Consumption, efficiency & limits – a theme throughout the nine panels

The Paris agreement has set a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and the aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C.  Energy efficiency is a key mitigation instrument, but efficiency alone will not be sufficient to reach this goal. Hence this year’s theme: Consumption, efficiency & limits.

The economic, environmental and social impacts of energy policy run throughout all the nine panels. While our main attention is given to Europe, we welcome papers from outside Europe as well. Papers may, for instance, cover challenges facing developing countries and how to run energy efficiency programmes in economies severly hit by the financial crisis. Fuel poverty remains a crucial issue that energy efficiency policies need to address. Putting the consumer in all sectors at the heart of our policies, behavioural issues are increasingly receiving attention, and are relevant for all panels, as are issues related to energy efficiency financing. The dynamics of consumption is at the heart of the discussions. Several panel descriptions specifically mention non-energy benefits (or the multiple benefits) of energy efficiency, but addressing benefits are of relevance throughout all panels.

The nine panels are described below and a long version for each panel is found under the respective panel page (along with a presentation of the panel leaders).

Abstracts submission closes 6 October. 


Conference co-chairs: Agneta Persson and Clemens Rohde

Panel 1. Foundations of future energy policy

Panel 1 addresses the long term implications for energy efficiency of low-carbon transition pathways – a future with potentially 100 % renewable energy supply. Papers may cover a range of topics including:

  • How can governance, policy processes and energy efficiency discourse be reshaped and aligned with long term goals?
  • What are the implications of low-carbon transitions for energy efficiency, sufficiency and approaches to policy evaluation?
  • What is the role of energy efficiency and what are the business models in potentially 100 % renewable energy systems?


Panel leaders: Julia Repenning, Öko-Institut, Germany, Katja Schumacher, Öko-Institut, Germany and Lars J. Nilsson, University of Lund, Environment and Energy Systems. Read more about Panel 1.

Panel 2. Policy: governance, design, implementation and evaluation challenges

The aim of this panel is to discuss how energy efficiency policies are best managed/directed, designed, implemented and evaluated to deliver real energy efficiency savings and demand side management. Papers may be based on e.g. empirical, theoretical, or experimental methods. Papers that focus on one of the following topics and questions are particularly welcome:

  • Energy efficiency governance
  • Policy evaluation, smart integration of energy efficiency policies with other climate policies
  • Electricity markets and energy efficiency / demand side management
  • Innovative energy efficiency policy design


Panel leaders: Regina Betz, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland and Edith Bayer, Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) Belgium. Read more about Panel 2.

Panel 3. Local action

Local action is critical in creating a transformation to a sustainable energy system based on energy efficiency. Strong local governance is necessary, as well as decisive actions from both private and public actors.

  • How do we spread and replicate successful local projects?
  • How are local governance structures and leadership created that best integrate previous and competing initiatives? What techniques or approaches can rally local stakeholders around shared energy efficiency objectives?
  • How much impetus is actually created by the market forces and where is local public intervention most needed? What role can public procurement play?
  • How to overcome the financing challenges and notably those currently faced by local public authorities?
  • Which innovative local interventions can reduce energy consumption of private households and businesses?
  • What role(s) can be played by local energy companies?


Panel leaders: Monica Gullberg, SIDA, Sweden and Gavin Killip, Environmental Change Institute, United Kingdom.
Read more about Panel 3.

Panel 4. Mobility, transport, and smart and sustainable cities

This panel invites papers that are dedicated to mobility, energy efficient transportation and the development of smart and sustainable cities and communities.  The panel in particular encourages papers focusing on questions such as:

  • What creates the need or demand for mobility and how can we as a society reduce this demand and/or meet it in an energy efficient way?
  • How can ‘smart’ technologies and the integration of previously separate infrastructures such as energy, transport and information and communication technology (ICT) contribute to the transformation of our cities? What conditions and characteristics comprise a “smart and sustainable city”?
  • How can we nurture genuine citizen engagement and foster cross-sectoral collaboration as a key driver?
  • How can urban planning drive smart and sustainable urban development and energy efficient cities? What modes of planning are needed under the very uncertain social, environmental and economic conditions Europe and many other regions are facing?

