Third Annual EU-ASE High-Level Dinner Debate

Energy efficiency is at the heart the EU energy and climate framework for 2030 and EU regional policy 2014-2020

The European Commission and EU Member States must propose a post 2020 energy-and-climate strategy and plan the use of resources that the EU will make available through its multi-annual regional and cohesion policy.

On 23 September 2013, a large contingent of European companies gathered for the Fourth Annual High-level Dinner Debate, organized by the European Alliance to Save Energy. Over the next period, the European Commission and EU Member States have two very important tasks ahead:

  • To propose a post-2020 energy-and-climate strategy and to
  • To plan the use of resources the EU will make available through its multi-annual regional and cohesion policy

In this context, the progressive business community has an important role to play to ensure policy makers fully understand the potential of energy efficiency and embrace a long term vision for an energy efficient economy.The dinner debate was an opportunity to gather senior business representatives with high-level European decision-makers to:

  • Share views about the need to have a European binding energy savings target for 2030
  • Highlight where improvements in planning and expenditure of EU resources are required for the period 2014-2020

Together with some of the participants to the dinner and other business leaders, EU-ASE reiterated the call for an EU binding energy savings target for 2030 in a letter addressed to the Competitiveness Council, the European Parliament and European Commission. The text, issued on 11 October, is also available on this page.

Second annual EU-ASE high-level dinner debate: energy efficiency at the heart of the New Industrial Policy

Since 2010 the European Alliance to Save Energy has been working to ensure that the positive voices of the energy efficiency industry are heard loud and clear in the EU’s energy policy debate. Our members, some of Europe’s leading energy efficiency solution providers and international organisations, believe strongly that greater energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective solutions to ensure sustainable growth, create jobs, deliver the EU’s decarbonisation objective while at the same time ensuring security of energy supply and competitiveness.

However, we still have a long way to go to create a European energy efficiency market where businesses can invest, innovate, grow and create local link“shop” and lasting jobs.

The second annual EU-ASE high-level dinner therefore turned its focus to discussing how the EU can help Europe’s energy efficiency industry deliver on its full potential. At the dinner, which was attended by Antonio Tajani, EU Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, over 30 business leaders presented their views to on why Europe’s energy efficiency industry a central role in the Commission’s forthcoming revision of EU Industrial Policy.

In response to these views, Commissioner Tajani said:

“Energy efficiency presents an agenda of opportunity for Europe. It is one of the only sectors today that can provide concrete solutions for the economic recovery and job creation by increasing the innovation and competitiveness of European industries. Energy efficiency can also help to reduce gas and oil dependence, and reduce the expensive energy bills for both businesses and EU citizens. Industrial and environmental policies must go hand in hand and drive the Third Industrial Revolution.”

EU-ASE House of Commons debate – 28 February 2012

Common Sense Policy in an age of austerity – why the UK needs a European Framework for Energy Efficiency

Over 100 representatives from British businesses and civil society organizations gathered at the House of Commons in London on 28 February, 2012 to discuss why, particularly in these times of austerity, the UK needs a European framework for energy efficiency. The debate which was co-organised by the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), the UK’s Associate Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG) and All-Party Parliamentary Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency Group (FPEEG), was particularly relevant as the European Parliament’s ITRE committee had agreed a very forward-looking position on the Energy Efficiency Directive that morning

The Parliament vote set a positive tone for the debate and message from speakers was clear; the UK has the potential to lead the European energy efficiency market, helping not only to create significant jobs and growth opportunities for UK businesses but also to greatly contribute towards achieving the UK and the EU’s wider energy and climate goals. The Energy efficiency Directive is a vehicle to achieve all of this.

Leading British companies are supportive of European action.

According to Tony Robson, CEO of Knauf Insulation, ‘‘The UK has long history of energy efficiency legislation. It is one of the areas where the UK is at the centre of what is right and where the UK can take the lead in Europe ” Martin Schaer added; “We have technology and industry is willing to support”.

But If the EU does not support UK and European businesses, according to Sumir Karayi, CEO of 1E, ‘We will be left behind again as the US and emerging markets grow’.

The UK coalition government was urged to support a strong Directive
Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy, urged the coalition government to work with colleagues in the European Council to raise and not weaken the ambition of the Directive.

In response, the UK’s new Secretary for State for Energy and Climate, Mr Edward Davey, recognized that “energy efficiency is something we can do better together”. He added, “If we get the right Directive it could drive innovation and give investors the certainty they seek and it would good for the economy and competitiveness”. However, he stressed that,“Nevertheless, we need to be realistic [and] there will be some tough negotiations”.

The conclusion; whilst it is going to be a challenge to bridge the gap between the very strong Parliament text and the current very weak council position, the UK can and should lead the charge on the Energy Efficiency Directive.

Energy Efficiency is the next financial gold mine

Representatives from some of Europe’s largest investors and private enterprises joined Europe’s leading policy makers and stakeholders at a half-day workshop on February 13, 2012 in Brussels to discuss “How to mobilise private sector finance for energy efficiency”.
Organised by European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) along with the Danish Presidency of the European Council and the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Building, this event marked the first time that the world of finance openly discussed the need for a robust regulatory framework for energy efficiency with some of Europe’s key policy makers and campaigners. The focus of the debate was on whether the current proposal for an Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) was the best vehicle to deliver this.

With over 100 experts from the world of finance, industry and policy, including an address from Phillip Lowe, Director General of the DG Energy of the European Commission, the discussion was enlightening, yet overall the message was clear: money matters and investors are ready to mobilize energy efficiency investments if they have certainty on their return of investment.