EU Energy Efficiency Laws Take Centre Stage

THE European Commission is under pressure to keep its promise that 2016 will be the “year of delivery” for its Energy Union strategy.

James Crisp writing for EurActiv explains this week is important for the EU’s efforts to fight climate change and boost the import-addicted bloc’s resistance to shortages, with today is the first day of Sustainable Energy Week, a Commission-backed series of conferences, debates and discussion in Brussels.

The executive is expected to lay out the legislative framework that will increase energy efficiency across the bloc this autumn.

Revisions to the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive will be scrutinised to see if they have the weight to deliver on climate, cost, and energy security.

It provides an opportunity for industry, NGOs, policymakers at all levels of government, and other stakeholders to feed into officials’ thinking on these pivotal dossiers.

The dominant theme will be how to incentivise consumers to help build the Energy Union, which currently remains a plan. Autumn will see the first fresh legislation to give it a grounding in regulatory reality.

Energy Union foresees an interconnected EU grid, with multiple suppliers, that would also move the bloc towards a lower carbon future by combining renewables with gas.

The plan was given impetus by two political drivers; international moves to cap global warming and the Ukraine crisis, which highlighted the EU’s dependence on Russian gas.

Policymakers recognise that greater efficiency reduces energy use and demand, which is good for the environment but also strengthens energy security by lessening imports.

Energy Union chief Maroš Šefčovič and Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete have both vowed to “put efficiency first” in the strategy they outlined in 2015.

Monday 13th June 2016

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