Industry leaders call for high level task force on energy efficiency in Europe

Source: Energy Efficiency Industrial Forum (EEIF)

Senior business executives1 from Europe’s leading companies in the energy efficiency sector met with EU Energy Commissioner, Günther Oettinger to explore enhanced cooperation on energy efficiency.

The executives, who are members of the Energy Efficiency Industrial Forum (EEIF), urged the Commissioner to focus on five key factors necessary to ensure that the 20% energy savings target is met by 2020.

The EEIF report, “5Cs for Energy Efficiency – The cornerstone of a viable Energy Policy for Europe”, highlights Conviction, Cash, Compliance, Communication and Compulsory Targets as the key ingredients to increasing activity in the efficiency arena.

In particular, a high level of political commitment is needed to ensure that saving energy is the first order priority for the EU’s policies on energy, energy security and climate change. To this end, a compulsory element to the energy savings target is required to enable Member States to set a clear agenda for increasing the diffusion of energy efficiency technologies in all sectors. Such a mandate would also enable industry to more adequately forecast and plan for meeting the future needs of the efficiency market.

The exchange also provided an opportunity to discuss the issue of financing; a vital element that must go hand in hand with policy-making. Energy saving technologies are often a zero- or even negative-cost option; however upfront financing is needed. Innovative programs are essential to overcome difficulties in accessing existing funding for energy efficiency, while more dissemination on best practice incentives would encourage Member States to implement successful programs.

During the meeting, business leaders expressed the commitment of industry to work towards the target by proposing the creation of a High-Level Task Force of industry and policy-makers, presided over by the Commission. The Task Force would focus on how to achieve the 20% energy savings target over the next ten years, looking at barriers and challenges in particular.

The leader of the delegation, Steve Wildman, Director and General Manager Siemens Oil and Gas UK, said “Industry leaders are looking forward to establishing a closer working relationship with policy-makers and, in particular, the Energy Commissioner. We believe that such an initiative would facilitate an even more constructive dialogue to take place on energy savings”.

1 The delegation included business leaders from De’ Longhi, Siemens, Philips, Johnson Controls, Knauf Insulation, Rockwool International, Aurubis, Kingspan and Saint-Gobain Glass Europe.

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