17th Jul 2019

EU to water down energy saving plans

  • Skyrocketing oil prices make energy savings more profitable (Photo:

Ambitious EU plans to reduce energy consumption in private households and public institutions have been watered down.

Member states will be asked to save a minimum 9 percent energy over a nine-year period by making current energy consumption more efficient. But the goals will not be binding, according to a deal struck between MEPs and EU governments on Tuesday (6 December).

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The original directive on "promotion of end-use efficiency and energy services" was presented by the European Commission two years ago.

It sets out clear mandatory targets for annual energy savings at member state level for the period 2006-2012 by making use of electricity, gas, heating oil and transport more efficient.

The commission estimates that the bloc's energy consumption is approximately 20 percent higher than can be justified on economic grounds.

"The directive will kick off an energy efficiency offensive in the member states", said German social democrat MEP Mechtild Rothe, a member of the parliament’s delegation in the talks.

"Member states will have to adopt multi-annual energy efficiency action plans, in which they must set out intermediate goals and the measures needed to attain them", the MEP added.

Some MEPs regretted that the goals were not binding.

Once the directive is adopted, member states will have a period of two years to transpose it into national law.

Action plans must be sent to the commission no later than 30 June 2007, according to the deal, which will be voted on in the plenary of the European Parliament in Strasbourg next week.

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