The session ended with a third panel, moderated by Sven Rösner, Director of FR-DE Office for Energy Transition (OFATE) brought forward a fruitful debate between advocacy organisations and German Federal Government representatives, aimed at evaluating the impact of the new European framework on the national context. The panel featured speakers like Stefan Besser, Head of Unit of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Adrian Joyce from EuroACE; or Stefan Scheuer from the Coalition for Energy Savings. All the speakers highlighted the importance of bringing together all sectors of society – Public Administration, citizens, NGOs, and of trying to forge new alliances. Another common point was that, first and foremost, energy efficiency should be the priority for buildings, as it is the most cost-effective option for decarbonization. Furthermore, Joyce said, it also brings social benefits, as it tackles energy poverty. “When you touch a building, you touch people’s lives, so you must touch them correctly”, he pointed out. Stefan Besser stated that currently no massive changes were foreseen for the German regulatory approach, a statement in stark contrast with the demands of his co-panelists. The discussion engaged both the panel and the audience on an interesting debate about the link between the current protests in France which sparked off as a reaction to carbon taxation and the fact that energy efficiency can help private households to spend less money on energy and create tens of thousands of jobs for all qualifications when properly implemented. On this note, Marjolaine Millefert-Meynier stated from the audience her opinion that the turmoil as we see it currently in France should also be seen as an opportunity, as people started to think about the way they use energy and the cost of it. She believes this to be a starting point for a dialogue on energy policies.
The event was followed by a guided visit of the EUREF Campus, a smart urban district and pilot project for the transition to sustainable energy and mobility.