The EU’s energy ministers have unfortunately taken a backward step in regards to energy efficiency laws by revising the Energy Efficiency Directive to a watered down version.
The agreement is for a 30% energy saving target by 2030, however, the previous target was higher at 40% and the EU ministers have been unable to decide on whether this has to be binding or not and has postponed that decision for a later date.
Further changes made to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) means there is now nothing to increase the rate in which energy efficiency improvements are made to buildings. This is a massive blow to reducing the energy demand of buildings throughout the EU.
Arianna Vitali, senior policy officer at WWF European Policy Office, said:
“Our buildings still guzzle a whopping 40% of EU energy, and today’s agreement does little to tackle this. Wasted energy, high fuel bills, air pollution and a warming climate will be the price to pay for this lack of ambition unless MEPs are far more progressive.”
The directive previously stated that EU countries should be saving 1.5% of energy per year between 2026 and 2030. This figure has now been reduced to 1% and additional loopholes have been added making it more likely that even this figure could be missed.
It is vital to make significant improvements in energy efficiency across all sectors of our economies to achieve a low carbon economy in a cost-effective way and doing so will boost economic growth and job creation.
Summing up the disappointment felt, Philip Salaman of Quidos said: “It’s as if the EU Member States have given up on their ambition for energy efficiency. Investment opportunities will dry up, and eventually the EPBD agenda will be snuffed out. Quidos now looks to the European Parliament and calls on MEPs to adopt positions on the EPBD and the EED that does justice to Europe’s international commitment and its ambition to create an innovative low-carbon economy.”