Council to make Energy Efficiency Directive less efficient!

The European Council is threatening to dilute the content of the Energy Efficiency Directive by proposing substantial changes to the Commission’s proposal and the European Parliament’s approach. Orgalime, which represents the European Engineering Industries is severely concerned about this news. “When it comes to talking about energy efficiency and proposing regulation or standards for energy efficiency on manufacturers, governments are the champions. But when it comes to doing something about it themselves or to allowing consumers to understand and manage their energy consumption, then, as we see from the Council’s proposal, national governments want to do very little when, in fact, they should be showing the example." said Adrian Harris, Director General of Orgalime.

Although Europe has been determined in introducing more renewable energy measures, things are lagging far behind in the area of energy efficiency. The Energy Efficiency Directive is an opportunity to do something about this by focusing on the main areas where energy efficiency can become a reality. This includes public buildings, publicly-owned housing and private buildings; however, as opposed to the Commission’s proposal, the Council is eager to stifle the ambitions for requirements on public buildings. It is now planned to limit measures to buildings owned and occupied by central governments, which only represent a small fraction of the publicly-owned building stock. The consumer should be able to monitor how much energy he is using in order to manage their consumption properly. The Council has put forward an amendment to remove the consumer interfaces in smart meters, which would provide consumers with energy consumption and related price information and allow regular consumer feedback. “This is simply incomprehensible. If these changes are introduced, the possibility of influencing consumer behaviour is lost." underlined Adrian Harris.

In conclusion, if the Council’s proposals were to be adopted as such, Orgalime feels that the Commission’s and European Parliament’s proposal would be rendered devoid of substantive measures. The opportunity to really move on the uptake of the energy efficiency would be missed, as would the 2020 objectives and potential growth opportunities.

24 May, 2012
Press release

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