Where is the EU strategy on energy efficiency?

Last March, the European Council gave an unprecedented mandate to the European Commission to design a coherent strategy to improve energy efficiency and to reduce the energy dependence of the EU.

To Glass for Europe’s greatest regret, this opportunity was ruined by political bargaining solely revolving around a number to serve as a target.In the absence of a focus on the energy efficiency potential of the different sectors of the economy and without any policy measure foreseen to help grasp subsequent savings, the communication and the 30% target unveiled yesterday are de facto meaningless.

The impact assessment and the Commission’s communication published yesterday pinpoint once again the huge cost-effective energy saving potential associated with the renovation of existing buildings. It even rightly suggests the huge energy efficiency gains which could be achieved thanks to state-of-the-art windows, when stressing that 44% of windows are still single-glazed in the EU.

“None of this is new so where is the strategy on energy efficiency in buildings?” asked Bertrand Cazes, Secretary General of Glass for Europe. “What are the operational objectives in terms of building renovation? What measures will be set out by the EU to ensure that the 44% of windows which are still single-glazed are upgraded with efficient glazing solutions?”

Once again the Commission publishes a communication which does not contain any specific objective to reduce energy consumption in the building sector, nor propose concrete measure for triggering a market for building renovation. “How many further studies, impact assessments and empty words will be necessary before the EU moves to action?” added Bertrand Cazes.

It will now be the Council and the new European Commission’s responsibility to fill the gaps of this meaningless communication. Glass for Europe calls for the swift development of an EU energy labelling scheme for windows and for an ambitious revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. This could be the basis of a coherent plan meant to deliver energy efficiency in buildings.

About Glass for Europe

Glass for Europe is the trade association for Europe’s manufacturers of flat glass. Flat glass is the material that goes into a variety of end-products and primarily in windows and façades for buildings, windscreens and windows for automotive and transport as well as glass covers, connectors and mirrors for solar-energy equipments. Flat glass is also used for many other applications such as furniture, electronics, appliances, etc.

Glass for Europe has four members: AGC Glass Europe, NSG-Group, Saint-Gobain Glass and Sisecam-Trakya Cam and works in association with Guardian. Altogether, these five companies represent 90% of Europe’s flat glass production.

600450 Where is the EU strategy on energy efficiency? glassonweb.com

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