Open letter to EU Energy Ministers on the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive

The European Alliance to Save Energy sent a letter addressing the EU-27 energy and climate Ministers, ahead of the Energy Council meeting on 27 June.

The Russian military invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the energy crisis and urged EU governments action to reduce soaring energy prices. As adopted in the Versailles Declaration by the European Council and as proposed by the European Commission in the REPowerEU plan, an ambitious revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive is critical to first and foremost reduce Europe’s energy demand.

Following the application of the Energy Efficiency First principle, improving energy efficiency across all sectors goes hand in hand with the replacement of fossil fuel solutions by cleaner, renewable energy sources. By reducing energy demand and optimising the full energy system through the reduction of peak demand, energy efficiency allows to reduce the need for investments in new generation, transmission and distribution systems, and thereby also ultimately reducing the costs passed onto consumers.

Read the full letter here

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MEPS paramount to address high energy prices and achieve the EU decarbonisation goals

Business organisations call for the introduction of mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards for the renovation of the buildings sector in the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

Today, together with major business organisations advocating for energy efficiency solutions in Europe, we addressed a letter to energy Commissioner Kadri Simson regarding the incoming revision of the EPBD.

The EU building stock must undergo a profound renovation to make it energy efficient and cut emissions. The Renovation Wave strategy foresees that the rate of building renovations must at least double to achieve our climate objectives. Renovating buildings is also the best medium and long-term solution to maintain energy prices low for consumers.

The introduction of mandatory minimum energy performance standards for all buildings is essential for the EU to deliver on its promises to make the European Green Deal as Europe’s growth strategy.

These standards can create the necessary regulatory framework to attract public and private investments, boosting the construction value chain and making the sector attractive to fill the skills gap.

Read the full letter here

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Key energy stakeholders call for an ambitious revision of the EPBD

Together with 12 leading energy associations, the European Alliance to Save Energy calls on the European Commission to boost the decarbonisation of the EU building stock through an ambitious revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. 

Buildings are a key part of the energy system, but most of them are energy inefficient and 75% of buildings’ energy consumption is still based on fossil fuels. The revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is “make or break” occasion to decarbonise a sector that has to cut its emissions by 60% by 2030. 

In a joint letter addressed to Kadri Simson, EU Commissioner for Energy, and to Frans Timmermans, First Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) calls on the Commission to ensure that the EPBD revision leads the way to make our buildings energy efficient, renewables-based, flexible and integrated in the energy system. 

To support this objective, together with the co-signatories, EU-ASE recommends including the following provisions in the EPBD: 

  • Apply the Energy Efficiency First Principle to stimulate renovations aiming at highly energy efficient, renewable-based and flexible buildings integrated in the increasingly variable energy system. 
  • Ensure all new buildings are both highly efficient and renewable-based from 2025 onwards. 
  • Introduce a binding target on EU Member States to reach annual integrated renovations of at least 3% per year. 
  • Introduce mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for all existing buildings to accelerate the rate and depth of renovations.  
  • Accompany MEPS with easily accessible support measures targeting lower-income households and businesses.  
  • Strengthen and harmonise Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) to become a reliable instrument to support the uptake of building renovations and drive the deployment of clean energy solutions. 
  • Include recommendations in EPCs on how to improve a building’s energy performance through energy efficiency measures and the deployment of digital and decentralised energy resources. 
  • Support the cost-effective integration of the increasingly electrified building and transport sectors by strengthening the existing e-mobility provisions . 
  • Provide better technical assistance, including to local and regional authorities, on the use of available funds and build capacity to increase demand and reduce hurdles. 

Read the full letter here

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Open letter: EU Taxonomy should recognise key role to increase energy efficiency of electrical and industrial solutions

In response to the Platform on Sustainable Finance’s consultation on preliminary recommendations for technical screening criteria for the EU taxonomy, the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) addressed in an open letter the European Commission asking to recognise the key enabling role to increase energy efficiency of electrical and industrial solutions.

The letter says:

In May 2018, the European Commission published its action plan on sustainable finance which, among other elements, included a proposal to create a unified EU classification system (EU Taxonomy). We support this initiative that will provide greater clarity to investors on what can be genuinely considered sustainable economic activities. In order to fully deliver on the goals of the taxonomy, its technical screening criteria must include all the most beneficial and sustainable solutions available on the market.

Electrical equipment and industrial automation equipment and systems are key enabling technologies to deliver on energy efficiency and electrification. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the electrification of heating, transport and industry is essential, and the share of electricity should reach at least 60% in 2050 to keep global warming well below 1.5 °C.

Electrical equipment which helps control, command and optimise the electricity system is crucial because it improves energy efficiency, streamlines energy demand and supply, and supports the integration of renewable energies. Currently, there are about 8 billion electric motors in use in the EU, consuming nearly 50% of the electricity produced in the Union. Thanks to industrial automation technologies such as variable speed drives, highly efficient contactors and industrial control and automation, it is possible to achieve significant energy savings. For example, in Germany, demand-driven automation technology could deliver additional energy savings of between 10 % and 25 % in machines and plants.

For the reasons exposed above, we believe that it is essential that the EU taxonomy rightly recognises the enabling role of this industry for climate change mitigation, and we stress that:

  1. The full chain of electrical equipment from high voltage, medium voltage and low voltage should be covered in the manufacturing section, ensuring a comprehensive approach
  2. The enabling role of the electrical equipment as a system should be captured as a system. So, the eligible equipment should not be limited only to connected ones, missing other pieces needed to make the full system work.
  3. Industrial automation equipment and solutions should be included in the manufacturing section, either with a dedicated section or under the same section than electrical equipment.

 

Read the full letter here

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Wide coalition of stakeholders spells out expectations on “Fit for 55” package

Ahead of the European Council’s discussion on 25 May about the new climate and energy legislation (so called Fit for 55 Package), EU-ASE joined with European businesses, investor groups, local and regional authorities and NGOs calling upon EU decision makers to ensure that the upgraded climate and energy legislation increases the EU’s climate ambition to the highest possible level.

Signed by 50 organisations, the joint letter highlights that “If the European Green Deal is the EU’s growth strategy, the new climate and energy legislation should be its engine”. Based on this principle, the letter calls upon the EU Heads of State to further step up the EU’s climate action by expanding the scope of the EU 2030 target. It also urges EU decision makers to strengthen the Emission Trading System and to maintain and increase nationally binding targets under the Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) covering emissions from road transport, buildings and agriculture and waste.

Finally, the letter reminds the importance of increasing targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency in line with higher climate ambition and ensuring that they are binding, and concludes by highlighting the need to have full synergy between climate and energy legislation and other EU targets, policies and measures.

Stakeholders representing over 2.700 cities, 330 regions, investors with over €37tn in assets, more than 1.100 companies and 390 NGOs, emphasise the importance of creating synergy between the “Fit for 55” Package and national, local and regional EU funding opportunities in order to send a strong signal that EU funds will support the implementation of the EU’s enhanced climate objectives.

 

Read the full letter

 

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