At Climate law conference Monica Frassoni highlights importance of energy efficiency to decarbonise Europe

Speech by EU-ASE president Monica Frassoni at High-level public conference on implementing the European Green Deal and Climate Law

Brussels, Tuesday 28 January 2020

“The production and use of energy across economic sectors account for more than 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency (EE) must be prioritised. If we all want to go towards electrification, digitalisation and all the necessary elements that a successful and just transition entails, we need to cut radically our energy demand, by half by 2050 in comparison to 2005, says the Commission.

In other words, we need to fully implement EE FIRST in the decision making and planning of EU energy infrastructure including facilities for generation, transmission, distribution and end-use consumption. This should be addressed in the review of TEN-E, PCI list and in the design of the EU decarbonization package.

We are not yet there I am afraid. EE is still the Cinderella of the energy debate.

Considering the little time we have ahead of us to fully decarbonize and decouple growth from energy consumption, it strikes me how much more attractive seem to be to run incredible risks like investing billions in tax-payers money in not yet fully working technologies like trying to “recycle” gas infrastructures or to capture CO2, instead than rushing to make our houses more comfortable and smart or our industries and transport systems less dependent on the moods of foreign leaders.

Technologies are there, numbers are clear. The building sector impacts 20 million jobs and 92% of companies are SMEs. According to the EC Impact Assessment, for every 1% extra energy savings by 2030:  EU gas imports fall by 4%, GHG emissions decrease by 0.7%, Employment increases by 336,000 jobs. How many other sectors have a better business case in terms of job creation?

Let’s face it. If we need to be fully decarbonized by 2050 or earlier, all public efforts must go to energy efficiency and renewables. And no public money should go to activities that go against this landmark objective. Climate law should be very clear to help us avoid doing like Penelope, who undid in the night what she wove in the day.”

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.