Third FR-DE Energy Efficiency Business Forum


The third edition of the Franco-German Energy Efficiency Business Forum, co-organized by EU-ASE, DENEFF and OFATE, took place on 8th November at the Ministry for Ecological Transition in Paris.

The event gathered a cross-sectoral group of businesses and Government representatives from France and Germany to discuss how accelerating energy efficiency through financing, decentralisation and digitalisation. The event was an opportunity to highlight the importance of Franco-German cooperation for both greater ambition in the implementation of the existing energy efficiency regulatory framework and for the European Green Deal.
The event stressed out that energy efficiency is a growth agenda and key enabler for decarbonizing the economy for France, Germany, and the European Union.

The forum attracted more than 50 high level participants. Please see the final agenda here.

In a joint statement following the event, Harry Verhaar, chairman of the European Alliance to Save Energy, said “Policy choices made by governments will determine the shape of the energy system of the future. If we want to achieve a climate neutral economy by 2050, we need to put the energy efficiency first principle at the heart of the transition. Changing how we construct, light, heat and cool our buildings will trigger positive change in many sectors, including energy and heavy industry, but also in sectors which at first sight may seem less connected, such as health and education. In the decade of climate action, the Franco-German partnership could lead by example, starting by committing to make all of their buildings net-zero by 2030 at the latest.” 

Read the full joint statement here.

Download Brian Motherway’s IEA presentation here


CLEAN ENERGY FOR ALL EUROPEANS PACKAGE: achievements, implications for implementation, where do we go from here?

The clean energy transition is taking on a new dynamic in Europe and worldwide. The “Energy efficiency first” principle and renewables are at the center of this transformation process. This requires strong implementation of existing policies, and new legislative measures to align with the increased ambition as proposed by the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

This interactive seminar brought together stakeholders, NGOs, Commission officers, MEPs and staff to examine the achievements of the last mandate, implications for implementation and monitoring and next steps.
The energy transition must create opportunities for sustainable growth and jobs, a Just Transition for workers and communities, increase the competitiveness of European businesses and deliver tangible and sustainable benefits for all citizens and our environment.

The seminar was organised at the European Parliament, in collaboration between MEPs Theresa Griffin (S&D, UK), Seán Kelly (EPP, Ireland) and the European Alliance to Save Energy.

Energy Efficiency and renewables working in synergy to reach climate neutrality by 2050

In the transition towards a new decarbonised energy system, it is clear that we cannot continue to look at climate challenges in isolation. We need a system-wide approach in which energy efficiency improvements make it easier to increase the share of renewables in the final energy mix, and vice versa. With energy efficiency and renewable energy working together, the decarbonisation of our economy will go much faster and at a lower cost. Energy efficiency and renewable energy can bring about more than 90% of the energy-related CO2 emission reductions needed to meet Paris Agreement targets.


In this context and to provide inputs to policy and decision makers ahead of a new EU institutional cycle, the European Alliance to Save Energy and the partners of the Interreg MED EU co-funded project COMPOSE organised a policy debate to reflect upon the synergies between energy efficiency and renewable energy sources.
The policy debate was followed by presentations of concrete projects showcasing how combined and mutually reinforcing actions on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources impact on the EU long-term decarbonisation objectives.

The presentations given during the event can be downloaded from the following links:

Climate change. Where do we stand? Why should we care?
Lučka Kajfež Bogataj, University of Ljubljana – IPCC Nobel Peace Prize Winner

For a human, fair and desirable Energy Transition
Marie-Maud Gerard, Energy Project Manager, GERES,Group for the environment, renewable energy and solidarity

Sustainable Development & Respective Initiatives in Rethymno Municipality
Theopisti Birliraki, Municipal Councilor of Tourism, Municipality of Rethymno

Energy Transition: from global necessity to local opportunity. The COMPOSE model and decision support toolbox
Stavroula Tournaki, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems Lab, Technical University of Crete

Energy communities: empowering citizen ownership of renewable and energy efficiency projects
Josh Roberts, Advocacy officer,

Highly insulated buildings as an indispensable element for smart cities, grid balancing and potential storage for renewable sources of energy
Lorenzo Pagliano, Professor, Director of end-use Efficiency Research Group (eERG), Politecnico of Milan

Smart building infrastructure enables synergy between renewables & efficiency: an example from the greenest shopping center in Europe
Elisa Gastaldi, Senior Director EU Affairs, Siemens

Project Zero: how Sønderborg will go C02 neutral by 2029 through energy efficiency, renewables and the transformation to a smart energy system
Susanne Tull, Senior Manager Public Affairs, Danfoss

Smart microgrids and smart building automation systems working hand for enhanced EE & RES integration – the example of Finland’s Largest Industrial Microgrid
Jules Cordillot, EU Government Affairs Officer, Schneider Electric

Energy efficiency renovation programmes in the Visegrad countries, Bulgaria and Romania. Good practices and recommendations for ESIF post 2020.

The event organized in cooperation with the Permanent Representation of the Slovak Republic to the EU explored good practice and ideas on effective set up of the ESIF post 2020 focused on leveraging the crucial role of buildings in meeting the challenges of climate change and European energy targets in the Visegrad countries, Bulgaria, Romania and the EU in general.

