Open letter to EU Energy Ministers on the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive

The European Alliance to Save Energy sent a letter addressing the EU-27 energy and climate Ministers, ahead of the Energy Council meeting on 27 June.

The Russian military invasion of Ukraine has exacerbated the energy crisis and urged EU governments action to reduce soaring energy prices. As adopted in the Versailles Declaration by the European Council and as proposed by the European Commission in the REPowerEU plan, an ambitious revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive is critical to first and foremost reduce Europe’s energy demand.

Following the application of the Energy Efficiency First principle, improving energy efficiency across all sectors goes hand in hand with the replacement of fossil fuel solutions by cleaner, renewable energy sources. By reducing energy demand and optimising the full energy system through the reduction of peak demand, energy efficiency allows to reduce the need for investments in new generation, transmission and distribution systems, and thereby also ultimately reducing the costs passed onto consumers.

Read the full letter here

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MEPS paramount to address high energy prices and achieve the EU decarbonisation goals

Business organisations call for the introduction of mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards for the renovation of the buildings sector in the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

Today, together with major business organisations advocating for energy efficiency solutions in Europe, we addressed a letter to energy Commissioner Kadri Simson regarding the incoming revision of the EPBD.

The EU building stock must undergo a profound renovation to make it energy efficient and cut emissions. The Renovation Wave strategy foresees that the rate of building renovations must at least double to achieve our climate objectives. Renovating buildings is also the best medium and long-term solution to maintain energy prices low for consumers.

The introduction of mandatory minimum energy performance standards for all buildings is essential for the EU to deliver on its promises to make the European Green Deal as Europe’s growth strategy.

These standards can create the necessary regulatory framework to attract public and private investments, boosting the construction value chain and making the sector attractive to fill the skills gap.

Read the full letter here

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Key energy stakeholders call for an ambitious revision of the EPBD

Together with 12 leading energy associations, the European Alliance to Save Energy calls on the European Commission to boost the decarbonisation of the EU building stock through an ambitious revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. 

Buildings are a key part of the energy system, but most of them are energy inefficient and 75% of buildings’ energy consumption is still based on fossil fuels. The revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) is “make or break” occasion to decarbonise a sector that has to cut its emissions by 60% by 2030. 

In a joint letter addressed to Kadri Simson, EU Commissioner for Energy, and to Frans Timmermans, First Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) calls on the Commission to ensure that the EPBD revision leads the way to make our buildings energy efficient, renewables-based, flexible and integrated in the energy system. 

To support this objective, together with the co-signatories, EU-ASE recommends including the following provisions in the EPBD: 

  • Apply the Energy Efficiency First Principle to stimulate renovations aiming at highly energy efficient, renewable-based and flexible buildings integrated in the increasingly variable energy system. 
  • Ensure all new buildings are both highly efficient and renewable-based from 2025 onwards. 
  • Introduce a binding target on EU Member States to reach annual integrated renovations of at least 3% per year. 
  • Introduce mandatory Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for all existing buildings to accelerate the rate and depth of renovations.  
  • Accompany MEPS with easily accessible support measures targeting lower-income households and businesses.  
  • Strengthen and harmonise Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) to become a reliable instrument to support the uptake of building renovations and drive the deployment of clean energy solutions. 
  • Include recommendations in EPCs on how to improve a building’s energy performance through energy efficiency measures and the deployment of digital and decentralised energy resources. 
  • Support the cost-effective integration of the increasingly electrified building and transport sectors by strengthening the existing e-mobility provisions . 
  • Provide better technical assistance, including to local and regional authorities, on the use of available funds and build capacity to increase demand and reduce hurdles. 

Read the full letter here

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Renovation Wave focuses on energy efficiency, minimum standards and finance

The European Commission unveiled today its much-anticipated Renovation Wave initiative. The strategy outlines the steps needed to renovate more than 220 million existing buildings by 2050.

It also calls for the EU to at least double the current annual rate of buildings energy efficiency renovation by 2030 and to foster deep energy renovations. This would equal to renovating up to 35 million buildings over the next 10 years.

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) welcomes the initiative, which comes at a crucial moment for Europe’s short-term economic recovery and long-term path towards climate neutrality.

The Renovation Wave rightly underlines the importance of energy efficiency first principle as a horizontal guiding principle of European climate and energy governance and beyond, to make sure we only produce the energy we really need. The Commission announced the publication of the guidance on the energy efficiency first principle in early 2021.

A key element of the initiative is the proposal of a phased introduction of mandatory minimum energy performance standards for existing buildings, as part of next year’s revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD).

EU-ASE highly welcomes the accompanying document on EU funding of the Renovation Wave and the commitment by the Commission to ensuring that buildings are included as a top priority when assessing national recovery and resilience plans.

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy said:

“We welcome the Renovation Wave as a key strategy to increase the energy efficiency of buildings by reducing their energy consumption and by fostering the greater quality, rate, and depth of comprehensive renovations. If this strategy is rightly implemented, the benefits will be tremendous. These will include improved comfort, cleaner indoor and outdoor air quality, reduced energy bills, local qualified jobs, and millions of citizens lifted out of energy poverty”.

Harry Verhaar, Chair of the board of the European Alliance to Save Energy and Head of global public & government affairs at Signify said:

“We welcome the Renovation Wave as the best kick-start of economic recovery in Europe. In particular, the decision to extend Article 5 of the Energy Efficiency Directive to all public buildings, including private schools and hospitals, is excellent news. Increasing the renovation rate of our buildings is the biggest job machine at our disposal, and these are good local jobs that replace expensive energy imports. Now let’s use the Renovation Wave as a lighthouse on our way to climate neutrality”.

Bonnie Brook, Vice-Chair of the board of the European Alliance to Save Energy and Senior Manager Industry Affairs – Building Automation at Siemens Switzerland said:

“A Renovation Wave is essential as for the EU it will be impossible to become carbon neutral without massively renovating its old and inefficient building stock. Renovation, decarbonisation, and digitalisation should go hand in hand to achieve Europe’s ambitious climate targets. For these reasons, we welcome this initiative, hoping that it will be followed by the
necessary legislation to make sure that smart infrastructure and innovative business models will enable and accelerate the energy transition for all Europeans.”

Bertrand Deprez, Vice-Chair of the board of the European Alliance to Save Energy and Vice-President EU government affairs at Schneider Electric said:

“Making our buildings energy efficient is key to reconcile Europe’s climate objectives with rapid economic recovery across Europe. The added value of this initiative is that it can be a strong driver for both. To ensure that the Renovation Wave objectives are met, the EU and its Member States need to scale-up the renovation rate by combining the principle of efficiency first with the deployment of distributed energy resources and the rise of digital technologies.”

With regards to the next steps, the Commission has outlined a list of related upcoming actions and their indicative timelines.

Contact

Matteo Guidi, Communication Officer
matteo.guidi@euase.eu
+32493372142

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), established in 2010 by some of Europe’s leading multinational companies, creates a platform from which companies can ensure that the voice of energy efficiency is heard across the business and political community. EU-ASE 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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