Currently, the European Union has energy rules set at the European level, but in practice it has 28 national regulatory frameworks. An integrated energy market is needed to create more competition, lead to greater market efficiency through better use of energy generation facilities across the EU and to produce affordable prices for consumers. Given the falling cost of cleaner forms of energy, the strong EU climate policy and the emergence of new technologies, EU faces the historic opportunity to reset EU energy policy in the right direction: that of an Energy Union.
The Energy Union strategy has five mutually reinforcing and closely interrelated dimensions designed to bring greater energy security, sustainability and competitiveness:
- Energy security, solidarity and trust
- A fully integrated European energy market
- Energy efficiency contributing to moderation of demand
- Decarbonising the economy
- Research, innovation and competitiveness
Increasing energy efficiency in the building sector
Heating and cooling is the largest single source of energy demand in Europe and the majority of Europe’s gas imports are used for these purposes. Huge efficiency gains remain to be captured with regard to district heating and cooling, which will be addressed in a Commission strategy. Furthermore, actions by Member States, particularly at the local and regional levels, are needed in order to exploit the energy efficiency potential of buildings.
EU funds and financing by the European Investment Bank (EIB) can make a huge difference. The European Fund for Strategic Investments provides an opportunity to leverage major investments in renovating buildings. Investments in this area can provide great returns in terms of growth and jobs.
To download the report, please visit the relevant European Commission website: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?qid=1431711858167&uri=CELEX:52015DC0080