At the forthcoming European Council on 19-20 March you will be discussing further orientations in view of building an Energy Union.

The European Council has regularly acknowledged that the cheapest and cleanest energy is that which is not used. The vision set out in the Communication on the Energy Union Strategy starts to reflect this, describing an Energy Union in which energy efficiency is seen as a key driver of energy security and is conceived as “an energy source in its own right”.

The Commission’s vision opens the door to an “efficiency first” approach, in which demand side resources would be systematically considered in energy system planning, purchasing and investing, and given priority wherever they cost less or deliver more value to society than supply side alternatives. The Energy Union set out by the Commission could thus mark a turning point away from an energy system that is based on building or buying ever more supply.

As the providers of energy efficiency/demand management goods and services in Europe, the members of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) commended this vision and called for an endorsement by the European Council to really treat energy efficiency as an energy source in its own right and compete on equal terms with generation capacity.

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