Energy Efficiency First

Client: European Union

September 2019 – July 2022


“Efficiency First”” (E1st) is a fundamental principle applied to policymaking, planning and investment in the energy sector, which is gaining visibility in European energy and climate policy. ENEFIRST will help making the E1st principle more concrete and operational, better understand its relevance for energy demand and supply and its broader impacts across sectors and markets, focusing on the buildings sector. The methodology of ENEFIRST has been designed considering the novelty of the approach informed by a deep understanding of the current energy policy landscape and the existing practices of energy efficiency policy making. It is based in three pillars:

  • identification of the most relevant policy areas where the E1st principle can be applied to achieve the highest impact in terms of energy system benefits, through screening 5 areas of potential application, modelling three scenarios and five modelling case studies and applying the E1st in three regions in the EU,
  • application of the E1st in policy instruments, through assessing the applicability and transferability of international E1st approaches and quantifying the impacts of E1st (through modelling and multi-criteria analysis), and
  • application of E1st through the design of policy instruments and the analysis of their application in country case studies.

Project Partners

  • IEECP – Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy (European Organisation)

  • RAP – Regulatory Assistance Project (European Organisation)
  • BPIE – Buildings Performance Institute Europe (European Organisation)
  • Fraunhofer ISI – Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (Germany)
  • TUW – Technische Universität Wien (Österreich)
  • CEU – Central European University (Ungarn)


Eftim Popovski
Eftim Popovski
Dr. Jan Steinbach
Dr. Jan Steinbach