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EC to get tougher on energy targets

The European Commission has admitted energy efficiency targets will be missed by a significant margin unless it takes much more extreme action in the coming years.

A target of reducing energy consumption by 20 per cent by 2020 has been set by the commission, but last week it said this would not be achieved unless a whole range of proposals were implemented covering energy supply, products, incentives and new technology.

A commission statement read: “The measures already adopted by the EU should achieve energy savings of about 13 per cent by 2020 if properly implemented by member states.
“This falls far short of what is needed. This is why the commission proposes to intensify action.”

Proposed measures include a recasting of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive which would include setting minimum energy performance requirements when major renovation is carried out on all buildings.

Provisions for energy performance certificates and regular inspections of heating and air-conditioning systems will be reinforced, while member states will also be expected to promote higher market uptake of low carbon and energy buildings.

Fiona Hall, who helped write and led negotiations on the European Parliament’s report on an Action Plan for Energy Efficiency, published earlier this year, said: “This underlines that we have not done enough on energy efficiency so far.

“The level of ambition has to be increased as at the moment there is a gap between political rhetoric and what is happening on the ground in member states.”

Andrew Warren, director of the Association for the Conservation of Energy and deputy chairman of the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes, urged the commission to fast track measures.