The contribution of water efficiency and energy savings to the European Green Deal

This workshop, co-organised by the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) and the Maltese Ministry for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development, aims to explore policy, technological and practical approaches to fully realise the highly needed energy savings and achieve the emissions-reduction potential of the water-energy nexus.

Date and time: 16 March 2021, 10:00-11:30 CET. Register here

Water and energy are highly interdependent (‘water-energy nexus’) and should be considered as such across all European Union policies. This would ensure the availability of Europe’s water resources, while supporting the EU energy and climate objectives, in particular those related to energy efficiency.

Energy is needed to abstract, distribute, heat, cool, treat and desalinate water. Water and wastewater sectors account for 3.5% of electricity use in the EU and that share is expected to rise over the next years. For municipalities, water and waste water facilities account for the largest consumption of electricity, representing 30-40% of local authorities’ total electricity bill.

Smart water management across the water sector as well as industrial, commercial, and residential water cycles can lead to significant energy savings. The key is to fully understand the energy-water nexus, its ability to generate water and energy efficiencies, and its contribution to deliver the ambitious goals of the European Green Deal.

The workshop will feature:

  • A keynote address from Miriam Dalli, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Sustainable Development of the Republic of Malta
  • An overview of the EU policy and regulatory framework related to the water-energy nexus by Veronica Manfredi, Director for Quality of Life, DG Environment, European Commission; and Robert Nuij, Deputy Head of Unit for Energy Efficiency, DG Energy, European Commission
  • Case studies presentations by leading businesses to support current EU policy implementation and future policy and regulatory developments
  • Q&A with the panelists
  • Conclusions by MEP Simona Bonafè, Member of ENVI and ITRE Committees, European Parliament

Full event programme

Before the workshop have a look at our recent publication:
Water-energy nexus and energy saving obligations: industry success stories

10 years and going strong! Celebrating the first decade of EU-ASE

2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE).

EU-ASE was established at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16) held in Cancun, Mexico, in December 2010. Over the last decade, it has grown to become one of the most influential business-led organisations on energy efficiency in Brussels.

Our vision remains unchanged. We strive for a future where energy efficiency is central to the entire EU energy system and is a fundamental driver of decarbonisation, job creation and sustainable growth.

“When the European Alliance to Save Energy was founded, energy efficiency was the Cinderella of EU energy policies. This is no longer the case. Energy efficiency and the energy efficiency first principle have gained the attention they deserve and are a pillar of the European Green Deal. I believe our efforts – coordinated with our partners in Brussels, Europe and globally have been crucial to make this happen. However, the road ahead is still long, as the energy efficiency potential in buildings, transport, and industry is still largely untapped. In the next decade, we need to make energy efficiency measures a game changer in the EU energy system and a major priority in Member States to achieve climate neutrality by 2050,” said Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy.

“In a rather short time the European Alliance to Save Energy has become a major player in the EU sphere and a reference for the institutional and businesses community. Our voice is heard and appreciated by policy and decision makers. The Alliance’s 10th anniversary comes at a decisive moment with energy efficiency set to play a crucial role for economic recovery and the clean energy transition. Several key pieces of legislation will be revised in the course of 2021. We look forward to the second decade of the Alliance which interestingly coincides with that of global climate action,” stated Harry Verhaar, Chair of the Board of the European Alliance to Save Energy.

“Ten years have flown by incredibly fast. A decade ago, our aim was to put energy efficiency at the centre stage of the energy transition by bringing together progressive businesses, environmental think-tanks and NGOs to work as an ‘alliance’. Today our model is a success. We look forward to the next decade, with the same motivation and increased ambition, hoping to welcome new members from across sectors and build many more innovative partnerships,” commented Luigi Petito, Head of the Secretariat of the European Alliance to Save Energy.

Follow EU-ASE social media channels (Twitter and LinkedIn) and #EUASE10 to stay updated with our activities to celebrate the 10 years of the Alliance. Here is to many more to come!

About us
The members of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) are some of the world’s leading multinational companies, a prominent cross-party group of European politicians and environmental campaigners. EU-ASE provides a platform from which business leaders can advance the cause of energy efficiency, promote good business practices, and share innovative ideas.

Media contact
Matteo Guidi
+32 493 37 21 42

EU-ASE at M&M and Reuters Breakingviews Predictions 2021

On 26 January 2021, EU-ASE president Monica Frassoni participated in the webinar “Reuters Breakingviews Predictions 2021”  hosted by M&M in collaboration with Reuters Breakingviews. Ms Frassoni took the floor in the second part of the webinar, which focused on how cities will rebound from the Covid-19 crisis, highlighting the key role of energy efficiency for green recovery.

The session also featured Kostas Bakoyannis, Mayor of Athens, and Stefano Boeri, internationally renowned Architect and Urban Planner, and was moderated by Rob Cox, Global Editor of Reuters Breakingviews.

The recording of the webinar is available here.

Broad coalition calls on EU not to rely on hydrogen to decarbonise buildings

33 businesses, industry associations, NGOs, and think tanks joined forces to urge the European Commission to prioritise available efficient and sustainable solutions to decarbonise Europe’s building stock, and avoid the direct use of hydrogen.

Addressing EU Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans in an open letter, the co-signatories underline that to achieve a higher 2030 EU climate target, massive emissions reductions in the building sector will be needed (<60% compared to 2015). This requires applying the energy efficiency first principle and boost the integration of renewables, as envisaged by the Renovation Wave strategy.

While it is true that renewable hydrogen can play a role in decarbonising hard-to-abate sectors, its direct use for heating on a large scale is problematic because it comes with many uncertainties linked to the scalability, costs of its production and inefficiencies, the letter says.

To optimise the process of heat decarbonisation in the medium and long-term, the EU should favour energy efficiency options as they can immediately deliver real carbon savings, while accommodating a growing share of renewable sources.

The co-signatories call on the Commission not to overestimate the potential of “zero-emission gas”, which would be mostly imported from abroad. Doing that would constrain EU taxpayers to fund unnecessary infrastructures, such as gas pipelines (or their upgrade), diverting financial resources from immediately applicable and more sustainable heat decarbonisation solutions.

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), said:
“To achieve higher emission reductions by 2030, the EU must act fast to decarbonise buildings as one of the most energy consuming and polluting sectors. To make this happen, we need to prioritise energy efficiency and renewables, while using hydrogen to decarbonise harder-to-abate sectors, like chemicals and steel.”


Read the full letter here


The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) aims to ensure that the voice of energy efficiency is heard across the European Union. EU-ASE members have operations across the 27 Member States of the European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

Media contact
Matteo Guidi
+32 493 37 21 42

Open letter: EU Taxonomy to deliver economic recovery, resilience and sustainability

In response to the European Commission’s consultation on the draft delegated acts for the EU Taxonomy Regulation, EU-ASE has addressed in an open letter the Commission Vice-Presidents Frans Timmermans and Valdis Dombrovskis.

EU-ASE calls on the European Commission to ensure that the taxonomy will play a key role in aligning public and private investments to deliver economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as resilience and long-term sustainability.

To achieve this goal, we believe that the EU Taxonomy should be developed to exclusively promote investments which help us to address the economic, health, environmental and social consequences of climate changes, especially on the young and future generations.

Moreover, the technical screening criteria should systematically factor energy efficiency considerations in the qualification of sustainable activities. This approach should encompass a broad range of economic activities including buildings’ construction, renovation and management, all products manufacturing, and services, in particular energy services.


Read the full letter here