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Energy efficiency

EP vote for stronger, binding rules a boost for EU economic and energy goals


The European Parliament energy committee (ITRE) today voted on new EU legislation on energy efficiency and savings (1). The committee approved proposals by Green draftsperson/rapporteur Claude Turmes to strengthen the legislative draft, including binding targets and binding measures, with a view to ensuring the EU realises its target of reducing energy consumption 20% by 2020. After the vote, the EP rapporteur/draftsperson, Green MEP Claude Turmes said:

"A broad majoirty of MEPs has today voted for tougher rules on energy efficiency, with binding measures and targets, to ensure the EU delivers on its pledge to reduce energy consumption 20% by 2020. 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 dependence on imports 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.

"5 years after committing to a voluntary target of reducing energy consumption 20% by 2020, EU member states are way off track. To address this, MEPs have today voted to make the 20% target binding, with national sub-targets and trajectories for the member states (2). This is the only sure-fire way to ensure the 20% target is met and the win-win benefits of doing so are realised.

"MEPs have also voted for a number of binding measures to implement the overall target. Member states will have to set out a roadmap for achieving energy savings of 80% in the buildings sector by 2050, with a binding deep renovation rate of 2.5% per year for public buildings. Energy companies will also be tasked with delivering 1.5% in annual savings across all end-use sectors. Binding financial instruments and better consumer information (such as through the use of smart meters) are among the other detailed measures adopted today (2).

"Today's vote provides a strong mandate for the EP in its negotiations with the Council on the final legislation. We have lost enough time: it is time for EU governments to start delivering real energy savings and a robust energy efficiency directive will be crucial to this end."

(1) The ITRE committee adopted the report by Green draftsperson/rapporteur Claude Turmes on the revised Energy Efficiency Directive as part of a co-decision legislative process.

(2) Click for briefing with further details


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