The European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a raft of mandatory energy saving measures in a vote earlier this week that will save the region €50 billion a year.
The EU energy efficiency directive aims to cut energy use 20% by 2020 through a range of initiatives covering public buildings, utilities and large organisations.
From July 2015, the measures will require that member states renovate 3% of the total floor area of buildings owned and occupied by government departments.
Meanwhile, energy companies will be required to achieve energy savings of 1.5% of annual energy sales to customers every year up to 2020.
Once the directive comes into force, larger companies – but not SMEs or small organisations – will have to carry out energy audits by qualified, accredited experts every four years.
The directive will come into force 20 days after its publication in the EU’s official journal and member states will be required to turn it into national law within 18 months.
“This essential legislation is not only crucial for achieving our energy security and climate goals; it will also give a real boost to the economy and create jobs,” commented MEP Claude Turmes, who helped steer the legislation through. “It will reduce the sizeable and growing cost of our dependence on energy imports – €488 billion in 2011 or 3.9% of GDP – which is particularly stark in crisis-hit countries.”
For further information:
EU greenhouse gas emissions fall 2.5% in 2011 despite growing GDP (10-Sept)
European proposals for energy efficiency targets clear next hurdle (13-Jul)
EU agrees on energy saving legislation but lowers ambition (14-Jun)
Cold winter and economic recovery drive rising EU emissions (30-May)
Article source: http://www.energyefficiencynews.com/i/5365/