Compromise in sight
By Marie-Martine Buckens | Thursday 07 June 2012
An agreement on the draft directive on energy efficiency seemed to be taking shape in the wake of the latest three-way meeting (Council, Commission and European Parliament), on 5 June. “More measures are needed,” acknowledged EP rapporteur Claude Turmes (Greens-EFA, Luxembourg), on 7 June. He is nevertheless relatively optimistic about the outcome of the next negotiating session, scheduled for 13 June, two days before the Energy Council.
The latest negotiations focused on the central pillar of the directive, which sets the 1.5% annual energy efficiency target that member states would have to impose on energy distributors. This obligation is written into Article 6 of the draft directive. The Danish EU Presidency has proposed a compromise limiting exemptions to the obligation to 25%. Berlin, backed by other capitals, proposed to lower the figure to 20% while retaining the possibility to register the results of efficiency measures carried out in the two years preceding the directive’s entry into force, ie since 2009.
DEVOID OF SUBSTANCE?
For Turmes, this proposal would result in a directive devoid of substance. He notes that the text proposed by the Danish Presidency would not achieve more than 15% energy savings for 2020, instead of the 20% initially set in the Commission’s proposal. But Turmes may be satisfied with this since he sees the directive’s architecture as being firmly in place. This architecture now includes a new article (3a) that obliges member states to adopt a road map for 2050 on the directive’s second controversial point, namely the renovation of public buildings. The Commission, meanwhile, is expected to annex a statement to the directive listing the measures it intends to take to bridge the gap between the initial energy efficiency targets and those that end up being adopted by the 27. These would include measures for the reduction of CO
2 emissions from cars and vans.
The energy efficiency obligation mechanisms, as set out in Article 6(1) of the draft directive, are all measures to ensure that all energy distributors or all retail energy sales companies operating on the member state’s territory achieve annual energy savings equal to 1.5% of their energy sales, by volume, in the previous year in the same member state, excluding energy used in transport.