EED recast: EU Council adopts general approach on EED

Today, the Council of the European Union adopted its general approach on the recast of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). This is a fundamental legislative step for the Union to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and phase out fossil fuel imports from Russia as soon as possible.

EU-ASE welcomes that for the first time, the Union is getting closer to finally have a binding target for energy efficiency, departing from the current Energy Efficiency Directive which only sets an indicative energy efficiency objective. Furthermore, although national contributions are not binding, the Council agreed on a governance of the Directive which would allow the Commission to activate a “gap-avoider” mechanism if the sum of contributions do not add up towards the EU target. It is an important step forward.

But the Council lost a major occasion to put Energy Efficiency first and act on high energy prices by creating the right regulatory conditions to reduce energy demand for families and business. Firstly, the Council did not take up the proposal of the Commission to increase the energy efficiency target of at least 13% as issued in the REPowerEU strategy.

This is hardly justifiable, knowing that a 9% target would still imply Member States importing 233 bcm of fossil gas annually from third countries, while a 19% target would reduce gas imports to 104 bcm per year i.e. achieving in full the goal to reduce to zero Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas, as Russia accounts to 40% of all of the EU’s gas imports. Secondly, Ministers did not agree to make the target for primary energy consumption binding, thus undermining the potential for energy savings gained at system level.

Monica Frassoni, President of the Alliance, said: “The Council general approach is not the end of the story: the European Parliament’s rapporteur position aims to a much more ambitious 19% energy efficiency target by 2030, which reflects the potential for energy savings. We support wholeheartedly the effort of the rapporteur Niels Fuglsang and of the many stakeholders at EU and national level working to boost investments in energy efficiency. Energy Efficiency First will increase Europe’s resilience and is a formidable way to address the energy and climate crisis”.

You can find the full press release here 


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The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) is a cross-sectoral, business-led organisation that ensures that the voice of energy efficiency is heard across Europe. EU-ASE members have operations across the 27 Member States of the EU, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

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REPowerEU: EU-ASE welcomes increase of energy efficiency and renewables targets

Today, the European Commission presented its REPowerEU plan, containing measures promoting energy savings to help the EU phase out imported fossil fuels from Russia as soon as possible, as well as a proposals to further increase the headline targets of the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive by 2030.

The European Alliance to Save Energy strongly believes that the EU’s response to break the dependency from foreign fossil fuels and to the climate crisis must translate into a much more ambitious “Fit For 55”  package, with a massive increase of our efforts to save energy and generate energy from renewable sources by the end of the decade. Energy efficiency and renewables are intertwined and are both critical to strengthen energy security while decarbonising the European economy in a socially just and affordable way.

We therefore welcome the Commission’s legal amendment to raise the EU’s 2030 targets for energy efficiency and renewable energy to 13% and 45% respectively.

The proposal to raise the target in the Energy Efficiency Directive from at least 9% to at least 13% is a step in the right direction – commented Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy – and we appreciate the Commission’s effort to adjust its own proposed target to reflect the new political and economic context and soaring energy prices since the proposal came out in July 2021.”

 The proposed legal amendment does not reflect the cost-effective potential of a 19% energy efficiency target, as proposed by the European Parliament rapporteur, MEP Niels Fuglsang. Implementing energy efficiency measures in all sectors is the first essential and rational action to foster the structural changes required to phase out fossil fuels and address both the energy and climate crisis.

 “We are aware of the existing reserves and resistance in several member States, but we are convinced that only a clear and binding legislative framework, adequate resources and assistance can convince them to support this. Energy efficiency is an essential element of our energy security and decarbonization strategy. Now it is time to deliver, and energy efficiency measures offer a broad range of economic, environmental and social benefits for citizens and businesses” concluded Monica Frassoni.

The European Alliance to Save Energy has recently developed an inspiring catalogue of energy efficiency measures, many of them readily available and made in Europe, and stand ready to support the Institutions to deploy such measures and reduce gas consumption in Europe.

