Key Publications

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TASK 24 – Narratives and Storytelling in Energy and Climate Change Research

13 September 2017

Energy and climate change research has been dominated by particular methods and approaches to defining and addressing problems, accomplished by gathering and analysing the corresponding forms of evidence. This special issue starts from the broad concepts of stories, narratives, and storytelling to go beyond these analytic conventions, approaching the intersection of nature, humanity, and technology in multiple ways, using lenses from social sciences, humanities, and practitioners’ perspectives. The contributors use stories as data objects to gather, analyse, and critique; stories as an approach to research an inquiry; narrative analysis as a way of crystallising arguments and assumptions; and storytelling as a way of understanding, communicating, and influencing others. In using these forms of evidence and communication, and applying methods, analytical stances, and interpretations that these invite, something new and different results. This essay is a brief introduction to how, in our view, stories and their kin fit in energy and climate change research. We outline the diversity of data, approaches, and goals represented in the contributions to the special issue. And we reflect on some of the challenges of, and possibilities for, continuing to develop ‘stories’ as data sources, as modes of inquiry, and as creative paths toward social engagement.

Key publication TASK 24 – Advances in green leases and green leasing: Evidence from Sweden, Australia, and the UK

3 August 2017

Abstract Improving the environmental performance of non-domestic buildings is a complex problem due to the participation of multiple stakeholders. This is particularly challenging in tenanted spaces, where landlord and tenant interactions are regulated through leases that traditionally ignore environmental considerations. ‘Green leasing’ has been conceptualized as a form of ‘middle-out’ inter-organisational environmental governance that operates between organisations, alongside other drivers. Green leases form a valuable framework for tenant–landlord cooperation within properties and across portfolios. This paper offers a comparative international investigation of how leases are evolving to become ‘greener’ in Sweden, Australia, and the UK, drawing on experience from an IEA project on behaviour change and a UK project on energy strategy development. It considers how stakeholder retrofit opportunities and interactions in non-domestic buildings are shaped by the (1) policy context in each country (e.g., the EPBD, NABERS, and MEES) and (2) prevailing leasing practices in each country. Based on this analysis, the paper develops a new market segmentation framework to accentuate the different roles that public sector organisations and private property companies play as both tenants and landlords across countries. We suggest that national government policies assist the public sector in leading on better leasing practices, whereas international certification and benchmarking schemes (e.g., BREEAM & GRESB) may provide more fuel to private sector tenants and landlords. The paper concludes with a discussion of the fit between property portfolios and policies, suggesting that international green lease standards might assist multinational tenants and property owners in upgrading both their premises and their operational practices.

Key Publication TASK 24: “Once upon a time…” Eliciting energy and behaviour change stories using a fairy tale story spine

2 August 2017


The International Energy Agency’s Demand-Side Management Programme’s Task 24 aims to turn behaviour change theory into pilot projects. One obstacle to delivering successful behaviour change interventions concerns the silos between different stakeholders in the energy system and their limited collaboration. To facilitate multi-stakeholder collaboration and co-design of better behavioural interventions and pilots, Task 24 focuses on participatory, shared learning in facilitated workshop settings. Storytelling is used as an overarching ‘translation tool’ between invited stakeholders from different sectors and research disciplines. A story spine loosely based on a fairy tale structure was used to collect over 160 stories from energy experts from over 20 countries. In this paper, I focus on the process of storytelling using such a story spine, and, to a lesser extent, the participants (the storytellers) and the product (the stories).

This is part of a Special Issue on ‘Storytelling and narratives in energy and climate change research’ in Energy Research and Social Science, which our Task 24 Operating Agent Dr Sea Rotmann co-edited.

The link to the paper is here and the document is attached.

Key publication TASK 24: Co-creating behaviour change insights with Behaviour Changers from around the world

2 August 2017


The International Energy Agency’s Demand Side Management Programme’s Task 24 engages a large number of global experts from many different countries, disciplines and sectors. We segment our target audience of so-called ‘Behaviour Changers’ into 5 main actors from: Government (‘the Decisionmaker’), Industry (‘the Provider’), Research (‘the Expert’), Middle Actors (‘the Doers’) and the Third Sector (‘the Conscience’).

Each one of these Behaviour Changers has important tools at their disposal, but each also faces restrictions due to their specific mandates and stakeholders. Some of their relationships with each other, and the end user whose behaviour they are trying to change, are strong and others have in-built systemic conflicts that need to be overcome. We designed a new ‘Behaviour Changer Framework’ of how to view the energy system from the human, rather than a technocratic perspective. At the 2015 Behavior, Energy and Climate Change conference this was christened a ‘magic carpet for behaviour change’. It draws on various sociological and psychological models but adds its own unique flavour which is explored in field research settings on specific issues in each of our 7 participating countries.

