Energy Companies Question Binding Targets

European energy companies have highlighted their own efforts to promote energy efficiency, rejecting calls for binding efficiency targets.

Europe’s energy companies are confident that they can find their own methods of improving efficiency, without EU interference. Such improvements could be made, it is argued, through higher electricity prices or subsidies from the public sector.

At a March 7 meeting in Brussels, organised by the industry group Eurelectric, energy company representatives pointed to their own efforts in improving efficiency, including, but not limited to, home energy audits, and improved technology and training.

The European Parliament first called for a binding energy efficiency target in a resolution passed in December 2010. Many MEPs sitting on the Energy Committee are now calling for binding national targets to be based on specific reference values for each EU country.

Under recently suggested proposals from the energy committee, energy companies would have to achieve “cumulative annual end-use energy savings equal to at least 1.5% of their energy sales” averaged over the most recent three-year period.

Representatives from many of Europe’s energy companies argue that this would reduce competitiveness in the market, something they argue is essential to drive energy efficiency.

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