Buildings for the Future, Chance for Buildings, MEHI, NAPE and the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) joined forces to promote energy efficient renovation in buildings across the Eastern block of the European Union. As part of their effort they unveiled a set of recommendations for designing a more forward looking programming and effective use of ESIF post-2020.
The building stock accounts for approximately 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU, making them the single largest energy consumer in Europe. Renovation of existing buildings can lead to significant energy savings and plays a key role in the clean energy transition, as it could reduce the EU’s total energy consumption by 5-6% and lower CO2 emissions by about 5%.
The buildings sector is also the sector with the biggest current investment gap (at around €180 billion each year) — nearly three quarters of the EU’s 2030 clean energy investment gap is accounted for by energy efficiency in buildings.
With this in mind and in the framework of the ESIF post 2020 trialogue discussion, Buildings for the Future, Chance for Buildings, MEHI, NAPE, and EU-ASE have jointly organized a policy workshop to take stock of best practices in promoting energy efficiency of buildings in the Visegrad countries, Bulgaria and Romania.
The event “Energy Efficiency renovation programmes in the Visegrad countries: good practices and recommendations for ESIF post 2020” provided a timely opportunity for an expert contribution to the ongoing debate on the effective setup of future ESI Funds in promoting energy efficiency in buildings.
Today it has been very useful to hear about good practices and renovation programmes from different Eastern European countries” – said Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy – “we wish that the recommendations and the inputs provided today will contribute to a 2021-2027 ESIF that sustain such programmes and bridges the gap between current and needed investment levels into energy efficiency of buildings”.
The initiative took place under the auspices of the Permanent Representation of Slovakia to the EU and with the support of the International Visegrad Fund.


EU-ASE, key player at the European Sustainable Energy Week 2019

Held from 18-20 June, EUSEW19 brought together climate and energy experts for an unparalleled policy conference, bringing the energy transition debate to the table once again.

Selected by the European Commission and EASME as Strategic Partner for this year’s edition, the European Alliance to Save Energy played a significant role during the week, organising three different sessions – Sustainable finance for innovation and energy efficiency; Every Drop Counts: The water-energy nexus and its relevance across EU policies; EPC: Delivering real energy savings from EU to local level – and hosting a stand at the Networking Village. The goal? To get across the message that investing in energy efficiency is, indeed, the smartest and most cost-efficient move in order to achieve decarbonisation by 2050 at the latest. On top of this, Monica Frassoni, President of the Alliance, was once again nominated as EUSEW Ambassador, taking part to the debate and giving away one of the Sustainable Energy Awards.


Introduced by Julie Kjestrup, Head of the Danfoss EU Office, the first session focused on the role of sustainable finance to boost investments in innovation and energy efficiency across sectors. After a presentation by Climate Strategy CEO Peter Sweatman, pointing out to the need to scale up investment in R&I to achieve decarbonisation, the event kicked off with a first all-female panel moderated by Sandrine Dixson-Declève, Senior Advisor at E3G and EIT-ClimateKic. Over a lively discussion, participants –Adèle Naudy-Chambaud, EU Public Affairs Manager at Schneider Electric; Diana Barglazan, Policy Officer for Energy Efficiency at DG ENER; and Ingrid Holmes, Head of Policy and Advocacy at Hermes Investment Management – addressed both the private and public instruments already available for directing capital to investment. With stellar moderation by Helen Spence-Jackson, from EIT-ClimateKIC, the second panel also featured a private-public mix of speakers, this time focusing on existing barriers to investments and how to tackle them. Barry Lynham, Managing Director at Knauf Energy Solutions, highlighted that the first step to take would be for “energy efficiency to stop focusing on barriers, as it only means great opportunity”.

The session –co-organised with EU-ASE member European Climate Foundation– was closed by Monica Frassoni, who underlined that we do indeed need technology, but also societal organization, strong regulation, and much more urgent action on climate. “Energy efficiency is one element of a bigger system of which we are all elements, so we better do it together”, she said.

The second session of the day, jointly organized with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, focused on the link between water and energy. Despite being inextricably interconnected, water and energy policies do not account for each other. As a result, both scarce resources are wasted, keeping the EU away from fulfilling its climate and energy targets and contributing to fighting the climate crisis. Chaired by Maive Rute, Deputy Director-General of the JRC, and Monica Frassoni, the discussion confronted industry proposals with policy-makers views. Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General of DG ENVI, highlighted the impossibility of delivering any policy related to water without a comprehensive approach that includes the water-energy nexus. Industry members –including Jure Sumi, Business Development Director at Knauf Insulation; Simon Goldschmidt, Chief Commercial Officer at Orbital Systems; and David Martin, Vice President of Government Relations at Nalco Water– pointed out the many already available existing solutions for preventing the waste of energy and water, like green roofs, smart systems for the management of leakages, or domestic sector solutions applying circular economy principles, such as Orbital System’s efficient shower. The event was an opportunity to present EU-ASE’s most recent paper on the energy-water nexus.


The second day of EUSEW19 kept us a busy in the Networking Village. From our stand, we presented the energy efficiency success stories of our members, tangible examples of energy efficiency real solutions across sectors that delivered both tangible and intangible benefits.

We closed EUSEW with a final discussion on EPCs, co-organised with EFIEES, eu.esco, EVO, and Stepping Project. The session shed some light on the main barriers both public and private sectors face in relation to the tool –lack of information, wrong perception of the risks associated to them, or limited internal capacity in public authorities– while also proposing new financing schemes and solutions to address them, such as an innovative instrument designed by Slovak Investment Holding that takes the burden off both the esco, and the public building. Katarzyna Wardal, EU Public Affairs Manager at Knauf Insulation, pointed out to the need of technical assistance coming from a proper regulatory framework to cover up for the lack of capacity in public authorities, suggesting cohesion funds as an optimal tool to do so.

With its persistence presence over the three days of the policy conference, this year’s EUSEW has further proven that EU-ASE is the leading voice of energy efficiency in the European Union.

Did you miss it? Re-play the sessions here.