The European Commission has presented a framework for climate and energy policies in the period 2020 to 2030. This framework proposes ambitious targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction and renewable energy as part of the European Union's (EU) transition to a competitive low carbon economy. It also promotes reduced energy dependency and more affordable energy for business and consumers via a well-functioning internal market. The 2030 framework has since been complemented by a more detailed analysis of the EU energy security, taking into account recent geopolitical events at the eastern border of the EU, together with a strategy that proposes concrete actions to reduce energy dependency in the immediate future and over the longer term.
This Communication explains and quantifies the contribution that energy efficiency could make to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to improving the EU energy security which are both facets of an integrated framework for climate and energy policy. In line with the Energy Efficiency Directive, this Communication also reports on the outlook for attainment of the 20% target for energy efficiency in 2020.
Energy efficiency policies are delivering tangible results
As a result of energy efficiency measures, buildings are consuming less energy, inefficient equipment is being phased out from the market and labels applied to household appliances such as televisions and boilers have enabled consumers to make informed purchasing choices. Public authorities, industry, SMEs and households are becoming more aware of energy-saving possibilities. In transport, CO2 performance requirements will reduce fleet average emissions of new passenger cars by 40% by 2021 compared to 2007.
Further efforts needed in order to reach the EU energy saving target by 2020
Given the wide benefits of energy efficiency and the accumulating evidence that energy efficiency policy works, it is essential to make the extra effort needed to ensure that the 20% target is met in full. Implementation of the EU legislative framework is still lagging behind. If all Member States now work equally hard to implement fully the agreed legislation, the 20% target can be achieved without the need for additional measures.
Efforts should be concentrated on the following elements:
- Reassuring consumers of the quality of their buildings by strengthening local and regional verification of national building codes and accurately informing consumers of the energy performance of buildings for sale or rent
- Fully implicating utilities in working with their customers to obtain energy savings
- Strengthening market surveillance of the energy efficiency of products that needs to be resourced in all Member States and that will ensure a level playing field for industry and provide consumers with the information they need to make informed choices
To download the Communication, please visit the relevant EUR-Lex website: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1431954040069&uri=CELEX:52014DC0520