Why the EU cannot afford to leave behind energy savings

Coalition reminds MEPs to include a binding savings target in 2030 climate and energy package

25 September 2013 - Ahead of the first exchange of views of the European Parliament’s ENVI and ITRE committees on a 2030 framework for climate and energy policies on 26th September 2013, the Coalition for Energy Savings provides its assessment of the weak commitment of Member States to deliver energy savings.

Cost-effective energy savings are the EU’s largest domestic energy resource, lowering energy costs for industry and households alike, decreasing the EU’s energy dependence, creating new, stable and local jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

But the EU’s cost-effective energy savings are far from being exploited: voluntary targets for 2020 and carbon pricing have proven to be ineffective, and an urgently needed 2030 target to secure investments is missing so far.

The Coalition has assessed the recently published indicative national efficiency targets under the 2012 EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the results are clear: national energy savings targets for 2020 do not add up to the EU’s 20% savings ambition.

As our Gapometer shows, national targets leave a gap of 68 Mtoe in primary energy savings which must be closed to reach the EU’s 20% target of 1483 Mtoe. This is equivalent to twice the energy consumption of Austria. Despite the many EU and national measures in place to encourage energy savings, the pledges of Member States fail to secure the voluntary 20% energy savings target - the only 2020 headline target that is not binding.

These national targets show that Member States will aim low if targets are not binding. It is therefore imperative that policy makers take swift action to include a binding energy savings target that taps the EU’s cost-effective energy savings in the 2030 framework for climate and energy policies. Such a target would ensure that Member States step up actions to meet the EU’s 20% target for 2020 and maximise the significant economic, social and environmental benefits that energy savings can bring.

Download the full policy brief here.

Thursday, 26 September, 2013