Best Practice Insights

Energy Efficiency Targets

The Energy Efficiency Targets - Energy Efficiency Policy Brief provides an overview of the types of energy efficiency target and some of the factors that should be taken into consideration during their development.

Why discuss energy efficiency targets?

A target drives action towards improved efficiency by providing the basis and motivation for a government to establish energy efficiency policies and programmes.

Why set an energy efficiency target?

Energy efficiency targets spur the development and implementation of efficiency strategies and policies. Governments have a number of reasons for developing energy efficiency targets, which include actions to meet Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement.

A target provides the basis and impetus for a government to establish policies, programmes or mechanisms that are intended to drive action towards improved energy efficiency. Credible energy efficiency targets serve several functions:

  1. Compel action – encourage governments and economic sectors to achieve certain outcomes.
  2. Track progress – policies and measures can be monitored and evaluated with the target in sight.
  3. Increase financing – clear message is provided to investors that energy efficiency is a priority.

Energy efficiency is difficult to measure, as population, economic activity, policies and other factors all drive changes in energy use. Targets have nonetheless been established in many countries – not only to achieve energy savings but to gain the multiple benefits that energy efficiency generates.

Key recommendations

  • A target should be ambitious, realistic and accompanied by a supportive and credible framework to drive action towards achievement.
  • A target should be understandable, clearly communicated and transposed into actions for specific geographic regions or economic.