NGOs tell ministers to move energy efficiency into the fast lane

Posted by Blogactiv Team on 08/06/11

Guest post by CAN-Europe, EEB, FoE Europe, Greenpeace, WWF

Dear Minister,

The forthcoming Energy Council will consider the recently presented Energy Efficiency Plan2011. As the Plan itself makes clear, we are currently set to miss the EU’s 20% energysavings target by half – thereby missing out on substantial gains in terms of ‘enhancedcompetitiveness’, ‘security of energy supply and sustainability at low cost’ as well as estimated annual savings on energy bills of €200 billion.

Heads of State have confirmed their commitment to ensuring this target is met. We urge younow, as the responsible Ministers, to issue the strongest invitation possible to the EuropeanCommission to put forward a legislative framework that will guarantee this outcome.

Member States have clearly signalled their reluctance to take on binding energy savingtargets at this time, preferring an emphasis on specific measures. This being so, the packageof measures put forward must be comprehensive and ambitious, with impacts that can bemonitored, quantified and compared against a baseline to ensure we are on track towards theoverall objective of an annual energy use of 1474 Mtoe by 2020. In particular:

  • Energy Saving Obligations should make an explicit contribution to delivery of the 20%target. The effectiveness and value of these obligations will rely on good quality control,and effective monitoring and verification of the savings actually achieved.
  • National Energy Efficiency Funds should be established as a key part of a one stopshop structure, which would pool funding streams from different sources, leveragemaximum amounts of private finance, aggregate projects to make them more attractiveto developers, and promote awareness, information and technical assistance tosuppliers and customers.
  • Buildings owned by public bodies should be renovated annually at a rate of at least 3%.Each refurbishment should be comprehensive and result in deep cuts in energy use.
  • In order to ensure coherence and mutual effectiveness of energy saving instrumentsand the ETS, the emission reducing impacts of the new Energy Efficiency Directive onthe ETS sectors should be carefully analysed as a prelude to appropriate adjustmentsof the cap.

Nevertheless, European Commission analysis shows that measures alone, however stringent,will most likely be insufficient. We therefore remain firmly convinced that binding targets areneeded to provide the necessary market and investor certainty for delivery of the target, whilststill giving Member States the flexibility to choose measures which best suit their nationalsituation. In this context the Council’s commitment to a review of the need for binding targetsno later than 2013 is important. It should now be backed up by a request for the Commissionto work on a methodology for making this assessment which focuses not on projections for2020, but on a comparison between actual levels of energy use in 2013, and an effort sharedtrajectory to 1474 Mtoe annual energy consumption by 2020.

We call upon you to reinforce your commitment on energy saving and to engage with theEuropean Commission to put forward the highest level of ambition in its legislative proposals.

CAN-EuropeEEBFoE EuropeGreenpeaceWWF

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