Energy efficiency: Binding targets will hinder EU growth
The Parliament Magazine, May 3, 2016
This autumn, the European Commission is planning a revision to the energy efficiency directive. Both the Commission and Parliament are currently evaluating the implementation of the existing directive, originally adopted back in 2012. The best word to describe how the directive has been implemented by EU member states is probably ‘inadequately’.
The directive currently allows for flexibility in its implementation. This has helped those member states that have not yet done a great deal in the area of energy efficiency measures to begin promoting efficiency. Instead of an energy-saving obligation scheme, many countries have used alternative approaches, such as tax relief or funding schemes tailored to the needs of their national situations.
There are already approximately 2000 EU and national reporting requirements in the energy sector. Ultimately, it is customers who will end up paying for all this red tape. European electricity prices are among the highest in the world, inhibiting industry competitiveness and pushing private customers towards energy poverty.
Among the root causes of this situation are issues such as competing climate protection legislation, the complexity associated with energy efficiency legislation and unilateral national energy policies.
Uncoordinated national legislation often hinders those energy efficiency solutions that offer the best possible results in terms of cost-effectiveness. I am therefore asking for greater consistency and flexibility across energy policies. A common framework is needed for energy policy as a whole.