EuropeOn’s tour of Europe in June

This June, EuropeOn was more European than ever, with meetings organised with our members in London, Paris, Brussels, and Stockholm. Let’s recap:

Quarterly Meeting of Our Board and General Secretaries in London

At the beginning of June, EuropeOn members gathered near Tower Bridge in London. With the support of our President Martin Bailey and our member association ECA, we held a Board meeting followed by a session with our General Secretaries to discuss the latest developments in our sector across Europe. Despite a noticeable slowdown (and even a decline) in the residential sector, electrical contractors remain confident, offering a broad spectrum of digitised and energy efficiency-related services to customers, including in the industrial sector.

Some meetings were held in partnership with GCP Europe, representing mechanical contractors (HVAC, plumbing). Discussions focused on mutual interests such as skill shortages and the need to enhance and develop our competence, particularly with regards to building safety. In this context, an in-depth presentation of the Grenfell fire and the collective efforts by public authorities and the industry sparked interesting discussions. Other topics included the rise of non-financial reporting and its implications for smaller companies, as well as the issue of late payments for our sectors, which are often the last to be paid in the value chain.

Celebrating 100 Years of FFIE in Paris

FFIE, one of EuropeOn’s founding members, celebrated its centenary on June 7th in Paris, near Place de la Concorde.

Esteemed speakers provided a multifaceted vision of our sector’s future. Luc Rémont, EDF’s President, discussed the increased electricity production in France compared to 2022 when several nuclear power plants were inactive. He noted that 14 GW of electricity are imported daily from France to European neighbours and that consumer prices are now substantially dropping. Against this backdrop, he passionately advocated for accelerated electrification. Emmanuelle Wargon, former housing Minister and current President of the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE), also emphasised the need for increased electrification paired with energy efficiency. She highlighted a concerning fact: only about 6% of buildings capable of automating their energy consumption are doing so.

Journalist Guillaume Pitron, after six years of investigation, presented insights from his 2018 book, “The Rare Metals War: The Dark Side of the Energy Transition and Digitalization,” translated into more than ten languages. He pointed out that “the future will electric, thus metallic”, urging stakeholders to seek new trade agreements, substitute materials, and structure public debates on re-sourcing mining activities.

This event provided great inspiration for EuropeOn’s 70th anniversary celebration in November!

EU Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels

The next stop was next to EuropeOn’s office, in the Commission’s premises to attend for the EU sustainable energy week (EUSEW) along with our Norwegian members from NHO-elektro. One EUSEW session particularly drew our attention: the Ambassadors’ session, featuring Belgian polar explorer and engineer Alain Hubert, Secretary General of Energy Cities Claire Roumet, and Winda Energy CEO Tuomas Hooli. Mr. Hubert presented the Princess Antarctica station, the first polar base to use passive building principles, emphasising that “the only energy we can harvest in Antarctica is sun and wind,” showcasing how electrification can succeed even in the harshest of environments.

Working group meetings in Stockholm in the wake of EU Parliament elections

Just four days after the EU Parliament election results, our Technical and Policy working group members convened in Stockholm, hosted by our member Installatörsföretagen. Discussions were cautious due to the uncertainty surrounding some MEPs’ elections and the formation of political groups. We were joined by Asees Ahuja, EU Policy Director at the Confederation of Swedish Enterprises and former member of the Swedish Prime Minister’s cabinet, who provided insights on the Swedish results.

Further discussions addressed the implementation of the revised Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which must be effective within the next two years. Our technical experts also debated the recent “Malamud ruling,” which has sparked a heated discussion on whether European harmonised standards should be freely accessible.

June was indeed a hectic month. EuropeOn’s next rendezvous will be online, before meeting in Berlin for our General Assembly (16-18 October) and in Brussels for the celebration of EuropeOn’s 70th anniversary (20-21 November).