EED recast: Binding energy efficiency target fills a gap in the Union’s climate toolbox, but too much flexibility is given to Member States

Download the full press release here.

 

Media contact:
Luigi Petito 
Head of Secretariat 
info@euase.eu 

Matteo Guidi
Policy Advisor
matteo.guidi@euase.eu
+32 493372142

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 European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

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Doing more with less: Increase energy efficiency & reduce carbon intensity of wastewater treatment plants

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) welcomes the European Commission’s proposal for a recast of the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive (UWWTD). This document gathers our inputs to the co-legislators that are due to negotiate and finalise the draft proposal in the next months.

The UWWTD played a substantial role in improving water quality and tackling high pollution levels in water bodies throughout decades. In 2021, we called for an update of the over 30 years old UWWTD because we were convinced it could be improved to better address some of today’s most pressing challenges such climate change, resource scarcity, increased energy prices and population growth.

The recast proposal of the European Commission is the right step towards a more comprehensive, efficient and sustainable wastewater treatment. Nonetheless, we see room for improvement to further enhance energy efficiency, the recovery and use of excess heat, digitalisation, data analytics and water reuse.

Monica Frassoni, President of EU-ASE states: “In the current water and energy crisis, we must take all the possible actions to drive substantial water and energy savings, reduce emissions and increase the competitiveness of European industry. The revision of the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive is key in this perspective. We call policymakers to apply the energy efficiency first principle. We have the technologies to reduce waste water treatment plants’ energy consumption, recover and use excess heat, reuse water and gradually make water treatment plants energy positive.”

Read the full paper here.

 

 

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Committee vote on Energy Performance of Buildings Directive leaves glass half empty

Among the positive elements, the compromise confirms and strengthens the introduction of Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for buildings. Compared to the Commission’s proposal, it mandates renovations aimed at reaching the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) classes E and D (instead of F and E) within the given timelines (2030 and 2033 for residential buildings respectively). 

However, the report introduces a disappointing derogation, providing Member States with the option of delaying the renovation of up to 22% of their most inefficient residential buildings and public social housing until January 2037. 

For new buildings, MEPs anticipated the timeline for all new buildings to be Zero-Emission Buildings, starting from those occupied, operated or owned by public authorities, by January 2026. 

Member states are requested to phase out the use of fossil fuels for heating in buildings, with a ban on financial incentives for fossil fuel boilers from 1 January 2024. At the same time, the Parliament added an exemption for hybrid heating systems which could undermine such a ban. 

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), said: 

Making our building stock energy efficient and renewables-powered is the right way to go to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels as soon as possible. The adoption of the report by MEP Ciaran Cuffe is an important step for Europe’s climate action. However, the compromise is not as ambitious as required by the challenge ahead; as a consequence, channelling adequate resources and investments could prove more difficult. Despite this, we encourage the Parliament to confirm its commitment ahead of the plenary vote and to show leadership in view of the negotiations with the Council.” 

The ongoing energy crisis has shown the importance of initiating a massive renovation wave of Europe’s buildings to reduce consumers’ energy bills, alleviate energy poverty and decrease the EU’s dependence on fossil fuel imports while contributing to reaching its climate goals by 2030 and 2050.  

The EPBD is a crucial element to make the EU building stock efficient, sustainable and healthy. From a socio-economic perspective, an ambitious EPBD is a driver for sustainable growth and job creation in the construction sector, one of the most dynamic of our economy. 

Read the full press release here.

 

Media contact:
Luigi Petito 
Head of Secretariat 
info@euase.eu 

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 European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

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EU-ASE appoints its new Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson

As of January 2023, European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) has appointed Quentin Galland as new Chairperson and renewed the mandate of Bonnie Brook as Vice-Chairperson.

Quentin Galland is Group Public & Regulatory Affairs Director at Knauf Insulation. He is a driven, collaborative and business-focused senior public affairs professional, with a passion for sustainability and energy efficiency related topics.

Bonnie Brook is Vice-President of Industry Affairs at Siemens Smart Infrastructure. She is a vibrant and engaged industry advocate for innovation in buildings to increase comfort and productivity, reduce impact on the environment and improve property value.  

