Importance of energy efficiency in the EU


While browsing my favorite environmental websites, I discovered a gem : the official blog of the EU Energy Commissioner, Mr. Andris Piebalgs.

There I read an impressive article on the multiple benefits an increase of 20 percent of energy efficiency would bring to the EU and its 27 state members.

This is perhaps the best post I read on the subject. Truly inspiring and motivating, it also bring a lot of great data. A must !

I propose you below an abstract of the article :

For me the best energy is the energy that we don’t use. In other words, energy efficiency. There is no cleaner kilowatt/hour than the one we don’t consume. Every cubic meter of gas we don’t burn makes us a cubic meter less dependent on foreign supplies. Every barrel of petrol that we don’t need makes our economy a barrel less vulnerable to volatile oil prices.

In the energy efficiency action plan that we presented in November 2006, we evaluate the benefits of our 20% energy savings target, as more than 100bn € per year and more than 780 million tonnes of CO2.

To give you an idea of the magnitude of these figures, 100bn € is nearly the European budget for one year, and with only the 780 million tonnes of CO2 saved, we would be able to achieve our Kyoto targets. And all this, done in a cost effective manner. Not bad – is it?

To make things more interesting, when we make an investment in energy efficiency we create jobs and growth in Europe. Let’s put the case of better insulation for your house. Putting double glazed windows certainly is an investment that has a cost. So has your gas bill. The difference is that the cost of the windows will go to a European window company, and will be installed by European workers.

Your double-glazed window will not only help to reduce your gas bill and your greenhouse gas emissions, increase the comfort of your house, but will also help to create new window companies and installer jobs. The alternative consists of taking your hard earned euros and sending them to rich oil and gas producing countries.

Another advantage of energy efficiency, compared with supply energy sources, is that each and every one of us can be the leaders of European energy policy. In this fight against climate change you can easily be the hero of the day.

How? Doing such simple things like turning off the tap of hot running water when shaving; putting an efficient light bulb in your new lamp; having a healthy walk to the office; disconnecting your devices in stand-by; removing your battery charger from the socket; the list can be infinite.

I’m sure, my fellow bloggers, that you have also some tips for all the visitors of this blog that you can add to these, and I really encourage you to introduce them in the comments section. I promise I will be the first one to take note of them.

Certainly, there are many things that the Commission can do at political level, and I’m proud to announce that 2008 will be the European year of energy efficiency. During these 12 months I plan to come up with a number of energy efficiency legislative proposals, including a stronger energy efficiency in buildings directive; a new energy efficiency labelling directive; new standards for energy efficiency in various groups of products; a Covenant of Mayors for energy efficiency and last but not least, an international agreement on energy efficiency that I hope to sign in Japan next June.

So, just being more efficient would enable us to ensure us to reach our Kyoto goals ? How great is this ! Furthermore, it would also create a lot of jobs… An exciting new prospect and I am even more excited to read this from such an influent man.

Mr. Piebalgs, I wish you all the success that is possible in your endeavor !

(However, I am quite astounded to read some of the comments… it seems that there are still some dudes that don’t believe climate change is upon us… and some others that aren’t willing to be constructive…)

Well, how do you find Mr. Piebalgs’ statement ? Please, post a comment if you want to, be sure that I will gladly read you !

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