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Oettinger: Energy savings target still possible

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An informal energy council meeting was held Friday April 20 in Horsens, Denmark. The European Commission and the Danish EU presidency said the Energy Efficiency Directive could "realistically" come together in the next couple of months, despite member states' consistent watering down of the proposal.

A deal to deliver a 20% energy savings target is still possible by 1 July, the Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said.

This was thought to be the most constructive discussion thus far in the Council [of ministers] on this file says Martin Lidegaard, the Danish climate and energy minister.

The Danish presidency said arguments about the potential of the law to drive growth by creating jobs in housing renovation, and in cutting dependency on foreign oil and gas, were beginning to outweigh anxiety over initial costs.

The energy efficiency bill has been the subject of thorny debates in the so-called "trialogue" meetings between the Commission, Council and Parliament. Its main provisions have been watered down so much during the talks that only 38% of the initial savings proposed by the European Commission can now be achieved, the EU executive has warned.

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