We run workshops on real-life behaviour change issues with relevant Behaviour Changers from each sector designing, implementing, evaluating and disseminating interventions, together. This Task is a truly collaborative effort, where co-creation, including from the End User perspective, is key. Our overarching ‘language’ uses narratives and storytelling and we are developing behaviour change evaluation methods that go beyond kWh and beyond energy by focusing on double-loop learning strategies and co-benefits.

This paper provides an overview of the various tools Task 24 has co-created with its global expert network, how they have been used in practice in real-life situations and pilots and what the future of a collaborative, human-centric energy system could look like.

This display was awarded the price for most promising or innovative project or method by the popular vote. 


Key Publication: Building deep energy retrofit: Using dynamic cash flow analysis and multiple benefits to convince investors

25 July 2017

Presented at the eceee Summer Study 29 May–3 June 2017, Presqu’île de Giens, France

View paper here

Download paper (pdf)


Deep energy retrofit (DER) of existing buildings is a meaningful strategy to reduce fossil fuel consumption. However, investment volumes required for DER are enormous. In Europe, cumulative demand is estimated at close to 1,000 billion EUR until 2050. Public expenditures and political measures can help to stimulate DER, but substantial private investments are required to achieve significant results.

In this paper, we analyze the economic and financial implications for investors renovating an office building to the ‘Passive House’ standard. This is achieved by applying a dynamic Life Cycle Cost & Benefit Analysis (LCCBA) to model the cash flows (CF). The model also includes a multi-parameter sensitivity analysis to analyze impacts of parameter deviations. In the second part, we use the ‘Multiple Benefits’ (MB) concept to identify project-based co-benefits of DER, to make the business case more attractive. We categorize the identified MBs in: 1) monetary, 2) unquantified project, and 3) societal benefits.

Results show that the DER project cash flow over a 25-year period achieves a 21-year dynamic payback with an IRR of below 2%. Levelized Cost of Heat Savings is 100 EUR/MWh with a 70% CAPEX and 15% interest cost share. Pecuniary MBs identified are increased rents, real estate values, productivity, maintenance costs and CO2 savings.

Compared to simpler economic modeling, the dynamic LCCBA cash flow model provides solid grounds for business case analyses, project structuring and financial engineering, but also for policy design. CF from future energy cost savings alone are often insufficient in convincing investors. However, they can co-finance DER investments substantially. Consideration of MBs can offer meaningful monetary contributions, and also help to identify strategic allies for project implementation; however, the ‘split incentive’ dilemma is still present. Furthermore, the approach supports policy makers to develop policy measures needed to achieve 2050 goals.

Task 24 ST6&7 – Background for Green Leases in Commercial Office Buildings in Sweden

8 May 2017

This work was based on a literature review and interviews with commercial office property landlords and tenants, following the decision to focus on green leases in commercial office buildings as the top DSM priority for Sweden.

Task 24 – Subtask 6 & 7 Case Study Analysis – ICT Use in higher Education – Netherlands

28 April 2017

This is the comparative case-study analysis of two cases focusing on information and communication technology (ICT) use in the higher-education sector, at the Universities of Cambridge and Utrecht. It complements and contrasts Subtask 6 & 7 work on developing an ICT intervention with the University of Groningen.

IEA DSM Task 17 – Subtask 13: Conclusion and Recommendations

12 October 2016

Executive Summary

Use cases for combining application of DG-RES, DR and storage technologies in commercial and grid operation for providing demand side flexibility on various timescales and aggregation levels have been assessed in IEA DSM Task 17 Phase 3. Technologies have been also investigated in terms of financial and technological implementation potential as well as their availability.


IEA DSM Task 17 – Subtask 12: Best Practices and Lessons Learned

12 October 2016

Executive Summary

This document is the third report of the Task 17 deliverables. Real-world implementations are analyzed and lessons learned are captured. Based on collected information from pilots that were presented during conferences and workshops organized by the Task 17 team, the results and findings of these finished projects are further analyzed in terms of effectiveness. The analysis is in terms of the local context of the participating country and the benefits of aggregation in real-world living lab environments with different types of individual demand response technologies. There are a number of lessons learned from these experiences.


IEA DSM Task 17 – Subtask 11: Valuation Analysis of Residential Demand Side Flexibility

12 October 2016

Executive Summary

The document starts with background about the ongoing transition of the energy system and demand response integration. Use cases on how flexibility can create value are discussed in details with respect to each actor and their corresponding roles, with some examples given. These use cases are markets, network operators, customers and the society. Coordination schemes and their introduction and design of markets are presented and analyzed.

A detailed study on existing valuation schemes and cost-benefit analysis frameworks with a summary and overview of boundary conditions and scenarios is part of chapter 4. This is supported by an extensive number of existing valuations of smart grid projects with a particular focus on residential demand response.

The document continues on the subtask 10 deliverable that describes actors and their roles, as well as potentials which can be further translated into commercial and grid operation cost/benefit analyses.

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