Workshop — Dublin, Ireland

Evaluating the Co-Benefits of Low-Income Weatherisation Programmes


Workshop Report

The International Energy Agency’s Energy Efficiency Unit (EEU) is beginning a new programme of work on innovative energy efficiency policies for mitigating fuel poverty. The focus of the policy research effort is low-income weatherisation direct investment programmes, which many IEA Member countries pursue in order to increase the energy efficiency of both rental and owner-occupied low-income housing. A common problem with such programmes is that the energy-saving benefits accruing to fuel-poor households barely offset the energy efficiency investment required, suggesting a weak return on government spending. However, these investments have additional non-energy co-benefits not only for participants but for energy providers, property owners, local communities, and society as a whole.

The workshop is supported and hosted by Sustainable Energy Ireland and will take place at Dublin Castle. The workshop will bring together international experts for a focused discussion on non-energy co-benefits and their measurement. The agenda below will individually address three categories of non-energy co-benefits for low-income energy efficiency programmes: utility / rate-payer benefits, societal economic benefits and participant household benefits. This will be followed by a discussion of methodologies for collecting and quantifying NEBs and consideration of some examples of evaluation in practice. Note that Bo Diczfalusy will attend and give an opening speech.

This workshop will help the IEA and participating iEA member countries to identify low-income weatherization policy research needs and programme evaluation issues for future collaborative research.

Day 1

Welcome Address
Bo Diczfalusy, Director of Sustainable Energy Technology and Policy Directorate, IEA

1. Setting the Scene

Overview of Fuel Poverty Issues
Brenda Boardman, Emeritus Fellow, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, UK

Framing the Role of Co-Benefits
Lisa Skumatz, Skumatz Economic Research Associates, Inc., USA

2. Societal Economic Benefits

Focus on Property Value Increases as a Benefit of Weatherisation
Daniela Popescu, Technical University of Iasi, Romania

Focus on Jobs Creation as a Benefit of Weatherisation
Sergio Tirado-Hererro, Center for Climate Change & Sustainable Energy Policy, Central European University, Hungary

3. Benefits to Energy Providers & Governments

Overview of Benefits to Energy Providers & Governments: An Evaluator Perspective
Kathleen Gaffney, KEMA, USA

Investigating Utility / Rate-payer benefits: Utility Perspective
Sarah Brady, Northern Ireland Authority for Utilities Regulation

Getting Moving on Utility / Rate-payer Benefits: Utility Perspective
Jenny Livingstone, NIE Energy, Nth Ireland

4. Co-Benefits for Participants

Participant Benefits and Quality of Life: The Challenge of Hard to Measure Benefits
Brenda Boardman, Emeritus Fellow, Environmental Change Institute, Oxford, UK

The Whole Community Approach: Report from the Field
Clare Ryan, Community-Based Organisation Forum, Ireland

Making the Link with Participant Health and Wellness
Philippa Howden-Chapman, University of Otago, NZ Centre for Sustainable Cities, New Zealand

Day 2

5. Health and Safety Case Studies

Valorising Health Benefits in the Policy Context
David Ormandy, WHO Collaborating Centre for Housing Standards & Health, University of Warwick, UK and Véronique Ezratty, Medical Studies Dept., EDF, France

Heat or Eat: The Children's Healthwatch Experience
Deborah A. Frank, M. D., Boston Medical Center, USA

6. Methodological Challenges

Methodological Issues in Collecting NEB Data
Lisa Skumatz, Skumatz Economic Research Associates, Inc., USA

Designing Methodology & Engaging Participant Support: Practical Questions
Matthew Murray, Energy Savings Trust, UK

6a. Approaches to Quantification

Quantification of NEBs: A Review of the Options
Roger Colton, Fisher, Sheehan & Colton, Public Finance & Economics, USA

Interesting Experimental Approaches: ORNL Winter Case Study
Bruce Tonn, Oakridge National Laboratory, USA

7. The Way Forward

The European Union’s 3rd Energy Package & its Implications for Low Income Weatherisation
Tadhg O’Briain, Directorate General for Energy, European Commission

Policy Approaches in Ireland
Stjohn O’Connor, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Ireland

Policy Approaches in the UK
Jamie Torrens, Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK

Policy Approaches in the USA
Bruce Tonn, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA

Summary Comments
Grayson Heffner, Energy Efficiency Unit, IEA