An informal meeting of EU ministers, held in Malta last week, concluded with a vaguely-worded statement underlining the “necessary flexibility” for the EU’s member states to attain energy efficiency objectives, “whilst at the same time securing a significant level of ambition”.
The European Commission has vowed to put “energy efficiency first” in its plans for an Energy Union, arguing that the Paris Agreement on climate change justified ramping up EU plans to slash energy consumption.
In proposals tabled last November, the EU executive set a legally-binding objective for EU countries to cut energy consumption by 30% come 2030, up from the non-binding 20% target for 2020 which is currently in force.
The EU executive also proposed obliging energy firms to fundamentally review their business models by ensuring 1.5% less energy is sold to end consumers each year. This would be achieved by selling new services such as support for home insulation, double-glazing installation, or more efficient appliances and heating systems.
“I’m particularly proud of the binding 30% energy efficiency target, as it will reduce our dependency on energy imports, create jobs and cut more emissions,” said the EU’s Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete as he unveiled the proposals last year.