“Is the Triple Benefit Principle a Feasible Instrument for Enhancing Energy Transition in
by Klaus Renoldner, June 2014
The concept of the Triple Benefit Principle was developed by the author as an instrument to achieve
individual energy transition based on his practical experiences in the years 1996 to 2011. The
principle’s facets include a low carbon lifestyle and transportation logistics and management, and
implementation of the principle results in improvement of individual, local, and global health
conditions. Achieved financial savings resulting in such changes are invested in the provision of
renewable energy to achieve an energy break‐even point within a few years. This study has analyzed
the feasibility of implementing the Triple Benefit Principle on a larger scale.
The survey was based on an online questionnaire including opinions and data on housing, eating, and
transport relevant for the implementation of the Triple Benefit Principle and energy transition. The
survey population includes 1247 individuals from Austria and other European nations and
encompasses a wide range of professions, income groups, and other variables.
A large interest in questions related to energy transition was discovered. Approximately 11% of the
population has already experienced investing €1000 or more of their achieved savings towards
renewable energy or fossil fuel reducing measures. The high potential for further and more targeted
implementation of the Triple Benefit Principle was found. The assumption that transportation plays a
key role in energy transition has been confirmed. Housing, eating and other consumption also
provide potential for savings. Awareness, motivation, skills, logistics, and individual management are
key factors. Based on details about policy opinions and the potential for implementing the Triple
Benefit Principle in various strata of the survey population, four possible scenarios have been
calculated and designed. Advantages and disadvantages of bottom‐up and top‐down approaches are
discussed, and ten policy recommendations have been framed.