Maltese presidency proposes slowing down delivery of energy savings

Jobs and tangible benefits of energy transition at risk

 

Brussels, 4 May 2017 - The Coalition for Energy Savings understands that Malta, who holds the presidency of the Council of the EU, is maintaining its proposal to weaken the energy savings objective in the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), despite the opposition of a block of Member States.

The text drafted by the Maltese presidency proposes to lower the annual energy savings target to 1.4% in Article 7 of the EED, a position at odd with the Parliament, who has in the past insisted on closing existing loopholes. This watering down of the energy savings requirement has survived the negotiations despite the opposition of several large Member States, and was accompanied by further confusion regarding the eligibility of measures and the set up of Member States national targets.

Article 7 was conceived so that Member States secure new savings equivalent to 1.5% of energy sales each year. This is currently not achieved because most governments have used all available loopholes, resulting in halving the effective energy savings requirement to only 0.75% per year.  The text proposed by the presidency would secure the delivery of only 0.7% new energy savings per year – this would mean slowing down the rate of investments in the efficiency of buildings, mobility, production and energy supply.

“The presidency proposal could destroy more than 100,000 local jobs in the future, at a moment when citizens need to see the benefit of the energy transition” said Stefan Scheuer, Secretary General of the Coalition for Energy Savings. “The objective of the Clean Energy for All Europeans package is to create prospects for citizens and companies, not to slow down the delivery of benefits. A vivid example of the importance of their decision is that up to 10 million less homes would be renovated if the text proposed by Malta is adopted”. 

Ministers, who will meet this month in Malta for an informal energy council, are expected to agree on a common approach on both energy efficiency files in June. The presidency was not successful in reinforcing the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive either, risking giving a very bad start to the legislative work on the Clean Energy Package.

The Parliament is yet to examine the Energy Efficiency Directive and is expected to be particularly vigilant about its benefits for citizens and companies, aligned with the Commission’s commitment to put consumers at the centre of the Energy Union.

As a multi-stakeholder coalition, uniting 33 European business, civil society, cooperatives, consumer, professional, trade union and local government organisations, the Coalition for Energy Savings calls on the Council and on the European Parliament to set a binding 40% target and to strengthen Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive, the annual energy savings requirement.

 

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Marion Santini | +32 2 235 20 13 | marion.santini[at]energycoalition.eu | @Euenergysavings

Notes for editors
• More information and suggestions on how to strengthen Article 7 can be found in the Coalition’s briefing on Article 7 and on our position paper on the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package.

• Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) requires Member States to put in place national energy efficiency measures to deliver new and additional end-use energy savings every year. It has secured the single largest contribution to achieve the 2020 energy efficiency target by driving energy savings of up to 60Mtoe per year.

• Extrapolation from the data in the Commission’s impact assessment shows that removing all loopholes and deploying the full 1.5% annual savings could create up to 1.6 million jobs. On the opposite, reducing the savings requirement as proposed by the Maltese presidency would destroy 106,000 jobs.

• Reducing the annual savings requirement from 1.5% to 1.4% would increase energy consumption by 5 Mtoe in 2030. According to data from Germany and the Czech Republic, a home renovation reduces annual consumption by 0.39 to 0.65 toe. The figure of 0.5 toe was used as a mean value to calculate the maximum impact on renovation.

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Wednesday, 3 May, 2017