The cheapest form of energy is the one that we do not use. For this reason, improving the EU’s energy efficiency would result not just in lower energy consumption, and thereby decreased CO2 emissions, but also in a better security of supply. Energy efficiency improvement may also lead to energy savings for companies and individuals, as the investments required for such initiatives as building renovation and energy-efficient devices often are less than the aggregate savings in energy expenses. In addition, a strengthening of energy efficiency efforts has the added advantage that it is difficult to outsource jobs within industries such as construction to non-EU countries.
During the last three decades in Denmark, we have achieved great results through energy efficiency measures. This means that we have been able to maintain energy consumption more or less at the same level while the economy has continued to grow. Many areas in which Denmark has been using for years, such as power planted heat and construction, could also be of benefit to other European countries. Concurrently, common EU requirements for energy labelling and maximum energy consumption levels for products result in a further increase in energy efficiency levels in Denmark, at no cost to the consumer. Common EU requirements are therefore a boon to the many Danish companies who are market leaders in terms of developing energy-efficient products.
The EU has set a target to improve its energy efficiency level by 20% by 2020 based on expected energy consumption development. The Energy Efficiency Directive, which was negotiated during the Danish Presidency for the Council, establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the EU in order to ensure the achievement of the EU’s 20 % target on energy efficiency and to pave the way for further energy efficiency improvements beyond that date.
In April 2014 the European Commission launched a public consultation with regards to the review of progress towards the energy efficiency objectives for 2020 and a 2030 energy efficiency framework. The Danish response to this consultation can be found in the column to the right.
By 30 June 2014, the European Commission shall assess progress achieved under the EED and whether the EU is likely to achieve the target to improve its energy efficiency level by 20% by 2020 based on expected energy consumption development. As part of this assessment the Commission is also expected to present a proposal for a framework for energy efficiency up to 2030.