A number of European NGOs have published two guides on the Energy Efficiency First principle: one explaining what it means and the other what governance structure is needed to realise it.
“Efficiency First” (E1st) is the fundamental principle around which the development of the EU’s energy system should be designed. It means considering the potential for efficiency (including energy savings and demand response) in all decision-making related to energy, and prioritising efficiency improvements when they are more cost-effective or valuable than power generation, grids and pipelines and fuel supplies
In February 2015 the E1st principle was formally endorsed by the European Commission within the framework of the Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Policy. Over the past few months, a group of experts from CAN Europe, ClientEarth, the Regulatory Assistance Project, the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee), the European Climate Foundation (ECF), E3G, Friends of the Earth Europe, OpenExp, Stefan Scheuer Consulting and the Smart Energy Demand Coalition, have collaborated to deepen understanding of the E1st principle and how it might be operationalised.
In line with this year’s focus of the recent EU Sustainable Energy Week – Europe's Energy Union – and with a foreword from the European Commission's Vice President for Energy Union, the briefing Efficiency First: A New Paradigm for the European Energy System – Driving Competitiveness, Energy Security and Decarbonisation through increased Energy Productivity, sets out how the principle can help the Energy Union to deliver on these three goals, and the changes needed to the governance framework to make it work in practice.
More details on the actions needed are given in a second briefing, Governance for Efficiency First: "Plan, Finance and Deliver" – ten near-term actions the European Commission should take to make Efficiency First a reality. First order recommendations are for the European Commission to prepare its own Action Plan for E1st, and to screen all proposals falling under the Energy Union through the E1st lens. These two documents are hoped to contribute to a wider understanding of the E1st principle and provide some concrete ideas on ways to begin embedding it across the Energy Union.
For further information, please visit the relevant eceee webpage at the link below.