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EU energy efficiency plan 2011

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EU energy efficiency plan 2011

Energy efficiency is a key component of European Union (EU) energy policy and an effective tool in combating climate change, lowering energy bills and making it less reliant on external suppliers.

ACT

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions - Energy efficiency plan 2011 (COM(2011) 109 final of 8.3.2011)

SUMMARY

Energy efficiency is a key component of European Union (EU) energy policy and an effective tool in combating climate change, lowering energy bills and making it less reliant on external suppliers.

WHAT DOES THIS COMMUNICATION DO?

It sets out plans that promote an economy that respects the planet’s resources, implements a low-carbon system, improves EU energy independence and strengthens the security of the energy supply.

KEY POINTS

Low energy consumption in the construction sector is very important, as this sector accounts for nearly 40 % of final energy consumption. This paper highlights ways that improve energy efficiency in this sector, such as the training of architects and engineers through the agenda for new skills and jobs and allowing for energy service companies (ESCOs) to give money to public authorities to reduce energy consumption.

With regard to industry, this paper encourages new equipment and infrastructures that comply with the Directive of the emission allowance trading scheme and the Directive on industrial emissions.

This paper proposes to reinforces the Eco-design Directive and define strict standards for household items like water heaters and computers. Meanwhile, advancing consumers’ understanding of the eco-label should help promote energy-efficient products.

This paper mentions financial instruments, such as the intelligent energy Europe programme and the European energy programme for recovery as ways to finance energy efficiency. However, under the Energy Efficiency Directive, which grew from this paper, financing for energy efficiency comes from funding schemes including Horizon 2020, the European Energy Efficiency Fund and the European Structural and Investment Funds.

BACKGROUND

This plan forms part of 20-20-20 targets from the EU’s 2020 climate and energy package. The other two targets are to reduce, by 2020, greenhouse gas emissions by 20 % from 1990 levels and to have 20 % of EU energy come from renewable sources.

For more information, see the European Commission’s energy efficiency, eco-design and intelligent energy Europe websites.

KEY TERMS

Split incentives refer to the common situation in which owners and tenants are reluctant to pay for improving the energy efficiency of a property, seeing as the benefits are shared between them.

RELATED ACTS

Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing a framework for the setting of eco-design requirements for energy-related products (OJ L 285 of 31.10.2009, pp. 10-35)

Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency, amending Directives 2009/125/EC and 2010/30/EU and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC (OJ L 315 of 14.11.2012, pp. 1-56)

Last updated: 27.08.2015

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