Both Quentin and Bonnie bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge, coming from leader businesses in the energy efficiency world. The whole EU-ASE team warmly congratulates them for their appointment and looks forward to working together in their term.

Monica Frassoni, President of EU-ASE, said: “The urgency of the climate crisis cannot be ignored. While the energy transition is paved with many challenges, we look forward to continue working together with our business and thought leaders towards an energy efficient Europe. I welcome the appointment of Quentin and Bonnie and I am confident that they will greatly help the Alliance in its work in the years to come, starting from a busy 2023.” 

Quentin Galland said: “It has never been a greater time for Europe to save energy. Global challenges are opening up opportunities for the energy community to seize, starting with putting energy efficiency at the heart of the political agenda. I am convinced that the Alliance will be a driving and paramount contributor to high-level discussions and important decisions for all citizens.”

Bonnie Brook said: “System energy efficiency is key in achieving the EU decarbonization goals. We need the political will in the Fit for 55 legislation, subsequent accelerated implementation with vast participation and effective collaboration of all stakeholders.”

The newly appointed Chair and Vice-chair will stay in charge for the next three years, as per the internal rules of the Alliance.

More information about EU-ASE management here.

 

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 European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

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Member States’ vision for renovating the EU building stock not aligned with the urgency to address the energy and climate crisis

Brussels, 25 October 2022 – Today, the Council of the European Union adopted its general approach (GA) on the recast of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) as part of the ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package to put the Union on track with the 2030 and 2050 climate neutrality targets.

Leading businesses commenting on the general approach adopted by the Council underline that achieving an energy efficient and sustainable building stock is critical for the EU to tackle today’s energy and climate crisis, worsened by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The building sector is the first EU energy consumer, thus the revision of the EPBD is a key opportunity to accelerate the very low annual building renovation rates, as only 1% of EU buildings undergo energy renovations each year.

Despite the huge role building renovations have in the EU energy transition, the European Alliance to Save Energy underlines that the Council’s vision on the revision of the EPBD is not consistent with the 2030 target for the Union to reduce at least 55% of GHG emissions, nor effective in achieving the REPowerEU goal to tackle today’s dependency on imported fossil fuels. According to the Renovation Wave strategy, the EU must at least double the current annual building renovation rates and foster deep energy retrofits, aiming at renovating 35 million building units by 2030. This target cannot be achieved with the Council’s envisioned system for Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS).

EU-ASE believes that decoupling MEPS from energy classes is not a reliable mechanism to ensure that buildings become more performing overtime, while EPCs and energy classes are already mandatory in all Member States. On the contrary, EPCs should be harmonised and reinforced. In addition, EU-ASE regrets that the Council position does not support an EU-MEPS system, preferring national renovation trajectories which should aim to deliver the ‘Zero Emission Building (ZEB) objective, but without clear compliance mechanisms after 2034 for private non-residential buildings and after 2033 for residential buildings. 

Finally, it is matter of concern that Member States may choose not to apply MEPS in single family houses in favour of an approach based on renovation trigger points based on a sell or a rental contract, which would unacceptably keep millions of EU citizens living in inefficient buildings, thus worsening energy poverty.  

Monica Frassoni, President of the Alliance, said: While recognising the efforts made by the Presidency of the Council to maintain the Zero Emission Buildings’ vision by 2050, it is evident that without a clear strategy to trigger scalable energy renovations in buildings, thousands of Europeans will keep on living in energy poverty conditions. An EPBD that is ‘fit for 55%’ means ambitious minimum energy performance standards that cover the renovation of all EU buildings so that they become Zero Emissions by 2050 at the latest.”

While the Council adopted its General Approach, the European Parliament is still negotiating compromise amendments on the Commission’s proposal which should be voted in the ITRE committee on November 29. Inter-institutional negotiations should therefore start during the first quarter of 2023.

Finally, EU-ASE welcomes the declaration proposal formulated by France and supported by Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands and Ireland to push for greater ambition regarding minimum energy performance standards during inter-institutional negotiations with the Parliament.

You can find here the position of EU-ASE on the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

Read the PDF version of our press release here.

 

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

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 European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

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