AbstractMultiscale approaches based on homogenization theory provide a suitable framework to incorporate information associated with a small-scale (microscale) problem into the considered large-scale (macroscopic) problem. In this connection, the present paper proposes a novel computationally efficient hybrid homogenization method. Its backbone is a variationally consistent FE2 approach in which every aspect is governed by energy minimization. In particular, scale bridging is realized by the canonical principle of energy equivalence. As a direct implementation of the aforementioned variationally consistent FE2 approach is numerically extensive, an efficient approximation based on Ritz's method is advocated. By doing so, the material parameters defining an effective macroscopic material model capturing the underlying microstructure can be efficiently computed. Furthermore, the variational scale bridging principle provides some guidance to choose a suitable family of macroscopic material models. Comparisons between the results predicted by the novel hybrid homogenization method and full field finite element simulations show that the novel method is indeed very promising for multiscale analyses.