Think Efficiency first to address the energy and climate crisis

More than 20 organisations join EU-ASE in an open letter addressed to the EU negotiators revising the Energy Efficiency Directive. It calls for an effective implementation of the Energy Efficiency First principle in all of the EU, national and local policy, planning and investment projects regardless of the size of investments.

With the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), the EU Institutions are due to agree in trialogue negotiations on provisions that introduce in the regulatory framework the implementation of the “Energy Efficiency First” Principle.

This letter, co-signed by European business organisations, housing associations and NGOs, calls on the EED negotiators to agree on applying the principle without monetary thresholds that could rule out its application in many local projects having an impact on the energy system, therefore missing the potential energy efficiency can have for the economy, society and the climate. 

Read the full letter here

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Investing in energy efficiency: if not now when?

As the cheapest & cleanest energy is the one we don’t need, rapidly increasing energy savings is of outmost importance to address the current crises, says Monica Frassoni in Euractiv, ahead of the first edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day conference. 

More than two hundred days have passed since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, starting a tragic conflict in Europe with no clear end in sight. The use of energy as a weapon by Vladimir Putin shows that by delaying plans for a clean energy transition the EU is more vulnerable and insecure.

While emergency plans are underway to respond to the crisis, skyrocketing prices of wholesale fossil gas and electricity pose a real challenge to struggling citizens and businesses and put at great risk the post-pandemic recovery.

Today, the pressing question everyone is asking is: how can we make it through the next winter and how can we reduce quickly energy prices? But the real question should be: how can we make it through the next four-five winters and burning summers, and at the same time accelerate carbon emissions reduction.

Because the cheapest and cleanest energy is the one we do not need, rapidly increasing energy savings is of outmost importance. By mainly focusing on diversification of gas supply many governments are underestimating the massive savings potential that is currently untapped at end-use and system levels via retrofitting, demand-side flexibility and by accelerating the digital transition.

 

Read the full article by Monica Frassoni on Euractiv

More information on Energy Efficiency Day here & Register here.

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It’s time to act to address Europe’s buildings issue

As we are drifting towards winter, I am struck by the gap between the urgency to protect European citizens from the consequences of poorly performing homes, and the reluctance of our leaders to decisively act on it. We are witnessing intense debates on the energy efficiency files under the Fit for 55 Package, and this is not nearly the end of it.

Asking citizens to adapt their behavior to mitigate the risk of gas shortages and subsidizing their bills seem to be the only political answer. Yet, we all know that solutions addressing only the symptoms will not help in the long run.

The solution to the cause is the EU Renovation Wave, however we cannot overlook the challenges to this. We need an additional 275 billion euros to finance it (1), and the acceleration of the rate and depth of renovation calls for coordination and new business models.

We have been sleepwalking on the issue for too long, hypnotized by cheap fossil energy hiding the leaks and waste of our buildings. It is not too late to change that.

It is our responsibility to help politicians join the dots between short- and long-term concerns. The equivalent of 1,7% of EU GDP was spent to mitigate the impact of the energy crisis so far (2). By contrast, financing the Renovation Wave would represent 1,5% of the GDP. Add to that jobs, health and productivity benefits, and a boost to our climate agenda.

It is also our responsibility to explain what renovation market actors need to be able to invest, train, and innovate. Building owners, manufacturers, banks, real estate and building professionals need visibility. This visibility is at the heart of the MEPS (Minimum Energy Performance Standards) proposal, a true renovation accelerator.

The best energy will always be the energy we do not need, thanks to the efficiency of our buildings.

We can help make this a reality.

by Céline Carré
Head of Public Affairs
Saint-Gobain

Sources:
1. Question 5 in FAQ on the Renovation Wave: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_20_1836
2.  Bruegel, 21/09/2022 and Europe’s Deepening Energy Crisis Pushes Bill to $500 Billion

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Energy Efficiency and renewables are two sides of the same lucky coin

Energy efficiency measures, coupled with renewables, are the right tools for achieving carbon neutrality and protecting our energy sovereignty, says Francesco Venturini of Enel X Global Retail ahead of the first edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day.

 

Citizens, businesses and local governments must join forces to equip themselves with facilities for the production and self-consumption of energy from renewable sources by promoting virtuous behaviours.

Today, market transformation is happening in a very disruptive way. The historical events of the past six months demand an impressive acceleration of the trajectory outlined by the European Green Deal in 2019. Looking back at the past eight years, global investments in clean energies have blossomed to $371 billion, an increase of approximately $60 billion compared to 2014 levels.

Is there enough to go around? The answer for most of us is simple: no.

The Ukraine conflict and its consequent war on prices are proving that our society does not have access to abundant, reliable, cheap and clean energy—placing its economic and social progress at stake. 

But we still have a lucky coin in our pocket: energy efficiency measures can substantially reduce Europe’s carbon footprint if combined with consistent investments in renewable energy.

Read the full article here

More information on European Energy Efficiency Day here & Register here.

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A battle for the climate inside buildings

Amidst the climate and energy crisis, Europe’s ageing building stock provides a challenge—and an opportunity, says Julie Kjestrup of the VELUX Group ahead of the first edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day.

There are more benefits to energy efficiency measures than simply saving money. Climate change is happening rapidly and so are the consequences of not fighting it adequately, intentionally and consistently. Despite scientists showing us the marked impact of climate change as well as what we need to do to mitigate it, we are not currently on the right path towards meeting the Paris Agreement and the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goal. Add to that the recent hike in energy prices and fast action is essential. We can still get on track if we all play our part by taking responsibility and acting now. 

 

Read the full article here

More information on Energy Efficiency Day here & Register here.

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