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Thursday, 16 June 2011

Improving the EU's energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is one of the most cost effective ways to ensure energy supply, and it is at the same time a key tool in combating climate change. That is why the Energy Council on 10 June called for efforts to tap the potential for higher energy savings of buildings, transport and products. Public authorities should lead the way in raising performance levels. Member states are invited to apply high efficiency standards when purchasing goods (e.g. information and communication equipment). If possible, this should also apply to services, for example in connection with the refurbishment, operation and maintenance of buildings. When acquiring new buildings, public institutions are encouraged to choose a nearly zero-energy standard. The public transport fleet could include electric and hybrid vehicles. Consumers must be provided with clear, objective and transparent information as to the energy efficiency of products, including ecodesign and labelling. Campaigns could raise consumers' awareness of the energy consumption of products over their entire lifetime. Improving the EU's energy efficiency will have several advantages: it will protect the environment through energy savings and contribute to reaching the 2020 target of a 20 % reduction in greenhouse gases; it will benefit consumers by helping them save money; and it will create employment through a competitive low-carbon economy. Commission estimates indicate that the EU will not meet its objective of 20 % energy savings by 2020, if we continue along current lines. The transition to a resource efficient energy use is therefore vital.

Source: Council of Ministers