EuropeOn releases its position on the upcoming revision of the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Directives

Electrical contractors are at the forefront of the energy transition, bringing clean electricity to consumers’ homes and buildings. With 1.8 million professionals scattered across Europe, they represent a critical step in the energy value chain, responsible for the installation, integration and maintenance of clean energy technologies. Their skills and know-how are paramount to the uptake of energy efficiency as well as to the deployment of renewable energy and to its increase in end-use sectors.

The revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) will be key to ensure that we make the best use possible of the energy available. Previous efficiency targets have been difficult to meet but now there is no more time for leniency, as EU institutions and Member States recently compromised on a 55% GHG emission reduction target for 2030. This decade needs to bring about an overhaul of the way we use energy and shift us to optimised energy consumption patterns. In this regard, EuropeOn has always been advocating in favour of electrification for its efficiency and for the increasing abundance of clean electricity, while the scarcer renewable molecules should be saved for hard-to-electrify sectors. The electrical contracting sector’s take on the EED has been articulated in 7 main points:

  1. Adopt an upwards revision of the EU’s 2030 energy efficiency target in line with the Commission’s proposal
  2. Adopt binding targets both at EU and national level
  3. Prioritise direct electrification of all end-use sectors as a key and cost-efficient pathway to reducing emissions
    1. Accelerate the phase out of fossil fuels in heating systems,
    2. Increase the deployment of clean electricity in the built environment while extending renovation requirements to all public buildings
    3. Save green hydrogen for hard-to-abate sectors
  4. Lower the Primary Energy Factor (PEF) for electricity and put forward carbon indexes
  5. Strengthen energy audits by introducing requirements to follow up with energy renovations
  6. Address the lack of skills in energy efficiency
  7. Ensure a harmonised revision of the EED and EPBD

While energy efficiency is key to the attainment of the EU’s climate goals, the energy that we do use must be clean. And in this regard, electrical contractors believe in the qualities and versatility of solar PV and especially rooftop PV. These systems can be deployed in a matter of days and contribute to a more resilient and decentralise energy system that fosters consumer engagement to a new extent. Further, this enables an ever-increasing share of renewables in end-uses and of self-consumption, thanks to efficient electric technologies such as electric vehicles or heat pumps. The revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) is the ideal opportunity to ensure that renewables can contribute as much as possible to decarbonisation efforts and enable consumers to kickstart their own energy transition while reducing their energy bills. EuropeOn has formulated 7 key recommendations for the revision of the RED:

  1. Adopt an upwards revision of the EU’s 2030 energy efficiency target in line with the Commission’s proposal
  2. Adopt binding targets both at EU and national level
  3. Accelerate both the use of renewable energy and direct electrification in buildings
  4. Establish minimum mandatory green public procurement (GPP) criteria and targets in relation to renewable electricity
  5. Further increase the share of renewables in transport by supporting the roll-out of electro-mobility
  6. Further support the uptake of energy communities and self-consumption
  7. Address the lack of skills in renewable electricity

The Commission’s proposals for the two directives will be released in June this year, along with other measures, all part of the new ‘Fit for 55 Package’ supposed to realise the EU’s new objective of reducing GHG emissions by 55% by 2030. EuropeOn is looking forward to increased ambition and recognition for electrification and its potential to decarbonise our economy.

Further, EU and national regulators will have to pay special attention to the skills and workforce factors influencing the impact of these measures. Shortages in installers and electrical contractors could undermine the implementation of these directives at the local level and create bottlenecks in the deployment of clean technologies. On the other hand, a careful consideration of electrical contractors within decarbonisation strategies could bring strong returns in terms of local job creation and value added.

EuropeOn is eagerly awaiting the release of the Fit for 55 Package, which will also include the revision of the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive scheduled for later this year.

Read the full position paper here.