Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments


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Energy efficiency

Energy - 21.04.2005

Energy efficiency: CEMR welcomes European Parliament Committee's vote but calls for caution on unrealistic targets for the public sector
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) broadly welcomes the vote in the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) in the first reading on the draft directive on energy end-use efficiency and energy services, which took place on 20 April 2005.
 
CEMR supports the overall objective of the proposal to reduce energy consumption by increasing energy efficiency and by creating a market for energy efficiency services. The Committee voted in favour of mandatory energy saving targets for Member States. This constitutes an important signal to other EU institutions and to national governments for concretely tackling energy over use and climate change.
 
CEMR also welcomes the vote of the Committee in favour of better information on energy consumption, for both users and authorities. Such information is indispensable in order to develop better energy efficiency measures. As such, the widespread use of individual metering is to be supported too.
 
However, CEMR regrets the adoption by the ITRE Committee of a much higher saving target for the public sector. CEMR believes that all sectors should contribute equally to the savings and to the increased efficiency. Higher targets than the general mandatory target should be only indicative for the local and regional government.
 
CEMR's Secretary General, Jeremy Smith, stressed that local government strongly supports action to tackle energy efficiency. However, it is an unfair policy to impose higher targets on local government and the public sector than those applied to other sectors.
 
Local and regional authorities throughout the EU have already engaged in ambitious energy efficiency and saving programmes on a voluntary basis, and are willing to continue to show genuine leadership without any unrealistic targets imposed upon them.
 
The European Commission's original text proposes reasonable targets: each Member State must reduce its total energy consumption by 1% a year over 6 years. The market approach of the proposal will ensure that energy companies can find a new source of profits from the sale of energy efficiency services rather than from the mere sale of energy units.
 
CEMR calls on MEPs to confirm their stance on mandatory general targets in the Plenary on June 8th. However, the public sector should not be imposed unreasonable higher mandatory targets.
 
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