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.

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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.

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“The EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive – An opportunity to support business whilst reducing our dependence on foreign energy supplies”

In June 2011 the European Commission published a new proposal for an Energy Efficiency Directive. The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), Europe’s first business led alliance on energy efficiency, had hoped that this piece of legislation would put Europe where it should be; at the forefront of the global energy efficiency market. Instead, the draft Directive does not yet provide a clear legislative framework for the EU to meet its target of 20% primary energy savings by 2020. We are where we shouldn’t be; increasingly vulnerable to energy price and availability shocks and missing out on the huge opportunity to position European business at the forefront of the new markets for energy efficient goods and services across the globe. The opportunities that a drive towards an energy efficient Europe can provide are too important to miss and therefore we all must ensure that this Directive is transformed into a stepping stone towards success.

 

 

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“A Manifesto for the European Alliance to Save Energy: Energy Efficiency – Europe’s untapped energy resource”

Never before has the case for greater energy savings been so strong. Greater energy efficiency is the fastest, cheapest, safest, easiest and cleanest way to deliver climate and energy security. It is an area where businesses active in Europe excel and where the right mix of policy and business leadership can improve and protect Europe’s competitiveness. This leadership could position our enterprises to benefit from the global necessity for energy efficiency which will be critical in a resource constrained world.

Europe is at a turning point; whether to launch a determined offensive on wasted energy and to tap into the huge energy saving potential and, in doing so, breaking our addiction to fossil fuels, or to fail to take the necessary measures and leave Europe vulnerable to price shocks, political turmoil and risky energy technologies. With no binding commitment to energy efficiency for 2020 and no clear long term vision for an energy efficient economy, Europe is currently on track to remain highly vulnerable.

 

 

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“The EU’s Energy Efficiency Plan raises concerns among a new Alliance of business, civil society and political leaders”

Brussels, March 8, 2011: Today the European Commission published its much awaited Plan for Energy Efficiency; a new plan that aspires to put the EU back on track with its energy efficiency objectives.

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), a newly formed alliance of some of Europe’s prominent energy efficiency advocates including business leaders, politicians and campaigners, raises concerns on the absence of a commitment to binding targets and to any new legislation in the plan.

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