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Energy efficiency first: Bold words must become bold action

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European Commission’s Energy Union underplays the potential of energy efficiency but opens door for MEPs and Member States to move the efficiency agenda forward.


Brussels, 30 November 2016 – Today, the European Commission released its ‘Clean Energy For All Europeans’ package, including legislative proposals to review the Union’s energy efficiency legislation. The Commission proposes a 2030 energy efficiency target of 30%, the upper figure anticipated by the European Council in 2014. This target level is still falling short of the tremendous economic, social and environmental potential for energy efficiency, but MEPs and Member States now have the opportunity to close this gap.


The ‘Clean Energy For All Europeans’ package proposes revising a number of key pieces of EU legislation to give them a post-2020 perspective, including the Energy Efficiency (EED) and the Energy Performance of Buildings (EPBD) Directives. The European Commission proposes a binding 2030 energy efficiency target of 30% and an extension of the EED’s main provisions, Article 7, until 2050. 30% is a step in the right direction, but is not enough to accelerate the pace at which Europe is currently upgrading its leaky buildings, wasteful equipment and technologies, production facilities and mobility systems.


“Finally, the proposals for the mid- to long-term perspective for energy efficiency in Europe are out. The importance of a 2050 planning horizon for structural investments through Article 7 of the EED cannot be overstated if the Energy Union is to benefit each European citizen”, said Stefan Scheuer, Secretary General of the Coalition for Energy Savings. “But Europe needs a 2030 target of more than 30%. Small and larger businesses, citizens and local authorities want to see an acceleration of energy efficiency improvements, and we believe the legislative process can achieve this”.


As a multi-stakeholder coalition, uniting 31 European business, civil society, consumer, professional, trade union and local government organisations, the Coalition for Energy Savings calls on the Council and on the European Parliament to maximise the tangible benefits that energy efficiency legislation can bring, by setting a 40% target based on cost-effective potentials and a delivery mechanism based on national binding targets.


Each additional 1% energy savings matters – it could take 7 million people out of energy poverty, secure 500,000 local jobs, avoid 37 million tons of CO2eq, and cut EU gas imports by 2.6%.


More consistency should also be brought throughout the Energy Union proposals by implementing the energy efficiency first principle in each and every strand, including for example in the planning and reporting requirements described in the governance regulation, and in the electricity market design proposals.



Notes for editors

• European Commission press release page

• Statement sent by the Coalition to Commissioners ahead of their decision

• Coalition for Energy Savings position paper on Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive

• Coalition for Energy Savings briefing on ‘Energy efficiency first’