Panel 2. Efficiency and beyond: innovative energy demand policies 

Through this panel, we want to explore with you whether we have the right new policy ideas to move us towards a significantly lower energy demand.  Policy innovation does not necessarily require completely radical approaches. It could well mean rethinking and applying existing policy approaches from the wider energy domain or other sectors to make them work more effectively. However, it could also mean a complete reimagining of how policy works and how we tackle the twin challenges of increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy demand. 

This panel is intended to catch innovative ideas that are more cross-sectoral and may not fit directly into other panels. We welcome contributions (both conceptual as well as more practical examples) on the following topics: 

  • Is a shift in policy focus from energy supply to demand required? Will emphasis on fairness in the transition to an efficient economy change the narrative and accelerate action?  
  • What can we learn from the COVID-19 crisis, in terms of the policies that have been developed in response to the pandemic as well as in terms of the (dynamic) policy-making processes? 
  • What new policy do we need to drive a step-change in levels of energy efficiency across all sectors?  
  • How do green finance strategies stimulate investments in energy efficiency? Do best case examples exist in which these strategies have already been implemented? Are the economic stimulus packages introduced in response to COVID-19 compatible with long term energy efficiency targets? 
  • What new policies are needed so that energy efficiency plays its part in the digitalized energy system? Does a more explicit connection with facilitating demand side management unlock new opportunities?  
  • What are good communication strategies for developing energy efficiency policy? 
  • Can new ways of policy-making processes (e.g. co-design, or other ways of increasing participation) help to design more accepted and just energy efficiency policies?  
  • How do "new" societal trends (such as digitalization, the circular economy, the sharing economy, remote working, regionalization and urbanization) influence future energy demand and how can they be governed to provide the best possible contribution to system wide emission reductions? 

Panel leaders


Heike Brugger, Fraunhofer ISI, Germany

Heike Brugger works as a senior researcher and project manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI in the Competence Center Energy Policy and Energy Markets. Her research interests include the design and evaluation of energy and climate change policies, particularly in the field of energy efficiency, as well as the modeling of the development of energy consumption in private households. She furthermore focusses on the energy demand developments of "new" societal trends, such as the digitalization, sharing economy & prosumaging in private households and the tertiary sector.

Heike Brugger studied politics and public administration as well as mathematics and physics at the University of Konstanz, Germany. From 2014 to 2015 she was a visiting research scholar at the School of Governance and Public Policy at the University of Arizona (Tucson, USA). In 2017 she obtained her Phd from the University of Konstanz in the Department of Politics and Public Administration with her work focusing on the local energy transition in Germany and the relevance of policy networks therein.

Peter Mallaburn

Peter Mallaburn, UCL Energy Institute, United Kingdom

Peter is a researcher and energy policy practitioner specialising in how policy transforms markets. Peter joined the UCL Energy Institute as a Principal Research Fellow in February 2018 as Director of Policy and looks after the Institute’s strategic relationship with Whitehall. Peter’s government affairs role expanded to cover the UK’s energy demand research programme (CREDS) in November 2019.

Peter began his career in UCL as an environmental plant physiologist. He joined the scientific Civil Service in 1990, working on acid rain, urban air pollution, climate modelling and EU energy policy. Peter helped write the first UK’s first Climate Change Programme in 1999, set up the Carbon Trust in 2000, leaving the government in 2002 to lead the Trust’s government and policy team.

Peter left the Carbon Trust in 2006 to be CEO of Salix Finance, a finance company vehicle set up by the government to accelerate energy efficiency investment in the public sector. He returned to academia in 2012 as Reader in Climate Policy at De Montfort University before finding his way back to UCL.

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