European Parliament Adopts Energy Efficiency Target

The European Parliament (EP) adopted a binding agreement calling for a 20% increase in energy efficiency by 2020.

The policy will be implemented in all economic sectors. Meetig the target would save households up to €1,000 on energy bills, while the European Union (EU) as a whole would save some €100 billion and reduce emissions by almost 800 million tons a year.

The EP voted for the energy-saving target by a large majority – 511 to 64, with 57 abstentions – while a smaller majority (336 to 305) agreed to make the targets binding.

The agreement was based on a report authored by EP Member Bendt Bendtsen, an honorary member of the nascent European Alliance to Save Energy (EASE), a sister organization to the 33-year-old U.S.-based Alliance to Save Energy, and a member of the European People’s Party. EASE brings together leading businesses, trade associations, civic organizations and politicians working to advance energy efficiency in Europe.

"The most important thing is that we focus on those tools which are most effective," said Bendtsen. "Standards for energy-related products are already expected to save a figure which corresponds to the annual energy consumption of UK or Italy. Furthermore, the Commission should have a coordinating role and be able to reject the National Energy Efficiency Action Plans should they not be sufficient to meet the 20% target."

"It’s time to break the empty consensus on energy efficiency, and the European Parliament’s vote in support of a binding target for energy efficiency is a significant step in this direction," explained EASE Chair and Knauf Insulation CEO Tony Robson.

Robson continued, "As an organization committed to creating a more energy-efficient European economy, EASE is now looking to energy ministers and heads of state to support the European Parliament’s decision and, in doing so, to support the most cost-effective solution for climate and energy security – energy efficiency."

They urge the U.S. government to emulate the initiative. 26  states have an Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, accounting for 65% of the country’s electricity demand, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

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