Understanding citizens’ views on reducing heating energy use

panel discussionThe session on heating and cooling built on the ENABLE.EU heating case study involving France, Germany, Spain, Ukraine and Hungary, focusing on the role of heating practices, energy-saving opportunities and obstacles to energy efficiency improvements in households. After presenting the outcomes of the research in Hungary, France and Ukraine, the audience was asked about the effectiveness of related policies. Participants thought that subsidies for renovation would contribute the most to reaching the energy efficiency goals, as compared to increased energy prices; the installation of smart meters and programmable thermostats; and education and information campaigns. In the second part of the session, an interesting discussion took place with the contribution of Marta García, the CEO of Ecoserveis (a non-profit organisation providing advice on energy efficiency to households in Barcelona), Adrian Joyce, the Secretary General of EuroACE (the alliance of companies for energy efficiency in buildings), Marie Claerbout, European Affairs Senior Manager of Engie, and Maria Csutora, professor at Corvinus University in Budapest. The panel discussion touched upon the questions of whether daily practices can have a real impact on heating energy consumption, how it is possible to influence behaviour, whether energy poverty can be reduced without increasing overall energy consumption, and what policies can deliver the greatest energy savings from households.