We are pushing to maintain the Commission's level of ambition on energy efficiency policy including our 30% mandatory energy efficiency target. I hope that that level of ambition stays following our institutional discussions. That summed up the message of Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Change and Energy during the Coalition for Energy Savings' Energy Savings summit (the third one of its kind) on 2nd May. (#CleanEnergyEU)
Asked how he would judge whether the framework for energy efficiency in Europe was satisfactory he stressed the difficulty of keeping the level of ambition and coherence of the whole package on energy but remained upbeat that progress as outlined by the EU executive could be achieved.
The event was impressively attended by participants from across the European stakeholder and policy maker spectrum following the topic of energy efficiency. The theme this year was "Europe's people at the heart of the energy transition".
Energy Savings Coalition Chairman Paolo Falcioni opened the event and underlined the fact that significant progress still needed to be made in making energy efficiency a reality in homes across the European Union. "A large potential for more energy efficiency remains untapped, starting from deep renovation of buildings", he said stressing how energy efficiency needed to be further taken into consideration within the overall EU policy on climate and energy. It was particularly important to deliver on energy savings in this, the implementation year of the Energy Union, he continued. "Europe's people must be part of the energy transition" he concluded.
With consumers in mind, emphasis was also made during the summit on having a more just energy system and its positive story. A 1% extra amount of energy savings lead to a 4% cut in gas imports, roughly €29 off the average household energy bill, 335,000 new jobs and a 0.7% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions stressed Coalition for Energy Savings head Stefan Scheuer.
MEP Claude Thurmes wrapped up the event but stressing: "to be successful, we need standards and to organise markets. Markets bring new business models".
Event participants - what they said:
"Caution is needed on targets. The target needs to be affordable. the 30% energy efficiency target is ambitious and affordable".
Anne Van Bossuyt (MEP, ECR, Belgium and shadow rapporteur for the Energy Efficiency Directive Revision)
"More needs to be done to mobilise private capital and investment while we are not living in a predictable, foreseeable environment".
Grzegorz Radziejewski (Cabinet of Jyrki Katainen, European Commission Vice-President)
"A 30% binding energy efficiency target is the most cost effective proposal. A target is needed to help enshrine certainty.... Consumers need to be encouraged to be more proactive through digitalisation and smart homes"
Mechthild Wörsdörfer - Director for renewables, research and innovation, energy efficiency, DG Energy, European Commission