Strengthening technical assistance to deliver the Renovation Wave

Deploying technical assistance and building up administrative and logistical capacity in the Member States is a key enabler to turn the EU Renovation Wave into a reality and deliver the multiple benefits of energy efficiency across countries, regions, cities and to individual households.

Technical assistance plays a central role in removing the administrative, financial and other hurdles for ministries, cities, local authorities, businesses and households to renovate buildings. Allocating dedicated resources to technical assistance would enable support for public authorities to map out their building stock, prepare long-term renovation strategies and develop and
aggregate renovation proposals. In addition, these funds could be invested in education and training of workforce (upskilling and reskilling) as well as in information campaigns to increase citizens and businesses’ awareness about the multiple benefits of renovations in terms of cost-savings, comfort, improved living conditions and increased productivity.

This webinar will dive into the topic of technical assistance for energy efficiency projects and discuss how to strengthen technical assistance in the Member States and scale-up renovations across Europe.

Date and time: Wednesday 6 October 2021, 10:00 – 11:45 CET

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AGENDA

  • 10:00 Setting the scene and moderation
    Monica Frassoni, President, European Alliance to Save Energy
  • 10:05 Cohesion policies and technical assistance
    Nicola de Michelis, Director for Smart & Sustainable Growth and Programme Implementation, DG Regio, European Commission
    Mercedes Caballero Fernández, Secretaria General de Fondos Europeos, Ministerio de Hacienda, Spain (tbc)
    Quentin Galland, Public Affairs Director, Knauf Insulation
    Siemens representative
  • 10:35 Supporting Member States to implement energy efficiency projects
    Nathalie Berger, Director for Support to Member States’ Reforms, DG Reform, European Commission
    Renzo Tomellini, Head of the Technical Secretariat of Minister Cingolani, Ministry of Ecological Transition, Italy
    Mirella Vitale, Senior Vice President, Rockwool
    Julie Kjestrup, Head of EU Affairs, Danfoss
  • 11:05 Boosting technical assistance through EU legislation
    Paula Pinho, Director for Just Transition, Consumers, Energy Efficiency and Innovation, DG Energy, European Commission
    Bertrand Deprez, Vice President EU Government Affairs, Schneider Electric (tbc)
    Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public and Affairs, Signify and EU-ASE Board Chair
  • 11:35 Conclusions

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Response to the Roadmap on the Digitalisation of the Energy Sector

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback to the inception roadmap on the EU Action Plan on the Digitalisation of the Energy Sector.

Digitalisation is key to accelerate the decarbonisation of the economy while ensuring business competitiveness. Digitalisation makes it possible to deliver energy at the right time, in the right place and at the lowest cost. It provides excellent opportunities to further reduce energy demand and optimise energy consumption. Furthermore, the digitalisation of the energy system allows citizens to actively participate in the energy market and is the foundation for energy systems integration, ensuring better integration and use of energy from e.g. distributed energy resources directly powered by renewables (e.g. heat pumps, EV charging, on-site solar panels, etc.) and surplus heat. In support of this, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), investments in digital electricity infrastructure and software has grown by over 20% annually since 2014.

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Cohesion Policy: Inputs to deliver energy savings and long-term resilience

Energy efficiency gains are essential to reach the European Union increased emission reduction target by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050. The EU cohesion policy programming for 2021-2027 can greatly contribute to promoting the uptake of energy efficient measures, making sure that no region or city is left behind in the transition to a clean and sustainable economy.

The current decade will be crucial for the European Union and its Member States to deliver on the EU higher energy and climate targets by 2030 and reach climate neutrality by 2050.

The EU Cohesion Policy programming for the period 2021-2027 can greatly contribute to these efforts and make sure that no European region and city is left behind in the transition to a clean and sustainable economy.

From an energy and climate point of view, it is key that Cohesion funding resources are allocated wisely and timely with the goal to boost sustainable economic growth, while delivering energy savings across sectors and the full decarbonisation of our society.
 

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State Aid: Response to the public consultation on the CEEAG revision

The European Green Deal target to reach climate neutrality by 2050 calls for unprecedented levels of public and private investments accompanied by deep reforms. In this context, well-designed State Aid schemes will be key to unlock investments and make the best use of public funds.

As part of the ongoing revision of the Climate, Energy and Environmental Aid Guidelines (CEEAG) and the General Block Exemption Regulation (GBER), the Commission pledged to set simpler, clearer, and easier-to-apply State Aid rules for Buildings renovation programmes, in particular in the residential and social sectors. Additionally, aid to energy efficiency investments was to be simplified and enhanced, as announced in the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan and in the European Green Deal Investment Plan.

The European Alliance to Save Energy is happy to provide its feedback on the revised CEEAG. Energy efficiency is the bedrock of a decarbonised EU energy system: energy efficiency gains are essential to achieve the increased GHG emission target reduction of 55% by 2030 and full decarbonisation by 2050. In its current form, the CEEAG insufficiently supports the uptake of energy efficient measures and exposes the EU to the risk of missing its GHG reduction target for 2030 and 2050.

EU-ASE calls on the European Commission to:

1.  Assess all measures against the Energy Efficiency First principle
2. Level the playing field in aid intensity for energy efficiency measures (CEEAG Annex 1 and Art 38 GBER)
3. Simplify the definition and methodology to determine cost eligibility (para. 125 and Art 38 GBER)
4. Provide clear guidance on current State Aid rules with a practical approach

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Read more in our paper: Boosting energy efficiency through the revision of State Aid rules

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Carbon pricing in buildings? Help renovate and switch to renewables first

Including buildings in an emissions trading scheme will have a limited impact on emissions and should, at most, complement other measures like substantially increasing renovation rates, switching to renewables and phasing out fossil fuels subsidies, writes on Euractiv Monica Frassoni, president of the European Alliance to Save Energy.

On 14 July, the European Commission unveiled its long-awaited roadmap to reach the European Union’s higher emissions reduction target for 2030, the so-called “Fit for 55” package.

No wonder it chose the day traditionally celebrating the French revolution as the scope and ambitions of this massive legislative package are considerable. With it, came the proposal of setting up a parallel Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for road transport and heating fuels, certainly one of the most contentious measures of the package.

According to the Commission, this proposal aims to address the lack of emissions reductions in road transport and buildings, which together account for almost 60% of EU emissions. Over the last few years, emissions from the building sector have not decreased significantly, while those from road transport have even increased.

The need to act fast and with concrete steps to reduce emissions in these sectors is clear. So seems the Commission’s logic behind the proposal: if the ETS brought emissions down in the energy sector, why wouldn’t it be the case for buildings and road transport?

There are a few reasons why carbon pricing in buildings could at best complement, but not replace – and should not distract from – policies and incentives to substantially increase renovation rates, switch to renewables and phase out fossil fuels subsidies.

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