Energy Policy Shake-Up: EU’s ‘Unambitious’ Progress on Energy Efficiency in Focus

Written by | Friday, June 30th, 2017

European leaders agreed on the bloc’s reduced energy efficiency targets of 30 percent by 2030 in a move that was described as “unambitious”. The compromise, which is a result of protracted and difficult negotiations, accounts for less than 40 percent target supported previously by the European Parliament. European environmental organizations were quick to criticize the outcome and the WWF said that the revision of the Energy Performance of Building Directive did not much “to increase the rate of energy renovations in buildings.”

The two main revised directives included establishing a 30% of EU energy efficiency target and an energy savings obligation of 1.5% decreasing to 1% for the period of 2026-2030 as well as promoting energy efficiency and energy performance of buildings aiming to support cost-effective building renovation and construction. The aim of the proposal on the energy performance of buildings is also to prepare for the long-term goal of decarbonizing the highly inefficient European building stock.  This will include establishing long-term renovation strategies for buildings, the largest single energy consumer in Europe consuming 40% of energy. Therefore, the EU also ponders introducing smart indicators for buildings and simplifying heating and air conditioning systems.

Under the revised directive on energy efficiency, alternative measures are recognized as equivalent to energy efficiency obligation schemes and renewable energy generated on-site can be partially counted towards savings in the 2020-2030 period. Moreover, the EU calls for improved metering and billing provisions for the benefit of final users of heating and cooling as well as for the obligation to take into account energy poverty when designing new measures.

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