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Policy briefing and Social Impact Assessment

Deliverable 5.3

This report presents the Ethical Assessment Methodology and policy briefings developed within the WHY project, aiming to inform policy makers on how energy consumers can reduce their energy use and CO2 emission footprint from the local to the EU level. The ethical assessment approach, characterized by an 'insider' perspective, involves a thorough analysis of social implications, effects, and consequences extending beyond mere technology acceptance or rejection. The methodology, unfolding through six systematic steps, is applied to the WHY project use cases in Maintal and Energy Cooperative. These case studies unveil varied perceptions regarding prioritizing energy services during blackouts and collaborative efforts to combat energy poverty.

The accompanying semi-structured interviews emphasize collaboration between local authorities and energy communities, shedding light on challenges and determinants. The inclusion of two policy briefings – the EU policy brief and the Local policy brief – is pivotal to inform local and EU policy makers on WHY research and provide them relevant recommendations.

The EU policy brief stresses the imperative role of energy efficiency and decarbonization in the residential sector, advocating for low-carbon energy sources and clear, supportive policies combined with a strong uptake of renovation and heat pumps. Recommendations encompass incentivizing energy efficiency improvements, robust building regulations, policy tailoring to national contexts, and smart redistributive policies for a just transition.

The Local policy brief focuses on disseminating key results for stakeholders in the energy transition at local scale focusing on energy communities.

Recommendations span active individual participation, sustainable neighborhood planning, energy cooperative support for communities, and improved models for EU energy policies. Ultimately, the goal of this report is to contribute significantly to the EU's climate and energy goals for 2050 based on WHY research results, emphasizing ethical considerations and providing clear policy recommendations for a sustainable and inclusive future.