UK Energy Efficiency Deal

New UK Energy Efficiency Plan Falls Short

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted June 18, 2012

Green Campaigners are extremely disappointed with the result of a recent Energy Council meeting, in which the UK succeeded in making the EU-wide agreement on energy efficiency much more lenient than the plan originally proposed.

They argue that eliminating the mandatory target efficiency while building in various exceptions and loopholes to the new plan significantly weakens the potential for energy savings throughout the European Union.

One of the most controversial changes made to the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) was opting to allow member states to set their own target for energy efficiency, rather than keep the mandatory EU-wide target of 20%. Green Campaigners claim that this will result in lower energy savings, believing that most will opt to set targets closer to 17%.

Critics are also upset that the UK successfully fought to account for old policies in effect before the directive was passed, as well as potential improvements that will be completed after the directive is finished. Green Campaigners believe that this is dishonest and will merely weaken the EU’s campaign for energy efficiency.

Despite the criticisms of the Green Campaigners, EU members stand behind the changes the UK made. They claim that the new agreement is a victory for the European Union and assert that the changes will not only improve energy efficiency, but will also benefit the economy.

Martin Lidegaard, Denmark’s energy and climate minister, recounts the state of the European Parliament and council a few months ago when a compromise was nowhere in sight, and states that the acceptance of this proposal at the Energy Council meeting on June 15 will be a positive step for the European Union and its crusade towards a more energy efficient future.