By 2020¸ the EU is to obtain a cut of 20% in energy consumption – a target complementing the mandatory requirement to achieve a 20% increment in the share of renewable as well as a 20% emissions reduction.
The draft directive sets in a legal obligation to establish energy saving schemes in all EU member-states with energy distributors or retail energy sales companies obliged to save every year 1.5% of their energy sales by volume. This target is not a binding one but an indicative one conceived as a means to stimulate a greater uptake of energy efficient practices in businesses and households. An assessment on the need for binding targets based on progress achieved will be made in 2014.
A key element of the new provisions puts the onus of leadership onto the public sector. Public organisations will be providing for the push factor driving the market uptake of energy efficient products and services via a legal obligation to purchase energy efficient products and services. The directive will require governments to double the current level of retrofitting of public sector buildings to 3% a year.
This is an important positive development from an economic perspective as the introduction of this directive will spur a surge in demand for construction renovation works with concomitant demand for energy-efficient equipments and installations. A quick adoption of the Commission’s draft text via the co-decision procedure involving the European Parliament and the Council would ensure a demand boost at a time when the construction business is stabilising as a result of the crisis. The renovation obligation on the public sector (making up close to 12% of the EU building stock) would also serve a strong driver for higher uptake of energy efficiency in other economic sectors. It would therefore contribute to the development of the requisite skills and knowledge base amongst the local construction companies and equipment providers whilst creating new business opportunities and jobs.
Read more: MBB