New Multiple Benefits project raises the stakes of energy efficiency investments

(eceee news, 18 Sep 2018) Why aren’t companies and organisations compelled to invest in cost effective energy efficiency? According to the EU-funded Multiple Benefits project, one answer is that efficiency projects are not viewed as strategic priorities.

By quantifying and communicating the multiple benefits of energy efficiency, the Multiple Benefits project aims to show how improved energy performance leads to sustained competitive advantage.

While energy engineers propose projects based on energy savings and payback, investment committees prioritise projects on the basis of strategic impacts to the company.

According to the project, energy efficiency investments can become strategic by quantifying and communicating multiple benefits such as improved product quality, enhanced employee productivity, improved worker satisfaction, reduced maintenance costs, and mitigated climate risk.

Working with businesses to analyse and communicate the multiple benefits of efficiency in strategic terms is at the heart of Valuing and Communicating the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency, according to the project's stated aims.

But, what does strategic mean? “An investment is strategic if it contributes to create, maintain or develop a sustainable competitive advantage” says Dr. Catherine Cooremans, a project partner from the Université de Lausanne who specialises in the strategic and cultural dimensions of investment decision-making.

Developing a training platform and tools with and for businesses

New methods and processes must be developed to consistently identify the many different multiple benefits of energy savings actions. Further, new tools are necessary to quantify and communicate how the savings measures impact a company’s competitive advantage, as expressed in terms of contribution to value proposition, costs and risks.

According to the project team, the project will launch a training platform and toolkit for businesses in 2019.

Project partners plan to work directly with at least 50 businesses to analyse, communicate and evaluate the strategic impacts of energy-saving actions. In parallel, Multiple Benefits partners will compile a public evidence base of case studies, project examples and results to bolster investment proposals.

The project website is available here. Contact the Project Coordinator, Dr. Clemens Rohde with Fraunhofer ISI at