Needs assessment for energy efficiency policy implementation in Europe

An assessment of national, regional, and local needs for the implementation and improvement of energy efficiency policies in the European Union was conducted by the PUBLENEF project. In the assessment, policymakers’ needs with regard to among others capacity, financing, staff expertise, tools, policy procedures were identified and analysed.

The purpose of the EU-funded PUBLENEF project is to help EU Member States to implement useful and successful sustainable energy policies, by showcasing examples of effective practices from other Member States.

Gathering of responses

A total of 55 needs assessment responses were collected using in-depth interviews. The responses consist of 15 national level responses and 40 responses at regional and local levels. These responses were from 14 different EU Member States.

SWOT analysis for regional/local level

The following overview summarises the main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as experienced in the development and implementation of energy efficiency policies at regional and local levels:


  • in-house expertise about communication
  • in-house expertise about consultation
  • mobilisation of the relevant in-house services


  • insufficient budget
  • lack of stakeholder’s available time
  • mobilisation of the stakeholders


  • sufficient information regarding legal and administrative aspects
  • sufficient information regarding training possibilities
  • sufficient information regarding energy technologies


  • the existing legislation needs to evolve to allow the development of energy efficiency policies and projects
  • need of simplification regarding administrative procedures
  • need for training of the elected representatives regarding energy efficiency issues

Strengths and weaknesses at national level

The following overview summarises the main strengths and weaknesses as experienced in the development and implementation of energy efficiency policies at national levels in EU Member States:


  • Purchasing by public bodies: the public sector (and not only the central government) purchase energy efficient buildings, products and service at national level and tools/framework are in place to assist the public sector in those procurements.
  • Energy audits and management systems: the energy audits seems well implemented with a programme for conducting them, quality assurance schemes, and technical and financial feasibility assessments.
  • Availability of qualification, accreditation and certification schemes: the level of technical competence, objectivity and reliability of providers of energy services, energy audits, energy managers and installers of energy-related building elements is considered as sufficient to contribute to national energy efficiency objectives. The presence of accreditation schemes and/or equivalent qualification schemes are also considered as strengths.
  • Energy efficiency national fund, financing and technical support: presence of an Energy Efficiency National Fund and use of this fund by the public sector.


  • Goals, targets, specific measures and policies: absence of energy modelling at the local and regional level.
  • Exemplar role of public body buildings: absence of program for monitoring energy efficiency at local level.
  • Technology: Due to really low response rates for most of the questions, we cannot draw any conclusion regarding the weakness factors of this category.
  • Energy Services: lack of information on best practices for energy performance contracting. This question reach the same level as a strength (sufficient information). Therefore this parameter can be considered as really different from one country to the other.
  • Review and monitoring of implementation: no implication to the public sector where targets are not being met.

Read more

The full overview of responses and analyses of the needs assessment, as prepared by PUBLENEF partners Tipperary Energy Agency (Ireland) and ARENE Île-de-France (France), is available on the PUBLENEF website: Compilation of needs assessment reports. The related compilation of ‘good practices’ of energy efficiency policy implementation is available on the same page.

publenef_logo_finalThis article is an output of the EU-funded PUBLENEF project, that aims to assist European Union Member States in implementing effective and efficient sustainable energy policies (with the focus on energy efficiency).

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