Why some invest in energy efficiency and some don’t?

are there solutions to make energy efficiency more attractive?

That was more or less the question I was confronted with at the Eufores webinar The Green Deal and the National Energy and Climate Plans in Italy. More or less, because the original title stated “if energy efficiency makes business sense, why do some invest, and others don’t”, adding thus that energy efficiency makes business sense, so that the fact the some don’t invest appears even more strange. Let’s see if this is true and what can we do to add people the party that choses to act, with benefits both for him/his company and for us all.

In fact energy efficiency is usually considered cost effective, and that’s the reason why many think it should make business sense. Unfortunately that’s not the case. In my opinion, in fact, the main issue with energy efficiency is that it is unattractive. This is a serious issue, because many of our choices are emotional, not rational, and so unattractiveness wins against cost effectiveness. Nevertheless many invest, meaning that it is not all lost, and that there are options to overcome energy efficiency unattractiveness.

The speech I held at the webinar tries to share some view on such unattractiveness, on some of the solutions we have to make energy efficiency attractive – e.g. through appropriate and effective narratives capable of linking the energy use with what really matters for the consumer –, and on how policies can help in supporting the investing group to grow.

I also want to highlight a very important point related to energy efficiency: to reach our sustainability targets we need to think differently, change our behaviours and businesses. Only that can make for a real energy transition. In other words we need leaps, not just steps on our path towards 2030 and beyond. For example, speaking of transportation, we don’t need just to move from fossil fuels driven cars to electric ones, we need to rethink our need to move (e.g. trough smart working) and how to move (e.g. alternatives to owned cars, such as bicycles, public transportation, car sharing, etc.).

Finally, some direction to find more information on some of the mentioned topics. For people interested to know more about to non energy benefits at company level I suggest to start from the mbenefits web site. The ENSMOV project is instead the main source to find support on policies related to energy efficiency, in particular for policymakers and officers from ministries and energy agencies.

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