The European Parliament and Council reached a deal on new EU legislation on energy efficiency and savings following legislative negotiations last night (1). Green MEP and draftsperson/rapporteur for the European Parliament Claude Turmes welcomed the deal as a boost for the economy and EU energy goals but cautioned that the deal falls short of delivering what is needed for the EU to meet its target of reducing energy consumption 20% by 2020. Commenting on the outcome, the EP rapporteur/draftsperson Claude Turmes said:
"This deal will give a boost to Europe's economy and help achieve our energy security and climate goals. The new energy efficiency legislation sets out binding measures, which will go a significant way towards bridging the current gap the EU is facing with regards to meeting its pledge to reduce energy consumption 20% by 2020. Unfortunately, EU governments were not willing to agree to more ambitious measures, which would have fully delivered the 20% target. This means the European Commission must propose new additional measures, such as on car fuel efficiency, to fully close the gap.
"Realising the EU's energy saving target not only makes sense in terms of meeting our energy security and climate change goals, it also makes broader economic sense, stimulating economic activity and creating millions of jobs, whilst bringing down energy bills for businesses and households. Energy prices are only going one way and the EU's damaging dependence on imports, which is exacerbating the economic crisis, means the only way to address rising energy costs is through ambitious energy efficiency. This would also keep investments in the European economy, rather than transferring vast amounts of wealth to third countries for energy imports.
"The legislation includes a number of crucial measures that will deliver concrete energy savings. Member states will have to set out a roadmap for achieving energy savings of 80% in the buildings sector by 2050. Energy companies will also be tasked with delivering 1.5% in annual savings across all end-use sectors, even if this obligation was regrettably watered-down by EU governments. Binding financial instruments and better consumer information (such as through the use of smart meters) are among the other detailed measures included."
(1) The European Parliament and Council reached agreement on a draft first reading agreement on the proposed Energy Efficiency Directive. The legislative agreement is now set to be endorsed by the European Parliament as a whole and EU governments in Council.