Panel leaders: Marianne Ryhaug, NTNU, Norway and Neil Wallis, Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership, United Kingdom. Read more about Panel 4.

Panel 5. Buildings and construction technologies and systems

Panel 5 will address the following main topics:

  • Construction and renovation technologies and building services for improved energy performance in buildings.
  • Smart building automation technologies with load control for utilization of local renewable energy sources and local storage and for shifting consumption from peak hours, including identification and definitions for describing/specifying building flexibility in this context.  
  • Building and renovation concepts or procurement procedures for effective or flexible energy solutions.
  • Performance and compliance with achieving the necessary quality for high energy performance.

Panel leaders: Åsa Wahlström, CIT Energy Management AB, Sweden and Karen Byskov Lindberg, The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), Norway. Read more about Panel 5.

Panel 6. Buildings policies, directives and programmes

Buildings represent the largest energy-consuming sector in the global economy, accounting for over one-third of all energy and half of global electricity and energy demand is growing. In the EU, energy consumption is over 40% of total final consumption. Policy intervention is essential to curb this growth. We welcome abstracts on topics such as:

  • What are the overall potentials and costs of a low-carbon building stock by 2050?
  • Is our current policy framework sufficient for a long-term deep renovation strategy that delivers sufficient nearly (or net) zero energy buildings throughout Europe to meet our 2030 objectives?
  • Is the building owner/tenant sufficiently empowered to undertake a deep renovation?
  • How can we effectively address energy poverty?
  • What is the role of non-energy benefits in stimulating actions to improve energy performance?
  • What financing and business models are emerging that can achieve scalability?

Panel leaders: Jan Steinbach, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Germany and David Weatherall, Energy Saving Trust, United Kingdom. Read more about Panel 6.

Panel 7. Appliances, products, lighting and ICT

Panel 7 focuses on policies supporting energy savings on both the product and system level, new developed technologies and connected, “smart” appliances to increase energy efficiency, innovative systems approaches.

Topics include:

  • MEPS/ecodesign and labelling.
  • Market surveillance.
  • Innovative market transformation approaches and new policies, and their implications for product policy.
  • Can “smart” technology encourage users to behave in more energy efficient ways without violating privacy or creating an unacceptable energy overhead? What are the energy implications of the “Internet of Things”?

Panel leaders: Fiona Brocklehurst, Ballarat Consulting, United Kingdom and Hans-Paul Siderius, The Netherlands Enterprise Agency, The Netherlands. Read more about Panel 7.

Panel 8. Monitoring and evaluation: building confidence and enhancing practices

Monitoring and evaluation are essential to achieving the political and operational goals cost-effectively and in time. They are the foundation for creating the knowledge base and building confidence in the potentials and the achieved results of our energy efficiency policies and programmes, as well as for understanding how to formulate and enhance policies and practices, i.e. to support governance processes and the establishment of a more effective policy framework. The panel covers issues such as:

  • Evaluation methodologies: challenging common beliefs, addressing new issues, and innovative methods.
  • Practices and use: experience feedback, capacity building, communication aspects, and learning processes, support establishment of most effective policies.
  • How can we set manageable and useful policy targets aimed at long-term sustainability, and how can these be evaluated?

Panel leaders: Johannes Thema, Wuppertal Institute for Climate Environment and Energy, Germany and Luis Castanheira, Investor Confidence Project, Portugal. Read more about Panel 8.

Panel 9. Consumption and behaviour

This year’s panel covers energy (and more widely, resource consumption) and behaviour from a systemic perspective. Indeed, behavioural sciences have highlighted:

  • The need to look both at the individual level and beyond when analysing behaviour and/or social practices.
  • The need to look beyond sectorial interventions. Policies and projects tend to focus on sectors (building, transportation, food…) whereas people do not consume energy or resources as such, but the services energy and resources provide them, regardless of the policy sector that tackles them.
  • The need to articulate policy tools and act at every governance level in order to efficiently deal with the behavioural aspect of energy consumption.

Panel leaders: Albane Gaspard, ADEME, France and Elisabeth Dütschke, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research, Germany. Read more about Panel 9.