EU-ASE letter to President Tusk and all 28 Heads of State and Government: Energy Union will succeed by putting Efficiency First

At the forthcoming European Council on 19-20 March you will be discussing further orientations in view of building an Energy Union.

The European Council has regularly acknowledged that the cheapest and cleanest energy is that which is not used. The vision set out in the Communication on the Energy Union Strategy starts to reflect this, describing an Energy Union in which energy efficiency is seen as a key driver of energy security and is conceived as “an energy source in its own right”.

The Commission’s vision opens the door to an “efficiency first” approach, in which demand side resources would be systematically considered in energy system planning, purchasing and investing, and given priority wherever they cost less or deliver more value to society than supply side alternatives. The Energy Union set out by the Commission could thus mark a turning point away from an energy system that is based on building or buying ever more supply.

As the providers of energy efficiency/demand management goods and services in Europe, the members of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) commended this vision and called for an endorsement by the European Council to really treat energy efficiency as an energy source in its own right and compete on equal terms with generation capacity.

Letter to the College of Commissioners: “Energy efficiency first” in the Energy Union

On behalf of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU‐ASE), we are writing to express our full support for the creation of the Energy Union and to encourage you to place energy efficiency firmly at the forefront of its development and operation.

In the same way that it would be smart to fix any leaks in a race car fuel system before upgrading the size of its fuel pump, so it is necessary to address existing inefficiencies in European energy use before attempting to upgrade its distribution infrastructure and tackle other measures to strengthen and modernise its energy system. Doing so will help to ensure that the benefits of the other measures are maximised and that funds spent in their support are leveraged to yield strong returns.

Simply put, a top‐priority focus on energy efficiency will set the stage for the success of the Energy Union, and to neglect its importance is to risk dooming the project from the outset.

So preeminent is “Energy Efficiency First” among the pillars of the Energy Union.

Letter to President Juncker: 35 companies and business associations call for a relevant role of energy efficiency in the Investment Plan for Europe

Dear President Juncker,

Dear Vice-President Katainen,

As representatives of progressive companies and not-for-profit organizations working in Brussels to promote improved energy efficiency, we very much welcome your promised focus on improving Europe’s competitiveness and stimulating investment for the purpose of job creation. With private sector investment in Europe at one third of its 2007 levels, we face a crisis of confidence for businesses investing in Europe.

Choices made now in the Investment Package have the ability to materially change that sentiment. But it would be a mistake to pursue growth at any cost. The New Climate Economy Report shows that environmentally sound and socially inclusive growth is possible – there is no trade off. As such we believe that for the Jobs, Growth and Investment Package to deliver on its promise to quickly improve competitiveness in Europe, it must pass two key tests:

• Impact – The package must have a focus on sectors and projects that can deliver growth in the short term – and maximise the use of underutilised capacity in the European economy through delivering a high job creation potential.

• Sustainability – The package must be sustainable in the widest sense, delivering long-term economic benefits by improving business competitiveness; delivering visible improvements in the welfare of European citizens; and contributing to improved environmental performance of the EU economy.

Energy efficiency is a strong candidate on both fronts.

As such we urge you to include in the Jobs, Growth and Investment Package a clear focus on improving European energy efficiency and a clear commitment to increase the financial provision for technical assistance and access to low cost loans to enable Member States to develop a strong pipeline of projects.

We also need a clear commitment to continuing to roll out smart regulation, such as the Ecodesign Directive – which Commission analysis indicates will cut European consumer energy bills by around €110bn per year through reduced energy use and increase revenues to industry and the wholesale and retail sectors by €54 billion in 2020 – to further improve European competitiveness.

The investment package should aim to untangle the silos of specific procurement schemes and provide flexibility to finance technologies that taken together could have a “multiplier effect”. There are obvious synergies between digital, smart grid and energy efficiency technologies in a building or in an industrial plant, therefore the investment focus must take into account the value of these synergies between sectors.

Finally, to truly embed energy efficiency across the EU economy, we urge you to include increased energy productivity in Member States as part of the broader structural reforms under consideration. In this way the short term impact of the Package help deliver long term impacts through improving the economic performance of the EU in the long-term, delivering millions of jobs across the EU in the process.

Note to the Italian Prime Minister: “Stop agli sprechi!”

Lo sviluppo di una riflessione seria sull’impatto dell’efficienza energetica sull’economia e la società italiana ed europea è spesso ostacolato da tre falsi miti:

1. E’ VERO CHE FARE EFFICIENZA ENERGETICA SIGNIFICA FRENARE LA CRESCITA ECONOMICA ?

2. E’ VERO CHE LE SOLUZIONI DI EFFICIENZA ENERGETICA RICHIEDONO COSTI INIZIALI TROPPO ALTI ?

3. E’ VERO CHE IL MERCATO DELL’EFFICIENZA ENERGETICA SI SVILUPPA DA SOLO E DUNQUE NON C’È BISOGNO DI NORME E REGOLE ?