Agency for Change: The Promotion of Energy Efficiency through Institutional Innovation

CRUISE Working Paper Series 2012

44 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2013

See all articles by James Meadowcroft

James Meadowcroft

Carleton Research Unit on Innovation, Science & Environment (CRUISE); Carleton University - School of Public Policy and Administration

Glen Toner

Carleton University - School of Public Policy and Administration; Carleton University - Carleton Research Unit on Innovation, Science & Environment (CRUISE)

Constandina Kutziubas

Carleton University - School of Public Policy and Administration

Milana Simikian

Carleton University - School of Public Policy and Administration

Leela Steiner

Carleton Research Unit on Innovation, Science & Environment (CRUISE)

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

In the transition to a low-carbon economy, shifts in the way we use our energy are essential to meaningful progress. In turn, a great number of initiatives have increased energy efficiency at the global level and domestically here in Canada. Many of the most promising of these energy efficiency practices have been undertaken by energy agencies. This paper seeks to capture those institutional designs showing the most meaningful, sustained progress in promoting energy efficiency advances.

As energy agencies have increasingly dominated EE efforts, government and quasi-government bodies have begun to proliferate; a World Energy Council survey reported that two-thirds of countries have some form of “permanent, government sanctioned entity responsible for EE policies and implementation.” This is because energy agencies have the capabilities to design, implement, and evaluate programs and measures, as well as to contact and collaborate with a range of stakeholders. Energy agencies also have the capacity to act as coordinators of all government initiatives, provide specialized technical expertise to other government bodies, businesses and consumers, as well as act directly as a promoter of EE to energy companies. In leading European institutions, factors such as motivation, autonomy, capacity, authority, and stakeholder engagement have all had pivotal roles in pushing an energy agency to achieve EE results within these functional roles.

This analysis demonstrates the importance of EE focused institutions in light of these capabilities and factors for success. It draws attention to the potential they can hold for helping the transition to a low-carbon economy, and in particular, the potential that they hold in the Canadian context.

Keywords: energy agency, energy efficiency, governance, Low-Carbon Future, institutionalization

Suggested Citation

Meadowcroft, James and Meadowcroft, James and Toner, Glen and Toner, Glen and Kutziubas, Constandina and Simikian, Milana and Steiner, Leela, Agency for Change: The Promotion of Energy Efficiency through Institutional Innovation (2012). CRUISE Working Paper Series 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2217029 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2217029

James Meadowcroft

Carleton Research Unit on Innovation, Science & Environment (CRUISE) ( email )

River Building Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B5
Canada

Carleton University - School of Public Policy and Administration ( email )

Ottawa, Ontario
Canada

Glen Toner (Contact Author)

Carleton University - Carleton Research Unit on Innovation, Science & Environment (CRUISE) ( email )

River Building
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B5
Canada

Carleton University - School of Public Policy and Administration

Ottawa, Ontario
Canada

Constandina Kutziubas

Carleton University - School of Public Policy and Administration ( email )

Ottawa, Ontario
Canada

Milana Simikian

Carleton University - School of Public Policy and Administration ( email )

Ottawa, Ontario
Canada

Leela Steiner

Carleton Research Unit on Innovation, Science & Environment (CRUISE) ( email )

River Building
1125 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario K1S 5B5
Canada

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