Page 6 - European Energy Innovation - summer 2018 publication
P. 6

6 Summer 2018 European Energy Innovation

Energy Efficiency First is a
concrete priority with positive
impacts for all Europeans

By Dominique Ristori, Director-General for Energy, European Commission

Climate change is one of                    Building on the progress achieved,       It was important to start with the
               the biggest challenges of    the EU is now pushing for a more         building sector where a considerable
               our time and to address it,  ambitious approach to energy             cost effective energy saving potential
               the EU has decided to        efficiency in order to successfully      exists. It is the largest energy
lead the worldwide clean energy             drive the clean energy transition. This  consumer in Europe, accounting for
transition. In the wake of the              will send the right signal to European   40% of final energy consumption and
Paris Agreement, the European               investors, companies, national           36% of greenhouse gas emissions
Commission tabled the Clean                 authorities and citizens.                in Europe and even more if we take
Energy for All Europeans package in                                                  into account heating and cooling.
November 2016 in order to set the           It is worth being ambitious as energy    Yet, about three quarters of our
most advanced regulatory framework          efficiency is not only one of the        building stock is energy inefficient
that will facilitate the necessary          most cost effective ways to support      and the current level of renovation
public and private investment               the transition to a low-carbon           is low. Besides, the building sector
towards a modern and low-carbon             economy; it is also an effective way     is an important segment of the EU
economy.                                    to create investment, growth and         economy. The construction industry
                                            employment opportunities. It also        provides already 18 million direct jobs
Comprising eight different pieces           increases the competitiveness of         in Europe and accounts for 9% of
of legislation, this package makes          industries especially the energy         our GDP.
it clear that, alongside renewable          intensive ones, and contributes
energy sources, energy efficiency           to reducing the energy bills of          Based on the Commission’s
should be one of the major                  consumers and improve their living       original proposal, the revised
drivers towards a sustainable               conditions. Besides, it reinforces       Directive, supported by various
society. Let’s not forget – the             Europe’s energy security. For every      financing sources available at EU
cheapest, cleanest, and most                additional 1% increase in the 2030       level, will boost investor certainty
secure form of energy is the one            energy savings target, combined with     and help us to significantly increase
we do not use.                              the 2030 targets for renewables and      renovation rates. The changes to
                                            greenhouse gas emission reduction,       buildings’ energy performance rules
Over the last 10 years, the EU had          the EU can reduce its gas imports by     will also encourage investors to take
already established a number                more than 3%.                            advantage of all technologies and
of measures to improve energy                                                        progress available such as ICT and
efficiency in all sectors – notably         I am very pleased that moves to          the uptake of digital technologies
through the Energy Efficiency               accelerate the rate, quality and         for buildings, in particular smart
Directive and the Energy Performance        effectiveness of building renovation     metering technologies and smart
of Buildings Directive, as well as          in the coming decades have now           home appliances. These technologies
important rules on Ecodesign and            been agreed in the revised European      will facilitate the penetration of
Energy labelling. These measures            Performance of Buildings Directive.      renewable energy and encourage the
contributed considerably to a               This is the first part of the Clean      active participation of consumers.
reduction in EU energy consumption          Energy Package to be finalised by the    Similarly, new rules for pre-cabling
and helped consumers save energy            European Parliament and the Council      will facilitate progress on charging
and money. But the new proposals go         showing that energy efficiency is dealt  points for electric vehicles – one
far beyond.                                 with as a key priority.                  of the obvious bottlenecks in the

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