More than 60 representatives from energy suppliers, governments, research, consulting, and the NGO sector joined RAP and Energy Efficiency Watch to consider progress towards the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and explore solutions for meeting the targets. The “Efficiency Gaps, Directives and Obligations: Challenges and Lessons for EED Implementation” workshop, held in conjunction with the European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s 2013 Summer Study explored opportunities to renew member state commitments to meeting the EED.

Richard Cowart, European programmes director, highlighted global best practices in designing and achieving energy savings targets similar to the EED. In particular, he emphasized the importance of establishing clear obligations, a stable source of revenue, and effective measurement and verification with appropriate regulatory oversight. These policy mechanisms will be especially important if member states are to reach their goal of 20% improvement in energy efficiency by 2020. Energy Efficiency Watch confirmed that progress towards this goal is likely to fall short, and highlighted the collected views of more than 700 experts, representing all 27 member states, on how to tackle the shortfall. Claudia Canevari, deputy head of the energy efficiency unit of DG Energy, European Commission, discussed the main articles of the EED as they relate to buildings. She also shared insights on Article 7, which encourages the use of energy efficiency obligations (EEOs) or alternative policies as rigorous in their determination of energy savings as the measurement and verification systems used for EEOs. Workshop participants engaged in a lively dialogue with the panelists after the formal presentations concluded.

Eoin Lees, RAP senior advisor, provided a beginner’s guide to EEOs to approximately 25 workshop attendees, including government officials from eight of the new European member states. Drawing on RAP’s long experience, he demonstrated the power of EEOs as a policy capable of delivering cost-effective energy savings. EEOs are flexible and could be adapted to local circumstances in new member states.

The European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s Summer Study, a biennial, interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral conference, is the most important energy efficiency event in Europe. More than 400 participants from industry, energy suppliers, governments, research, consulting, and the NGO sector meet to formulate tomorrow’s energy policies.

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