Download the Pdf version 

Media contact:
Antoan Montignier
Policy and Advocacy Advisor
antoan.montignier@euase.eu
+32 499 84 97 28

 

About us

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) is a cross-sectoral, business-led organisation that ensures that the voice of energy efficiency is heard across Europe. EU-ASE members have operations across the 27 Member States of the EU, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

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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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EPBD recast: EU Commission proposal shows good intentions but low ambition

The recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is a key element to complete the “Fit for 55” package. The Commission’s proposal introduces better measures and tools to increase the rate and depth of building renovations. However, the overall ambition is not sufficient to tap the economic and environmental potential of the full decarbonisation of the EU building stock.

On Wednesday, the European Commission presented its proposal to revise the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The EPBD is one of the elements of the broad “Fit for 55” legislative package which aims to help the Union cut by at least 55% its GHG emissions by 2030 and reach climate neutrality by 2050. Improving buildings’ energy performance is essential to achieve these objectives. According to the EU Renovation Wave communication buildings’ GHG emissions should be reduced by at least 60% by 2030: a gigantic social, economic and environmental challenge.

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) welcomes the intention of the Commission to address this challenge: the measures and tools proposed improve the current situation. The proposal, for example, introduces a pathway for buildings to become “Zero Emission” by 2050 and innovative requirements that can help trigger building renovations, like mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for public and private residential and non-residential buildings.

On the other hand, the Commission has been too cautious when setting the level of ambition of the measures proposed and thus runs the risk that the multiple benefits of energy renovations, in terms of cost savings, increased property value, enhanced comfort and emission reductions, will remain largely untapped.

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy, said: “The EPBD proposal is indisputably giving us better measures and tools to increase the rate and depth of building renovations. However, some key measures remain too weak in terms of proposed deadlines and scope and too much flexibility is given to Member states without a clear idea about what will happen if they are not fully implemented. All this makes the goal to fully decarbonize the building stock by 2050 even more challenging.

We will work over the next months to show to the European Parliament and Member States that it is necessary and worthwhile to step up the ambition, starting from revising the energy performance classes to be achieved via MEPS. Comprehensive renovations make economic and environmental sense. In the short-medium term, they are a rational, cost-effective and systemic solution to tackle rising energy prices. An ambitious EPBD must support this positive agenda, no ifs, and, or buts.”

Download the Pdf version

 

Media contact:
Antoan Montignier
Policy and Advocacy Advisor
antoan.montignier@euase.eu
+32 499 84 97 28

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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It’s time to tap the great potential of digital solutions to decarbonise our buildings

Digital solutions are essential to the rapid decarbonisation of buildings and could contribute significantly to achieving the 1.5°C pathway. Often underestimated, it is now time to embrace this new set of technologies. In other words: crack modern problems with modern solutions. Not only does digital bring significant carbon reduction, but it also comes with very competitive paybacks and shows significant future potential. Digital technologies focus on the actual energy use of building occupants, resulting in faster paybacks, on average less than eight years (for tertiary buildings on average less than five years). Also, digital efficiency solutions bring 20-30 percent carbon abatement across the building stock. But most importantly, this toolbox of digital solutions is already available, quickly deployable, and is applicable across all the current building stock. The potential carbon abatement of digital solutions – around 1 Gt CO2/y (1) – in the building stock is thus highly underestimated.

The EU set itself the ambitious target of becoming the first climate-neutral continent in 2050. To achieve this goal, the penetration of digital efficiency solutions is ultimately inevitable. The real question, given their multiple benefits, is not to qualify the need for such technologies, but how to create the right framework to accelerate their deployment across the board rapidly.

 

Bertrand Deprez
Vice President EU Government Affairs
Schneider Electric

 

(1) IEA 2021 Net Zero scenario and under the assumption that 2/3 of the existing stock is still standing by 2050, new build is zero-carbon, all additional electricity demand (for the new stock) is zero-carbon and 100 percent digital technologies penetration.

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