Unleash the potential of the water-energy nexus in the energy efficiency directive

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) and Water Europe (WE), call on the European Parliament and the Member States to unleash the potential of the Water-Energy nexus in the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).  

The nexus holds the potential to generate large-scale energy and water savings across sectors and reduce Green House Gases (GHG) emissions. Saving water saves energy and saving energy saves water.  

Our joint declaration supports policy makers with 11 recommendations on how to exploit these synergies and achieve greater water, resource and energy efficiencies 

  1. Secure that the energy efficiency first (EE1) principle applies across sectors and all water cycles and that the quality of water used is fit for purpose.  
  2. Create an enabling framework that ensure the delivery of all the benefits deriving from water efficiency.  
  3. Promote water reuse to generate energy savings in water management.  
  4. Facilitate interoperability and easy integration to the energy grid of energy generated by wastewater treatment plants.  
  5. Introduce a mandatory system of assessment for both energy and water usage in industry, water supply systems, wastewater network and treatment plants.  
  6. Provide meaningful incentives to ensure that water suppliers reduce water leakage levels, particularly for large and very large water suppliers.  
  7. Mandate the introduction of green infrastructure and adapt grey infrastructures in cities to reduce the amount of storm water being directly released into wastewater treatment plants.  
  8. Provide incentives to the use of digital technologies and real-time data analytics across water cycles.  
  9. Foster transparency and free-flow of data across EU on water quality and availability, water leakages, system capacity and energy use for water and waste water infrastructure and performance.  
  10. Develop communication standards for data sharing across the water cycle and between national and regional entities.  
  11. Introduce requirements and incentives in the EED for the ICT sector to monitor their energy and water consumption. 

Read the full declaration and recommendations here

 

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Report Launch: Why the transition to energy efficient and electrified buildings strengthens Europe’s economy

Panel:

  • Ciarán Cuffe, MEP (IR, Green), European Parliament
  • Daniele Agostini, Head of Energy and Climate Policies, ENEL
  • Andrea Voigt , Head of Global Public Affairs, Danfoss
  • Monique Goyens, Director General, The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC)

Introduction:

  • Femke de Jong, Project Manager Heating Buildings, European Climate Foundation

Presentation of the study’s results:

  • Stijn Van Hummelen, Managing Director, Cambridge Econometrics

Moderation and conclusion:

 

  • Monica Frassoni, President, European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE)

Buildings account for 40% of the EU’s energy consumption and 36% of the EU’s energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. This is because a large number of buildings are energy inefficient and fossil fuels are still predominantly used for heating. To meet Europe’s climate commitments, the building sector will have to cut its emissions by 60% by 2030 and reach zero emissions by 2050. To date we are still lagging behind these targets.

The possible paths to energy efficient and zero-emission buildings are several, but not all of them deliver the same socio-economic advantages for our society. To help inform EU and national decision-making, the European Climate Foundation commissioned Cambridge Econometrics to model the environmental, social and economic impacts of different decarbonisation pathways for the buildings sector.

The research focused on developing scenarios that combined different levels of renovation efforts with the deployment of green hydrogen or heat pumps to move away from fossil fuels in homes.

Which pathway to zero-emission buildings can lead to a transition that strengthens the European economy, boosts employment, lowers energy imports and improves the living conditions of people, in particular lower-income households?

During this event, co-organised by the European Alliance to Save Energy and the European Climate Foundation, Cambridge Econometrics presented the main findings of the study. This was followed by a debate between policy-makers, NGO and industry representatives who shared perspectives on how the European Green Deal can help reap the significant socio-economic benefits associated with the transition to zero-emission buildings.

Read the executive summary here
Read the full report here

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How to make the energy efficiency directive Water-Smart?

On 8 February, the president of the European Alliance to Save Energy, Monica Frassoni, spoke at the webinar “How to make the Energy Efficiency Directive water smart?” organised by the MEP Water Group.

In her intervention Monica Frassoni raised the importance of the water-energy nexus and the need to coordinate water and energy legislations. Speakers included MEP Pernille Weiss, Chair of the MEP Water Group; Claudia Canevari, Head of unit, Energy Efficiency; MEP Eleonora Evi, ENVI Committee; Durk Krol, Executive Director of Water Europe and Arnaud de Bermingham, President & Founder of Scaleway.

