Evaluation of the Danish energy savings effort

Denmark | April 2008 - December 2008

According to the Danish energy policy agreement of 21 February 2008, an independent evaluation of the Danish energy savings effort should be implemented before the end of 2008. A consortium comprising Ea Energy Analyses, Niras, the Department of Society and Globalisation (Roskilde University) and 4-Fact was assigned with this task. The task was carried out for the Danish Energy Authority (now the Danish Energy Agency).

The overall purpose of the evaluation has been to assess whether the current measures are sufficient and whether their organisation is efficient compared to the objectives laid down in the political agreement of 10 June 2005 on the future energy savings effort. 

Broad range of initiatives and measures were evaluated

The following initiatives and measures were included in the evaluation:

  1. Energy savings efforts of the electricity grid, natural gas distribution, district heating and oil companies, including outsourcing, in accordance with the rules that came into force in 2006
  2. The energy savings fund of DE-Net
  3. The Danish Electricity Saving Trust
  4. The energy provisions of the building directive
  5. Energy labelling of buildings as well as inspection schemes for boilers and ventilation systems
  6. Directives on energy savings in the public sector
  7. Energy labelling and standards in relation to electric appliances etc.
  8. The voluntary energy efficiency agreement with industry
  9. Energy taxes and the CO2 emissions trading scheme 

The overall economy is positive

The evaluation has shown that roughly half of the energy savings recorded by the energy companies are ‘additional’, that is to say, that these savings would not have been realised without the energy companies’ efforts. Despite this relatively low proportion of ‘additional’ savings, the overall economy of the savings effort is deemed to be positive. The value of the savings more than compensates for the cost of the savings activities.

Expensive energy labelling of buildings
The same conclusion is not valid when it comes to energy labelling of buildings, which is estimated to be a very expensive activity compared to its documented effect. It is recommended to give priority toe the energy labelling effort, so that for instance visits from energy consultants are only used when a building is expected to have a large energy savings potential.

More focus on industry
It is recommended to give greater priority to activities directed at industry to achieve more and cheaper energy savings.

10-year energy savings programme
Another recommendation is that the savings efforts should be given greater priority and be better coordinated, for example by means of a  10-year energy savings programme