Project deliverable Open Access

Policy Toolkit Typology

Aze, François; Molinero, Soraya; Tart, Suzi; Sanvicente, Estibaliz; Dunphy, Niall; Lennon, Breffní; Revez, Alexandra; Axon, Stephen; Woolford, Jayne

This report corresponds to the last deliverable of Work Package (WP) 4, “Policy Analysis”, which focuses on depicting current energy policies and regulations in six European countries (France, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy and Ireland). WP4 will use the input from WP2 (energy technologies) and WP3 (socio-economic analysis) to create a best practice policy toolkit for EU Member States. As such, it will serve as a key input for three future WPs:

  1. WP6, where it will help to define innovative energy pathways;
  2. WP7, where WP4 outputs will be integrated into the energy portal;
  3. WP8, where it will help to stimulate the dialogue at the national and EU level.

Steering society through a responsible energy transition is an eminently political process. To date, most of the policymaking efforts to obtain a low-carbon energy system and to reduce the environmental impact of energy consumption have focused on energy-efficient technologies and renewable energy resources. In representative democracies of Western countries, these efforts have historically been limited to top-down interventions, such as legislation and regulation. However, policies focused on changing people’s behaviours may also have significant impact on the energy consumption of a country. Therefore, new and alternative behavioural approaches are increasingly being developed in a range of policy areas, providing a broader mix of policy options available to policymakers.

Three key policy areas featuring a strong focus on behaviour change are energy, environment and transport. The investment cycles in each of these areas tends to be long, meaning strategic decisions taken today have long-term implications for the achievement of climate-orientated energy policy goals.

If a sustainable and cost-effective transition towards a low-carbon energy sector is to occur, long-term policy guidance is required. The ENTRUST policy toolkit hopes to help in this regard.

What is the ENTRUST policy toolkit?

The ENTRUST policy toolkit is designed for policymakers and practitioners whose work ultimately seeks to engage people and influence their behaviour, resulting in improved outcomes. It presents a set of policy recommendations formulated via workshops with both ENTRUST partners and community members. These policy recommendations are aimed at reducing the environmental impact from energy consumption. The toolkit covers both the supply and demand sides of the energy sector, focusing on three energy-intensive sectors: Transport, Buildings, and Local Energy Production. Within these sectors, eight key objectives are defined. These were identified with the collaboration of local community stakeholders.

  • Increasing the purchase and use of electronic vehicles
  • Increasing the practice of car sharing
  • Encouraging automobile commuters to car pool
  • Encouraging use of public transport
  • Reducing electricity usage through smart technologies
  • Initiating thermal refurbishments
  • Promoting subscription to green energy suppliers
  • Enabling green energy self-consumption

This report begins with a depiction of the policy cycle. There are four phases: Agenda Setting, Policy Formulation, Policy Implementation, and Policy Evaluation. Stakeholder feedback serves as a critical component throughout each phase.

The policy cycle has two notable limitations. The first is that it is an over-simplification of the actual policy process, which is never as clear-cut as the model depicts. The second is that it does not show the web of interactions that co-exist between institutions, people, and other policies, all of which help to determine a policy’s success or failure.

Nevertheless, the policy cycle guides policymakers throughout the policymaking process. This report presents factors that policymakers may not have already considered, and highlights the importance of consulting the appropriate stakeholders within each phase.

In recent decades, many Western societies have witnessed a change in governance structures. New players, such as businesses, civil society groups, and international organisations, have emerged with an increasing presence in policies. To reflect these new voices in the policymaking process, this report classifies the process according to three approaches:

  • Top down: a process led by a governmental body, whether national or local
  • Bottom up: a process that is driven by the governed, such as community members, NGOs, businesses and other organisations
  • Hybrid: a process that is inclusive of both, top-down and bottom-up actors

Policy instruments can help policymakers of all types, regardless of the approach taken. These are the tools or means through which governments (central, regional, local) attempt to accomplish their goals (Linder & Peters, 1990).

They are used throughout all stages of the policy cycle, from agenda setting to policy evaluation (Howlett, 2005; Howlett, Ramesh, & Perl, 2009). As Europe is hoping to lead the global energy transition, European policymakers will find the ones included in this deliverable especially valuable. Many find that a mix of policy instruments works best, whether they are market-based, information-based, regulation, or behavioural insights.
Policy instruments do not act alone, however, and many instruments employed by policymakers have failed to achieve the desired behaviour changes due to other factors. Some of the major debilitating features of failed policies include a lack of theoretical grounding, ineffective measures, a lack of monitoring and feedback, and a lack of integration with other policies—pointing policymakers back to the policy cycle, underscoring the importance of how the process gets conducted, and who is included.
Policymakers will find a step-by-step methodology for co-creating policies relating to energy behaviour change. The methodology includes 10 different steps, divided into three general stages:

  1. Understanding the context
  2. Co-creating policy options
  3. Evaluating, selecting and developing the best policy recommendations.

The methodology serves multiple purposes: to obtain a more thorough understanding of the many factors that influence the way people act every day; to map existing policy interventions addressing these factors; to identify gaps and new ideas; to engage stakeholders; and to prioritise and develop the best policy mix.

This methodology was specifically designed by the ENTRUST partners, and was used throughout this deliverable. It is inspired by the Design Thinking approach and has been complemented by applying insights from behavioural science thinking, as well as by engaging citizens in the policy-design process. Emerging from the methodology were 183 recommendations, 44 of which have been developed more fully and classified according to their approach in the Policy Canvas. The set of policies include 19 top-down, 8 bottom-up, and 17 hybrid approaches and the following mix of policy instruments: 7 regulatory frameworks, 4 planning and infrastructure, 5 fiscal measures, 10 service provision, 7 communication and marketing tools, 2 guidelines, 3 collaboration platforms, and 6 business support schemes. These can be found in the Appendices of this deliverable. Policymakers will find these examples useful as they attempt to co-create their own policies. Finally, they will also be interested in the “Policy Toolkit” a separate document that explains the most important aspects to keep in mind.

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