The energyzine website has reported on a new survey undertaken by Energy Efficiency Watch that ranks all EU member states for their progress in implementing energy efficiency policies. So, where does your country rank?
UK energy efficiency second-worst in EU
A new report from a European watchdog has ranked the UK as the second-worst member country in the EU for energy efficiency.
The Energy Efficiency Watch (EEW), which surveys experts within each member state every three years on the progress of their country towards the European Union target of saving 20 per cent of its primary energy consumption by 2020, reveals that the UK is only ahead of Spain in energy efficiency, with more than 140 UK representatives questioned about the country’s energy efficiency efforts.
The survey asked stakeholders and experts how they see the progress of energy efficiency policies and their implementation in different sectors since the submission of the second of three National Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEAPs) five years ago, with the UK falling thirteen places from the EEW’s last survey in 2011/12.
More than 1,100 experts in total from all 28 EU Member States were consulted about the progress of energy efficiency policies in their own country over the last 3 years, with Denmark, Finland and Estonia making up the top three respectively.
UK experts identified a low overall level of policy ambition, with more than 80 per cent deciding that the UK had made “relatively little progress in energy efficiency policies” over the three years preceding the survey period in the first half of last year as a result.
The EEW explains how three quarters of experts believe that the UK is lagging much behind in meeting its obligation under the EPBD that all new buildings should be “nearly zero-energy buildings” by 2020, while also emphasising that a often neglectful attitude is a contributing factor to the drop in ranking.
“A main concern expressed by the experts is that present policy and decision makers do not see energy efficiency as an opportunity and focus on the supply side. They are also worried by the lack of systematic approach in energy efficiency policies,” stated the EEW in the report.
“On the positive side, they observe that the implementation of the EPBD is improving and the energy certification is being taken up. At the time of the survey, new legislation was under discussion which would place penalties on landlords of buildings with low energy performance.
“These ups-and-downs in energy efficiency policy will continue as long as the multiple benefits of energy efficiency are not sufficiently understood by national policy makers and stakeholders and have not become an integral part of security and economic policy, instead of ‘just’ a climate policy.
“In some European countries, the understanding of the positive economic, environmental and social impacts of energy efficiency has already allowed it to become independent of political fluctuation and an inherent part of energy and economic policies.”
A DECC spokesperson highlights how the government is clear about its priority to deliver secure, affordable and clean energy.
“As part of this, we require energy suppliers to improve the energy efficiency of people’s homes whilst keeping energy bills low,” the spokesperson commented.
“Since 2010, we’ve strengthened energy performance requirements ensuring new buildings are 30% more energy efficient. We’ve also given more rights to private renters who want to see energy efficiency improvements in their home.”
The full EEW report is available here.