Department of Energy and Climate Change

The UK Department for Energy and Climate Change has responded to a report that it was trying to get around the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, by reaffirming its record in the area.

In a statement to Power Engineering International (PEi) following a report on Friday about how the European Commission foiled an attempt by the UK to ‘wriggle out’ of its energy saving obligations as laid out in the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), the department stated that it had consistently supported the mandatory final energy consumption target (Article 7), equivalent to achieving new energy savings each year from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2015 of 1.5% of annual energy sales to final customers.
DECC says that in common with other community members, the UK’s early action in the sphere of efficiency should be recognised.

“All Member States argued that credit must be given for early action, recognising where Member States have put in place ambitious programmes ahead of the Directive which have delivered long term measures, such as insulation or deep renovation of buildings which will continue to deliver savings throughout the period covered by the Directive.”

“In the UK we’ve already taken the lead in implementing the Green Deal and ECO, and the Government will decide what, if any, further action is needed as part of our implementation of the Directive.”

“We are committed to seizing the energy efficiency opportunity, and accelerating the uptake of energy saving measures across the economy to stimulate economic growth, save consumers money and reduce carbon emissions. This is why, in November 2012, we launched the Energy Efficiency Strategy, setting out the direction for UK energy efficiency policy for the coming decades.”

Andreas Formosa, a lawyer with Client Earth told PEi that until the legislation was made legally binding to all member states, potential loopholes would continue to be exploited.

“While the targets for each Member State are not legally binding the Directive itself is legally binding and it is the EU as a whole that has a legally binding target. It is pointless to have a legally binding target for the EU but not a binding target for each Member State.”

Mr Formosa said his organisation didn’t dispute DECC’s record on energy efficiency, but added, “Our point was that the Commission’s Legal Service has given what it sees as the correct interpretation of the Directive which limits the temporal scope to 2014-2020 and does not allow early action to be counted for twice. The EED contains many provisions that need to be tightened up, and the UK was apparently trying to take advantage of this.”

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