25.03.21: EU project REFEREE: Energy efficiency pays off well beyond climate protection! - B.A.U.M. Consult GmbH (baumgroup.de)
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EU project REFEREE: Energy efficiency pays off well beyond climate protection!

Policy support tool on the non-energy benefits of energy efficiency measures

25th March 2021: Together with seven European partners, B.A.U.M. is working on an IT-based tool as part of the EU project REFEREE, which helps those responsible in politics and business to evaluate the benefits of energy efficiency measures beyond the energy dimension. Now, the committee accompanying the project met to discuss the potentials of the tool.


The fact that we save energy with energy efficiency measures and thereby also contribute to climate protection is no novelty for politics, business or science. But what additional benefits can we achieve if we also consider social, health and other non-energy factors? And how can these benefits be assessed and incorporated into decision-making by policymakers and business leaders? These are precisely the questions addressed by the REFEREE project, short for Real Value of Energy Efficiency, launched in October 2020 under the current EU Horizon 2020 framework program for research and innovation.

One of the core tasks of the project is to analyze and evaluate the non-energy benefits of economic and political activities for energy efficiency beyond the energy dimension. For example, the totality of implemented energy efficiency measures can have a positive impact on the health of the population, can reduce costs, alleviate energy poverty, create jobs or boost the economy. Based on this analysis and evaluation, the project consortium is developing a set of IT-based tools to make these benefits measurable. The result is the REFEREE tool, a user-friendly application that will help policy makers, businesses, finance institutions as well as households and other stakeholders in the decision-making process.

The project is accompanied by an advisory board of leading European experts. On March 25, 2021, the panel met for the first time to identify the future potential of the REFEREE tool. Due to the Corona pandemic, the meeting took place in a digital format. First, participants used the innovative workshop tool Mural to rank non-energy areas impacted by energy efficiency measures. In a second step, the meeting participants defined the needs for further research evidence that they see as stakeholders and decision makers in these areas.

Under the leadership of ISSINOVA, a leading Italian research and consulting firm, the seven project partners are developing the tool. Cambridge Econometrics from Great Britain is mainly responsible for the modeling and Mcrit from Spain for the further development of the tool. The Center for the Study of Democracy based in Bulgaria, the Jacques Delors Institute in France, the European Environmental Burea in Belgium and B.A.U.M. Consult Munich/Berlin are responsible for user involvement and awareness raising. Pilot projects in the building, transport and industry sectors ensure the usability of the REFEREE tool.

On the part of B.A.U.M., we are testing the usefulness of the REFEREE tool with selected partners in the district of Ebersberg and are contributing our network in the field of sustainable mobility to involve other stakeholders. In addition, we communicate the project results to companies and investors and to local and regional politicians.

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