EU proposals for cutting energy consumption through greater efficiency
What's the issue?
- Current estimates show the EU is not on track to achieve its target of reducing its estimated energy consumption for 2020 by 20%.
- As a result, new measures on energy efficiency are now being proposed for implementation throughout the economy to bring the EU back on track to achieve its objective by 2020
What exactly would change?
- Public bodies would need to buy energy-efficient buildings, products and services, and refurbish 3% of their buildings each year to drastically reduce their energy consumption.
- Energy utilities would have to encourage end users to cut their energy consumption through efficiency improvements such as the replacement of old boilers or insulation of their homes.
- Industry would be expected to become more aware of energy-saving possibilities, with large companies required to undertake energy audits every 3 years.
- Consumers would be better able to manage their energy consumption thanks to better information provided on their meters and bills.
- Energy transformation would be monitored for efficiency, with the EU proposing measures to improve performance if necessary, and promoting cogeneration of heat and electricity.
- National energy regulatory authorities would have to take energy efficiency into account when deciding how and at what costs energy is distributed to end users.
- Certification schemes would be introduced for providers of energy services to ensure a high level of technical competence.
Who would benefit and how?
- Consumers would benefit from having better information available to control their energy consumption and influence their energy bills.
- The environment would benefit from reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
- Public bodies could reduce their spending for energy consumption by using more efficient buildings, products and services.
- The EU economy would benefit from a more secure energy supply and economic growth through the creation of new jobs, particularly in building renovation.
What happens next?
- Once the proposal is adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, EU countries will have to transpose the rules into national law within one year.
- Progress made in achieving EU's 20% energy saving target in 2020 will be reviewed in 2014. If it is insufficient, mandatory national energy efficiency targets will be proposed.
More information is available here