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CT2 - 1st Plenary Meeting in Bratislava

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Highlights Core Theme 2: RES Heat

Headline 1: Information, Awareness Raising and Advice to Consumers

During the 1st Plenary Meeting of CA-RES3, all three sessions of the Core Theme on RES Heat (CT2) were dedicated to sharing experiences on information, awareness raising and advice campaigns for consumers. The discussions focussed on programme design and evaluation as well as on case studies and good practices from Member States. Examples for particularly effective policy mix and longer term planning were presented.

CT2 participants discussed the current state of play in terms of MS implementation of Article 14 and discussed questions, including “What information and awareness measures do MS have in place?”, “How successful have they been?” and “What gaps remain?”. A survey conducted amongst Member States indicated that there has been an increase in the number of information, awareness raising and advice measures for renewables in buildings since the RES Directive came into force.  It was found that these measures are most often linked to financial incentives and, increasingly they are not solely focused on renewable energy but combined with energy efficiency. Best practice approaches to evaluation were discussed and the need for a mix of qualitative and quantitative indicators for evaluating information, awareness raising and advice measures was highlighted. It was acknowledged that, as information and advisory programmes are frequently complimentary measures in the wider policy mix, measuring the impact solely attributed to them can be extremely difficult.

A representative from the CA EED presented insights and experiences related to the design and evaluation of measures for behavioural change in the energy efficiency area. The main factors characterising successful programmes included the need for the source of information and advice to be independent and trusted, the application / us of peer-learning approaches, making links to the wider benefits of energy saving (such as well-being, health, comfort etc.) and the importance of considering and building evaluation from the start -  already at the design stage - was stressed.

In addition, examples of RES heat campaigns and advisory services from several Member States were presented and discussed. These examples showed the advantages of combining messages about energy efficiency and RES within information and advice programmes and the importance of providing independent information and guidance to consumers to inform their choices / decisions about suitable measures and technologies, equipment suppliers and qualified installers.