10 priorities for transformative policies under the European Green Deal

The European Green Deal Communication acknowledges that in the effort to reduce GHG emissions and achieve climate neutrality by 2050, energy efficiency must be prioritised. At EUASE, we have set out 10 priorities to make sure that the policies under the EGD fully apply the Energy Efficiency First principle.

On December 11, the European Commission presented an outline of its European Green Deal.  According to the proposed timeline, the increase of the EU 2030 climate target – the flagship initiative of the package – will be presented by summer 2020. This timeline will require Member States to agree on a much higher 2030 target at the European Council in June 2020, which will be key to enable the EU to lead the way towards bold climate ambition internationally.

The EGD Communication acknowledges that in the effort to reduce GHG emissions and achieve climate neutrality by 2050, energy efficiency must be prioritised, however the Communication lacks a specific reference to the Energy Efficiency First principle and the commitment to increase the 2030 energy efficiency target.

Here are our 10 priorities to make sure that the policies under the European Green Deal fully apply this principle:

  1. Accelerate the implementation of the Clean Energy Package by strengthening
    and facilitating monitoring, evaluation and exchange of good practices
  2. Reopen the Clean Energy Package in order to align it with increased ambition
    by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050
  3. Apply the energy efficiency first principle to all energy planning and
  4. Lead by example ensuring that 100% of public (central, regional and local)
    buildings are nearly-zero energy (NZEB) by 2030
  5. Boost the renovation of existing residential and commercial buildings and
    mobilize resources to eradicate energy poverty
  6. Fully exploit water-energy nexus and introduce energy performance
    objectives in all current and future water policies and regulations
  7. Prioritize finance for energy efficiency in all EU funding programmes post
    2020 and improve access to technical assistance
  8. Remove all existing barriers to the full functioning of energy performance
  9. Raise awareness about the multiple economic, social and environmental
    benefits of energy efficiency for citizens, cities and businesses
  10. Promote digitalization as a driver of greater efficiency

To read the full publication click on the link below.

EPBD – Recommendations for implementation


The Clean Energy for all Europeans policy package led to the revision of several key pieces of legislation related to the renovation of buildings. Most notable was the revision of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) that now sets a clear direction for the full decarbonisation of the European building stock by 2050.

The amended EPBD was published in the Journal of the European Union on 19 June 2018 and entered into force on 9 July 2018. Every Member State must transpose it into national law by 10 March 2020. With the amended text, the EU has given itself a legal framework to continue pushing efforts at national level to tap into the huge potential for efficiency gains in the building sector.

The revision of the EPBD created a clear path towards achieving a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock in the Union by 2050, underpinned by national road-maps with precise milestones and domestic progress indicators, together with corresponding and required public and private financing and investment support, and taking advantage of smart technologies.

Member States must now adopt national long-term renovation strategies with a solid planning and finance-related component. This is to ensure the renovation of existing buildings into highly energy efficient and decarbonised buildings and facilitating the cost-effective transformation of all existing buildings into nearly zero-energy buildings. Full transposition and effective implementation of the amended EPBD is fundamental to achieve 2030 energy efficiency targets and to put the Union on track for the full decarbonisation of national building stocks by 2050.

The EU-ASE recommendations developed in this document are intended to clarify key aspects of the EPBD and provide industry views on the interpretation of essential provisions during the transposition and implementation period, notably:

  • Long-term renovation strategies (Art 2a)
  • Technical building systems (TBS) improvements and building automation and
  • Control systems (BACs) deployment (Art 2.3, 8, 14, 15)
  • Smart Readiness Indicator (SRI) (art. 8, Annex IA)

Energy Efficiency for a competitive and decarbonised EU economy


The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) is known to be a leading business voice in a growing, diverse and increasingly well-organised energy efficiency community in Brussels. Since our foundation in 2010, we have helped put energy efficiency high on the agenda of EU decision makers.

Together with other Brussels-based and national stakeholders we developed and promoted the Energy Efficiency First (EE1) principle, which is now a concept used across all the EU institutions and was recently introduced in the European legislative framework. We are convinced that through prompt implementation of EU legislation, together with suitable public and private financing, energy efficiency can play a much bigger role in the transition towards a decarbonised Europe.

Our focus on measuring global success by GDP growth has trapped us in a linear view of society, with carbon increasingly becoming a constraint to current and future improvements in prosperity.

We need to become much smarter and more resource efficient. We need to transition toward an approach in which long term quality of life becomes the most important metric. In this context, overall energy efficiency improvements across all sectors are key to arriving at a climate neutral world by 2050. An energy efficient Europe will foster competitiveness and growth through innovations in a range of sectors, each of these contributing to the prosperity, health and wellbeing of Europe’s citizens.


Harry Verhaar – Chair of the Board of Directors

Moving forward EU-ASE will:

  • Further contribute to policy makers’ and consumers’ understanding of the importance and benefits of energy efficiency
  • Promote the need for a strong EU role in the global fight against climate change
  • Put energy efficiency at the centre of EU and international long-term decarbonisation strategies
  • Make energy efficiency in buildings a strategic priority for addressing energy infrastructure needs
  • Support the development of relevant EU legislation and its swift implementation at national and regional level
  • Improve use of public resources and help design innovative financing schemes, to unlock private investments in cost-effective energy-efficiency programmes across Europe

We must take bold actions to limit global warming. If we want to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, we need to put the energy efficiency first principle at the heart of the transition and of the future energy system. We need to act now, starting from increasing the level of ambition for 2030. People, governments and businesses must work together to fully realise the energy efficiency potential across industrial sectors, regions and cities. This will allow us to reap the tangible social, economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency. Time is running short, we need a shared sense of urgency that will drive better implementation, the adoption of adequate rules, investments and the use of available resources.


Monica Frassoni – President

Energy-water nexus: accelerating energy savings for the clean energy transition

The link between energy and water consumption across sectors has been so far widely neglected, despite the economic and environmental benefits it can bring to European citizens and businesses. Water and energy are interdependent and should be considered in all EU policies with the goals to make Europe’s waters more resilient, affordable and accessible, and to support Europe’s energy efficiency objectives.

Smart Water management across the water sector and across the industrial, commercial, and residential water cycles can lead to important energy savings. The key is in understanding the energy-water nexus and its ability to generate water and energy efficiencies.

The opportunity to tap into the potential of this nexus is present with existing technologies and thus it is ripe for policy-makers to accelerate European efforts toward a clean energy transition.

This paper highlights the views of a cross-sectoral alliance of businesses united by the shared vision that smart water management can generate energy and water efficiencies and be a driver for a cost-efficient, competitive and decarbonised economy. It also provides policy recommendations for the EU to accelerate this opportunity, which is right in front of us.

Strategic investments for Europe – Evidence from cost-effective energy efficiency stories

We recognize in both public and private sector an urgent need to move from policy to practice and to replicate and scale sustainable technologies and practices.

Doing so will unlock the multiple economic, environmental and social benefits that are needed to create a sustainable development pathway in our 21st century. This is especially true in the area of energy efficiency. Consequently, we are addressing one of the main hurdles to accelerated adoptions of energy efficient products and solutions – which is a widespread lack of awareness about existing energy efficient solutions and their cost effective, social-economic benefits.

This is why we are pleased to present this collection of business success stories, as ‘seeing is believing’.

We look forward to contributing to the next policy cycle by presenting such success stories that underpin the well-being and prosperity benefits for a Europe that advances towards reaching climate neutrality by 2050.

Harry Verhaar – Chair of EU-ASE Board