The Challenge to Meet EU’s 2020 Efficiency Goals


The European Union set a target of achieving 20 percent energy savings by 2020, thereby saving consumers money, increasing the security of supply, reducing emissions, and creating jobs. The EU faces several challenges with this goal and is taking steps to meet it, including revising the 2006 Energy Services Directive. In this context, RAP is helping policymakers and stakeholders identify the mechanisms, programmes, and sources of funding needed to realize deep, cost-effective energy savings.

RAP made significant contributions through the Energy Savings 2020 study, which found that the EU will need to triple its efforts to meet the 2020 goal. This is achievable and would save EU’s energy consumers up to €78 billion ($100 billion) annually. RAP also demonstrated that energy efficiency policies can help meet carbon reduction goals at lower cost, creating space to tighten carbon caps and reduce the cost of protecting high-emitting industries and new Member States. In Prices and Policies: Carbon Caps and Efficiency Programmes for Europe’s Low-Carbon FutureRAP argues for energy efficiency as an essential component of a combined strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest social cost.

A crucial element in tapping Europe’s efficiency potential lies in ensuring that deep and broad efficiency savings are tapped from the existing building stock, which currently account for 40 percent of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. RAP’s Residential Efficiency Retrofits: A Roadmap for the Future outlines a series of strategies designed to maximize savings efficiencies from home retrofits.

Importantly, RAP helps policymakers tap the full potential of energy savings obligations to fill the critical efficiency “policy gap” in Europe. Rethinking and Reframing Energy Savings Obligations outlines the policy context, the myths and facts about energy savings obligations, and the lessons learned from international experience in designing them.

RAP also assists Member States and the European Commission in addressing the key questions they face as they apply the Energy Efficiency Obligation provisions of the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and take other steps to scale up energy efficiency. Examples include: