Time to put Europe back on the energy saving path with an ambitious energy efficiency target for 2030

Brussels, 3 October 2014 – At the European Council this October Heads of States or Governments will have a golden opportunity to guide Europe out of dangerous energy dependence and create much-needed jobs and growth by committing to an ambitious energy efficiency target.

The European Commission recognised the importance of including a dedicated energy efficiency target in the 2030 climate and energy framework. However, its proposal is aiming far too low. Increasing energy efficiency by only 10% - moving from 20% by 2020 to 30% by 2030 - represents a decrease in the annual rate of improvement in energy efficiency, when Europe should be stepping up its efforts.

Stepping up the ambition to tap the 40% cost-effective energy savings potentials [1] is justified by Europe’s main priorities:
 • Security: every additional 1% energy savings leads to a 2.6% reduction of gas imports; [2]
 • Jobs: every additional €1 million invested in efficiency creates 8 to 27 job-years; [3]
 • Growth: Large-scale efficiency policies can boost growth by 0.25% to 1.1% pa; [4] and
 • Climate protection: energy not used is the safest and cheapest solution.

Europe cannot afford to miss out on this, which at the same time brings benefits to all Member States.

The Coalition for Energy Savings, which brings together business, civil society, professional, trade union and local government organisations, urged heads of states or governments to commit to an energy policy guided by a 40% energy efficiency target and supported by a transparent, legitimate and accountable governance system (see letter).

In September, the Coalition also sent a letter and briefing to Member States' 2030 sherpas calling on them to consider that the Commission’s proposals for a 2030 energy efficiency target are based on a flawed impact assessment, thus misleading EU decision-making.

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Notes

[1] PWC, Fraunhofer ISI, TU Vienna 2014, Study evaluating the current energy efficiency policy framework in the EU and providing orientation on policy options for realising the cost-effective energy-efficiency/saving potential until 2020 and beyond, on behalf of DG ENER.
[2] EC 2014, Impact Assessment accompanying communication on energy efficiency COM (2014/520)
[3] International Energy Agency 2014, Capturing the Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency
[4] idem
 

Friday, 3 October, 2014