Indicative national energy efficiency targets fall short

Coalition's Guidebook can help the EU reach its 20% 2020 target

28 May 2013 - The Coalition has created an assessment of national energy efficiency targets, which shows that Member States are reluctant to step up their ambitions beyond the minimum efficiency measures required by the Energy Efficiency Directive, holding the EU back from reaching its 20% energy savings target by the 2020 deadline.

The eighteen targets available do not reduce the gap to the EU's 20% energy savings target and if the remaining nine country targets are of similar ambition the EU would only realise 17% energy savings, falling short of the target by 62 Mtoe - nearly the annual energy consumption of Belgium.

A ranking of the eighteen available targets compared to the most recent energy projections show that Slovakia, Belgium, Ireland, Greece and Italy lead the field with targets that require significant additional energy savings.

The least ambitious are Estonia, Finland, Malta, Romania and Portugal, who reported targets that increase the gap and eventually require no additional energy efficiency action.

The largest countries, Germany, France and the UK, set minimal targets that are likely to be achieved anyway by the measures under the Energy Efficiency Directive, like the annual 1.5% energy end-use saving obligation.

"It is encouraging that a number of countries that face serious economic challenges have chosen in favour of energy efficiency, which will help them reduce their energy bills and energy trade deficits, create new jobs and increase their competitiveness,", said Stefan Scheuer, Secretary General for the Coalition for Energy Savings.

"However, large Member States are not showing leadership and the EU target is not in reach, signs that the voluntary approach to targets has failed. Rapid repair will be necessary to avoid damaging the EU’s commitment to its biggest energy resource – energy savings."

Member States were supposed to submit their national targets to the European Commission by 30 April, the first deadline under the Energy Efficiency Directive, and to date, information on what was reported has been kept tightly under wraps.

The Coalition only managed to obtain information from 18 countries, using information from National Reform Programme reports and intelligence from national contacts.

"The secrecy and lack of transparency in setting these targets excluded national and EU stakeholders from what should be an open and inclusive process", said Scheuer.

In order to help stakeholders and Member States achieve the full 20% EU target and reap the economic and environmental benefits of energy savings, the Coalition has released an online and print Guidebook for Strong Implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive.

The Guidebook organises the legislation into major themes with legal checks, main deadlines and good practices, as well as a list of top recommendations for a complete and successful implementation of the Directive.

See the full press release here.

Wednesday, 29 May, 2013