Putting energy efficiency first: consuming better, getting cleaner

A 30% energy efficiency target, efficient buildings, clarified ecodesign framework and measures, smarter finance to help Europe grow while meeting its climate goals easer.

What happens today?

The global clean energy transition has started and it is irreversible. The European Union not only wants to adapt, but to lead. We want to achieve our ambitious climate and energy targets whilst maintaining a competitive economy in Europe that needs to provide the jobs and growth also for our future citizens.

To make sure that European consumers and businesses are fully equipped for this transition, the Commission is launching new and innovative energy efficiency measures. These measures focus on:

  1. Setting the framework for improving energy efficiency in general;
  2. Improving energy efficiency in buildings;
  3. Improving the energy performance of products (Ecodesign) and informing consumers (energy labelling);
  4. Financing for energy efficiency with the smart finance for smart buildings proposal.

As an encompassing element the Commission proposes a binding EU-wide target of 30% for energy efficiency by 2030, emphasising the EU's commitment to put energy efficiency first.


Why is the Commission taking this action now?

The clean energy transition is key for the current European strategy for jobs and growth, the number onepriority of the Juncker Commission. The clean energy transition is where the smart money is: last year, clean energy attracted a record global investment of over 300 billion euros, six times the amount in 2004. With our new measures Europe will also be a frontrunner in implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), including SDG 7 on affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.

The review of the energy efficiency legislation unlocks the energy savings that can boost growth in the EU's economy, investments and job creation. Our proposal for an EU level binding target of at least 30% by 2030 will reduce the EU'sfossil fuel import bill. It will translate to jobs and higher gross domestic product.


What concrete benefits does energy efficiency bring?

When implemented by Member States, some proposed measures will have immediate and tangible effects. Ambitious energy efficiency targets for 2030 can reduce a Member State's dependence on energy imports, boost the local economy, increase its competitiveness and create additional green jobs.

In the case of building renovation itshould result in creating the right market conditions for increasing the rate and level at which buildings are renovated. It will also ensure a stable framework with a long-term perspective and vision towards the decarbonisation of buildings, which will lead to the transformation of the EU building stock while creating growth and jobs.

Ecodesign measures ensure that only energy efficient appliances can be sold on the EU market. The EU energy labelling system ensures that consumers can make informed choices when buying energy appliances. Overall, consumers using only energy efficient products in their homes could be saving an average of €500 annually per household by 2020.

In addition, energy efficiency obligations schemes allow reducing the energy bills for consumers as a result of lower energy demand due to actions taken to replace inefficient windows or insulate walls. Studies show that utility schemes can reduce energy bills for consumers by up to 20%, and it comes with a wide range of benefits such as higher comfort level and more disposable income.

See more: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-16-3986_en.htm