad categories, savings can be stated in annually recurring savings or in summed up values over larger time spans, with or without adjustments for effects. For that reason, it is far from trivial to define targets and methodological requirements for evaluation concisely. This paper presents four quantitative accounting methods as used in the evaluation of the German federal Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF), which consists of a wide variety of policy measures. The stated accounting methods are the new annual savings, the cumulated annual savings, the periodically cumulated savings and the lifetime savings. They can yield results that are different by a possibly high factor depending on the investment’s lifetime and other characteristics. And while each of the methods is justified to be used in a policy context, the accounting method should be clearly defined and described in the evaluation study in order for the reader to be able to interpret results the right way and make informed decisions. In addition, values can be stated as gross values before or net values after effect adjustments for each of the four mentioned accounting methods. In this respect, the free-rider effect and its calculation methods are closely analysed. Summed up, evaluation, as it is performed in the EEF, can yield eight different results from the same input data. The paper presents both the theory of the accounting methods as well as their policy implications. Results are taken from a subsidised credit programme in support of investment in waste heat reduction and utilisation from the EEF. The paper systematically shows how different methodologies can lead to very different results and illustrates how strong the influence of the evaluation methodology can be onto the political outcome and the stated degree of target achievement. It puts the presented methods into context using policy examples, which require each method’s results.