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Energy efficiency

Publication date: 26 October 2009

The European Commission is set to come forward with proposals for a new action plan for energy efficiency. Discussions with member states and the European Parliament would lead, perhaps next year, to a revision of current legislation that dates from 2006.
Back in 2006, the EU agreed to cut, by 20%, annual energy consumption by 2020. Member states themselves draw up national programs listing their measures such as tax benefits for energy efficiency, insulation and heating efficiency programs. A series of minimum energy efficiency standards were also set at EU level as were rules on energy labeling for products, services and infrastructure.
One of the main reasons to update the current rules is to make energy efficiency obligatory. Currently, European member states only have a non-binding target to improve their use of energy. This explains, perhaps, why only one member state out of 27 published its required national efficiency plan on time. Lack of compliance by member states means energy savings are missed across the board, whether by plans to cut back on heating in public buildings, promote insulation, or improve home appliances.
The new action plan may also include transport as one of the key areas with the highest potential for energy saving. Taking part in the official consultation procedure, the FIA European Bureau was then keen to ensure drivers' interests are taken into account. Eco-driving, for instance, or greater consumer information thanks to EcoTests are will lead to better environmental performance and fuel-efficiency.

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