EU Energy Efficiency Directive
The deal on the proposed EU energy efficiency directive was endorsed by the Energy Committee.
The directive would introduce mandatory measures such as renovating public buildings and energy-saving schemes for utilities.
Parliament's rapporteur, Claude Turmes, who led negotiations with the Council, said "The new energy efficiency directive enshrines the 20% efficiency target in law and sets out binding measures that will help bridge the gap that the EU must close to meet its pledge to cut energy consumption by 20% by 2020. Yet more must be done to close this gap. Achieving the EU energy-saving target makes sense, not just to further our energy security and climate change goals, but also broader economic sense, because it can stimulate economic activity and create millions of jobs, whilst bringing down energy bills for business and households and reducing our dependence on energy imports".
The directive would require Member States to renovate 3% of the total floor area of "heated and/or cooled buildings owned and occupied by their central government" (administrative departments whose responsibilities cover the entire territory of a Member State).
This would apply to buildings with a "total useful floor area" of more than 500 m², and as from July 2015, of more than 250 m². However, Member States would also be able to use alternative means to achieve equivalent energy savings, e.g. thorough renovation.
All large enterprises would be required to undergo an energy audit. These audits would need to start within three years of the directive's entry into force and should be carried out every four years by qualified and accredited experts.
MEPs also proposed establishing financing facilities for energy efficiency measures. Member States would need to facilitate the establishment of these facilities or the use of existing ones.
The directive lays down common measures to ensure that the EU makes progress towards its headline target of using 20% less energy by 2020. Each Member State would set its own target and present a national efficiency action plan every three years, in 2014, 2017 and 2020. The European Commission would have to assess, by June 2014, the progress achieved.
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