Commission proposes 30% energy efficiency target

Commission proposes 30% energy efficiency target

2 December 2016

On 30 November 2016 the European Commission proposed a binding 30% energy efficiency target for 2030, up from the current target of at least 27%.

The new target came as part of a package of energy efficiency measures which include upgrading the current energy efficiency Directive, measures focusing on the energy efficiency of buildings and improving the energy performance of products and informing consumers, and a smart finance for buildings proposal.

Energy efficiency is key to Europe’s clean energy transition. The new 30% target will achieve a 23% cut in energy consumption compared to 2005 levels, helping the EU on its way to achieve the objectives contained in the Paris climate agreement.

The new Directive is also set to unlock the energy savings that can boost the EU economy, create jobs and lower energy bills for consumers. A 30% energy efficiency target can lead to an increase in GDP of around 0.4% - or €70 billion.

For buildings – a sector which accounts for 40% of Europe’s energy consumption – the Commission approved an update to the energy performance of buildings Directive. The move aims to encourage the use of innovative and smart technologies to ensure that buildings operate efficiently; it removes some elements of the existing Directive that have not been delivered, and aims to boost renovation rates.

Some two-thirds of buildings were built before energy performance standards even existed, and renovation rates are only around 1%.

For products, the Commission adopted a new Ecodesign work plan which includes a list of new product groups and outlines how Ecodesign will contribute to objectives for a circular economy, specific measures on air conditioning units and guidelines for voluntary agreements.

EU ecodesign and energy labelling rules have helped Europe make energy savings the equivalent to the annual energy consumption of Italy, saving European households almost €500 per year on their energy bills.

For consumers, the new rules will help lower energy bills via changes in metering and billing, clearer and more frequent information on energy consumed. In multi apartment buildings, the measures could trigger energy savings equivalent to Croatia's primary energy consumption in 2013.

New rules on buildings will also have a downward effect on energy poverty by increasing the affordability of housing. Human health can also be improved with better buildings as modern heating installations emit fewer air pollutants and adequately heated homes reduce damp.

The new rules on energy efficiency are part of a package of measures launched by the European Commission on 30 November, all designed to speed up the clean energy transition.

Energy efficiency factsheet: Putting energy efficiency first: consuming better, getting cleaner  

Energy Efficiency Directive
Energy efficiency of buildings

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