Winter Package – Energy Efficiency Targets

On November 30, 2016, the European Commission presented the Winter Package with positions and proposals related to energy. The transition to Clean Energy, is a fact not only in Europe but in a worldwide level. The European Commission has decided to lead this transition and play a leading role in achieving its energy and climate goals.

That is why the European Commission has announced new and innovating energy efficiency measures – including measures in other sectors – to keep European citizens and businesses ready for the transition. These measures are developed in 4 main axes:

  1. Defining the framework for improving energy efficiency.
  2. Improving the energy efficiency of buildings
  3. Improving the energy efficiency of products (ecological design) and enhancing consumer levels (energy efficiency labels).
  4. Suggestions for smart financing for smart buildings

A building block of the new and innovating is the European Commission’s commitment to increase the energy saving target to 30% by 2030, thus declaring energy saving a priority.

But how are existing EU policies affected for energy, after the announcement of the new measures?

It is clear the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) is being changed and upgraded. Some examples are:

  • The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) will be aligned with the new energy and climate target, the one set for 2030.
  • The obligation for energy providers and distributors for energy savings of 1.5% for each year and after 2020 is extended, specifically from 2021 to 2030 in order to attract private investment. This policy is not absolute in the process as Member States can achieve this through alternative actions.
  • Improving the process of measuring and pricing energy consumption for heating and cooling.

In addition, amendments to the Building Energy Efficiency Directive are proposed.

  • Encourage the use of ICT and other modern technologies, including building automation as well as building infrastructure for charging electric cars. The goal is to ensure that the buildings will function efficiently.
  • Rationalise or even delete those provisions that have not yielded the expected results.
  • Support energy upgrades by strengthening the link between actions to achieve higher goals, funding and Energy Efficiency Certificates (EPCs) as well as strengthening those provisions, concerning the national long-term strategies for the energy upgrades for buildings with the vision of reducing or even eliminating carbon emissions by 2050.

In addition to the above, the European Commission presents a strategy of smart financing tools for “smart buildings” in order to unlock the available private funds to finance energy efficiency and the use of RES in buildings on a larger scale.

Energy efficiency can clearly bring multiple benefits in terms of climate targets. Through the changes to Energy Efficiency Directives, the European Commission has laid the groundwork for reducing global carbon emissions by raising the savings target to 30%.

But for this to be possible it is necessary for all Member States to contribute and work in this direction.

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