 

Watch the recording here

 

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New survey shows high support in Europe for energy efficient homes

A survey conducted by YouGov in four European countries finds extensive public support for new regulations to increase energy savings in homes.

Commissioned by the European Climate Foundation, this polling reveals that people in the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Spain want to buy and rent energy-efficient homes.

The survey enquired people looking to rent or buy a property in the next five years. Data show that not only renters and homeowners value energy-efficient properties because they cut energy bills and they are better for the environment, but both agree on the need for regulation aimed at reducing the impact of buildings on climate change.

Some highlights from the survey include:

  • 89% of respondents said that it is overall important for them to buy or rent a property that is energy efficient
  • Yet, the current housing stock is not meeting this demand, with 64% of people saying that there are not enough energy efficient properties available on the market
  • 72% said they would support a policy that required all newly built homes to be well insulated and with clean heating systems
  • Two-thirds of respondents (66%) said that they would support a law that requires existing homes to meet minimum energy standards, with subsidies for affordable improvements standing out as the top incentive that would help citizens deliver on this policy. Support was highest in Spain (75%) and Italy (72%)
  • The respondents who indicated support said this because the policy will reduce exposure to high energy prices (60%) and help combat climate change (59%)
  • 85% said that Energy Performance Certificatesare useful

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), said:

“This survey shows that energy efficiency is not just one of the tools in the decarbonisation kit, but a clear priority for citizens across Europe. Especially after the recent hike in energy prices, people are willing to renovate their homes, they just need the right technical and financial support. This is the perfect time for the EU and its Member States to accelerate the pace of renovations with ambitious legislation, including mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards, and adequate resources. The results will be great for citizens, the economy and the environment.”

Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public Affairs of Signify & Chairperson of EU-ASE, said:

“We all know this needs to be the decade of building renovations in Europe. The fact that citizens are highly supportive of this agenda must be an inspiration for policymakers at EU and national level, starting from the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Businesses are ready to play their part and support the wave of high-quality renovations for all buildings. This will help Europe to deliver on its climate goals while providing more energy efficient and comfortable homes, as well as public and private sector buildings.”

 

More information on the survey results

 

About us
The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) aims to advance the energy efficiency agenda in the European Union. The Alliance allows world’s leading multinational companies to join environmental campaigners and a cross-party group of Members of the European Parliament. EU-ASE business 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.

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Online workshop: Shaping the decade of building renovations

Speakers:

  • Prof. Dr. Diana Urge Vorsatz, Vice Chair of WG III of the IPCC, Central European University
  • Mechthild Wörsdörfer, Deputy Director-General, DG ENER, European Commission
  • Sean Kelly, Member of the European Parliament
  • Iskra Mihaylova, Member of the European Parliament
  • Antoine Caron, Deputy Head of Department, Department for quality and sustainable development in construction, Directorate for Housing, Urban Planning and Landscapes, French Ministry for Ecological Transition
  • Monica Frassoni, President, European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE)

EU-ASE is hosting an online workshop on Friday 28 January to talk about the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Three objectives must take priority: increasing energy efficiency, reducing emissions and lowering energy prices.

The European Commission presented its much awaited proposal to revise of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) in December 2021, the last piece of the legislative package ‘Fit for 55’ to put the Union on track towards climate neutrality.

Buildings are a central aspect of our daily lives, as we spend most of our time indoors. But 75% of buildings in the European Union are not energy efficient, which poses problems to reduce emissions, and many of them will still be standing by 2050. Wasting energy not only has dire consequences for the environment, it also means higher energy bills for citizens and businesses.

The revision of the EPBD proposed by the European Commission acknowledges these challenges and offers a good direction, but more actions are needed to trigger a renovation wave for the EU building stock to be energy efficient.

The high-level event, organised by the European Alliance to Save Energy, is an exchange of views on how to increase energy efficiency and decarbonise buildings while boosting economic growth and create job opportunities.

Watch the recording here

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