Energy efficiency is deemed to play a crucial role in improving sustainability. Within the current debate on the design of more effective policies to promote energy efficiency in industry and society, the aim of this paper is to carry out an exhaustive evaluation of the Italian tax relief scheme by a specifically developed comprehensive multi-stakeholder cost-benefit evaluation framework. The framework considers the entire set of stakeholders involved in a broad set of cost-benefit items. The application of the evaluation framework in the Italian context shows that tax relief scheme had a positive impact for energy users and players in the energy efficiency value chain, while the State and energy utilities suffered from a negative cost-benefit balance. In particular, results seem to call for a business model transformation for the energy efficiency value chain, where utilities may counterbalance a reduction in their original business (marketed energy) through a greater role in offering energy efficiency value-added services to final users. The findings, beside providing policy-makers with useful insights on the (re)design of energy efficiency incentive mechanisms, also contribute to future academic research on the topic.
Keywords energy efficiency, tax relief, multi-stakeholder perspective, cost-benefits, cost-effectiveness, energy policy