Page 5 - European Energy Innovation - Winter 2014
P. 5
Winter 2014 European Energy Innovation 5


Energy Efficiency – a winning

argument for Europe
By Dominique Ristori, Director-General for Energy, European Commission

The energy that is not consumers mostly trust the label shift in skills in the building sector.
consumed does not with a large majority using it in
pollute and does not their purchasing decisions. Just The future energy system will
need to be imported to give one example: the share see great changes to the way the
- simple! Therefore, energy of refrigerators in the EU in the households consume energy.
efficiency constitutes a priority highest energy efficiency labelling This applies to the buildings that
action in the EU’s 2030 energy classes (A and above) increased people occupy, but also to how
and climate framework where EU from less than 5% in 1995 to more people will control their energy
leaders just committed to at least than 90% in 2010. use. Technology and consumer
27% energy savings by 2030, to awareness are key terms in this
be reviewed by 2020, having in Buildings are the largest respect. Increasingly consumers
mind a 30% target. But that’s not contributor to energy use in the will be given the means and the
all. Moderating energy demand, EU, and account for 40% of EU technology to reduce energy
including through energy final energy demand, and 36 consumption in the household
efficiency, is also central for all % of CO2 emissions; they offer while maintaining and even
efforts to increase energy security significant savings potential with increasing comfort and utility.
and improve competitiveness, 80% of the economic potential They will be able to steer energy
two other objectives that of energy efficiency in buildings consumption over time, respond
underpin the project of building still untapped. Addressing this to price signals and act as an
a resilient Energy Union with a potential can act as a boost to energy producer.
forward-looking climate change the EU’s construction sector
policy. that represents around 9% of To achieve these ambitions,
GDP and more than 3 million we need to ensure that the
The EU’s energy intensity has enterprises, mainly SMEs. consumer has the tools such as
been steadily improving, making Analysis shows that €1 of public smart meters and technologies
the EU one of the least energy- investment in energy efficiency for different forms of visualisation
intensive economies in the of buildings can bring up to €5 in of consumption data in the
world, e.g. the energy intensity additional budget revenue and home – which also ensure data
in EU industry has decreased that €1 million invested in energy protection. EU Member States
by almost 19% between 2001 efficiency measures can lead to have committed to rolling out
and 2011. At the same time the creation of 19 jobs. close to 200 million smart meters
there remains a considerable for electricity and 45 million for
cost-effective energy savings European legislation will, if gas by 2020. Increasingly we will
potential. Recognising this, the implemented properly as move toward a future with smart
European Union has developed a whole, contribute to the homes including smart appliances
a comprehensive legislative goals of competitiveness and that help monitoring and
framework in order to drive sustainability. The current managing energy consumption.
progress. framework for buildings In the long term the markets
sets, among other things, for electricity and heating will
The Ecodesign and Energy requirements for the standard of need to be designed in a way
Labelling directives ensure renovations when they have been that allows more active and
minimum energy efficiency decided as well as requires the informed consumer participation
standards, while contributing Member States to produce long than today, and the entry into
to transparency and informed term building renovation plans. the market of new actors. The
choices by consumers. This New private buildings in Europe optimization of the energy system
legislation is having a positive have to be “nearly zero-energy via the demand side will bring
effect: Recognition rates by buildings” by 2021, and two years benefits to security of supply,
European consumers are up to later the same requirements will will contribute towards Europe’s
between 80 and 95%, and more apply to public buildings. These climate objectives and will
importantly, surveys show that ambitious targets will require a improve competitiveness. l
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