Multiple impacts of energy efficiency school rehabilitation in Georgia (MultEER)
Access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is not only a goal in itself, but is also a prerequisite for all other goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015. Energy efficiency, alongside support for renewable energy, is at the core of decarbonisation efforts. Large infrastructure projects in particular have the potential for significant improvements in energy efficiency. However, the overarching effectiveness beyond energy savings is largely understudied.
DEval will fund the impact evaluation of an energy efficiency school rehabilitation project in Georgia, which will look at the impact beyond energy savings in particular.
The majority of public buildings in Georgia, including those used for schools, were built in the Soviet era between 1950 and 1980. The main characteristics of these buildings are a lack of maintenance and construction that does not meet modern energy efficiency standards.
Innovation & Method
As part of the development project, approx. 100 schools will be rehabilitated in terms of energy efficiency. The rehabilitation of buildings will consist of wall insulation, sealing of roofs, newly-insulated windows, doors, modern heating systems and energy-efficient lighting.
To obtain unbiased impact estimates, the experimental approach uses the implementation schedule of the school rehabilitation programme, which requires construction work to be spread over four years. For the study population, namely students and teachers, the impacts of energy efficiency rehabilitations naturally occur at the level of school buildings, which makes this a clustered treatment. Schools which are eligible for the programme will be selected for the treatment and control group in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) phase-in procedure. Around half of the 100 schools will be randomly selected for the treatment group, for which construction work will be carried out the first two years of the programme. The control group consists of the remaining schools, where construction work will be carried out during the last two years.
Expected results/Research questions
The major question that this research project is trying to answer is to what extent energy-efficient building rehabilitations can achieve multiple development objectives beyond energy savings. In addition to the desired energy savings, the question is whether the energy-efficient rehabilitation of school buildings can achieve a significant change in learning and working conditions for students and teachers.