Factsheet over het advies 

Wijziging van de energie-efficiëntierichtlijn om de nieuwe klimaatdoelstellingen voor 2030 te halen

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Opinion Number: CDR 4548/2021
Commission: ENVE
Status: Adopted
Date: 28/04/2022
 
The European Committee of the Regions
welcomes the proposed amendments to the existing provisions of the Energy Efficiency Directive and underlines that these changes should strengthen the legal framework, affording more opportunities to exploit the potential for energy efficiency improvements in line with the Climate Law implemented at national, regional or local level;
reiterates the crucial role of EU-level action on energy efficiency, which is necessary in order to achieve the objectives of the Green Deal; stresses that this action must, of course, be implemented at national, regional or local level and therefore welcomes the increased recognition of the role of local and regional authorities in the proposal;
believes that the energy union should empower citizens to produce, consume, store or trade their own renewable energy either individually or collectively, to take energy-saving measures, to become active participants in the energy market through consumer choice, and to allow them the possibility of safely and confidently participating in demand response; in this context, reiterates its call and of the European Parliament that a practical common understanding of the definition of "prosumers" should be agreed at EU level, through a participative process guided by the Commission;
points out that local and regional authorities primarily own and manage buildings to support statutory government and welfare activities. Buildings are far more than just tools to achieve energy savings. Rigid requirements for energy renovation would therefore require local and regional authorities to carry out costly construction projects that do not necessarily take a holistic view of the building and may not be sustainable in the medium and long term. In this context, the Committee would like the Energy Efficiency Directive to give more recognition and attention to making smarter and more efficient use of existing public buildings as a way of increasing energy efficiency;
welcomes the explicit reference to the need to combat energy and mobility poverty using energy efficiency measures and the subsequent need for Member States to support the local and regional level in this sense; considers it essential, in this connection, to alleviate the initial cost burden of energy efficiency measures, especially for vulnerable households and groups of consumers;
underlines that the proposed absolute reductions in energy use and final energy consumption of all public bodies by 1.7% each year will be a huge challenge for most Member States. It will require extensive capacity building in terms of finance, competence, guidance, data, reporting etc. Broad application of both existing and new transformative techniques and practices is necessary. Therefore calls for local and regional authorities to be fully involved in the process, together with other relevant stakeholders;
proposes revising the energy consumption targets to include the option of setting cumulative energy savings and consumption targets instead of separate requirements for final and primary energy. This will improve energy efficiency across the entire chain – from production to transmission, distribution and end use;
welcomes the proposal of legislative requirements to renovate 3% of the public building stock on an annual basis, sees a need for extensive capacity building through technical, financial and policy support and exchange of good practice and calls for further clarification and a definition of measures and methods regarding building renovation, applicable correction factors for different building types and characteristics , as well as financial arrangements at local, regional and national level;
welcomes the announcement of the Social Climate Fund as a way to balance the negative effects on the most vulnerable households, micro-and-small enterprises and mobility users and to ensure socially sustainable development; underlines the fact that the funding currently envisaged within the revision of the existing ETS is inadequate to ensure a truly just transition and stresses that the allocation of revenues outside of the ETS on road transport and buildings (ETS II) for the Social Climate Fund should be considered; proposes that revenue pooling for the Social Climate Fund should begin sooner than the implementation of the ETS II; stresses that, in case that the co-legislators decide not to go forward with ETS II as foreseen in the Commission proposal, the current ETS should be further reinforced to address road transport and buildings;
underlines that a robust but gradually introduced carbon price should give the necessary signal to businesses and drive the transition in the most cost -effective way, and highlights the need for effective interaction between the revised ETS and the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), potentially combined with other supportive EU measures to ensure a climate-neutral and competitive economy in the EU's regions, especially in regions undergoing a sustainable transition of their energy-intensive industries; It strongly recommends using as far as possible market-compatible instruments, including financial instruments with the support of the multiannual financial framework and NextGenerationEU;
supports the Commission in its intention to "ensure synergies between the different funding instruments, in particular the funds in the shared management and in the direct management (like the centrally-managed programmes: Horizon Europe or LIFE), as well as between grants, loans and technical assistance to maximise their leverage effect on private financing and their impact on the achievement of energy efficiency policy objectives." In this regard, calls for concrete next steps to be taken as soon as possible, as these are a precondition for the complete renovation of the building stock;
calls on the Commission and the European Parliament to set up a Pilot Project dealing specifically with the challenging renovation and increasing of energy efficiency of historical and/or particular landmark buildings. The regions or cities participating in this Pilot Project would provide a detailed concept for the renovation of the historical or other landmark building of their choosing. When selected to receive funding and after the renovation project is complete, the results of this Pilot Project would further highlight the commitment of local and regional authorities to move towards an energy efficient future and could serve as clear examples for other local and regional authorities of how to renovate complex historical and/or landmark buildings within regions and cities;
calls on the Commission and Member States to ensure that the measures already existing in the legal frameworks for the different programmes and funding instruments available to cities and regions are fully applied. In light of the extra efforts in energy efficiency that are asked from local and regional authorities, it is crucial that there is an easy access for cities and regions to the different programmes and funding instruments. This increased pressure on local and regional authorities could for example be taken into account when looking at eligibility scoring in the assessment of funding applications;
regrets the revision's lack of ambition in setting clear targets for green and circular public procurement; therefore calls on the Commission to develop in cooperation with local and regional authorities clear, commonly applicable and detailed procedures concerning energy efficiency and sustainability in public procurement to avoid the rule where the lowest price takes priority;
underlines that the use of district heating and cooling systems based on cogeneration units is the most effective way of improving air quality and increasing the energy efficiency of fuel use; supports therefore the promotion of combined heat and power generation and the efficient use of waste heat (including municipal waste), where it is unavoidable, in line with the principle of circularity; acknowledges the potential of waste heat to complement gas/renewable solutions while noting the importance of limiting its emission in light of its contribution to global warming; moreover, exploiting waste heat from industry, data centres and other societal activities should be a measure, as is not without environmental impact. renewable energy is still in limited supply;
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

- highlights that the ongoing energy transition is resulting in a move away from an energy system based on traditional centralised generation to one which is more decentralised, energy-efficient, flexible and largely renewables-based; welcomes therefore the recognition of the role of citizens in the energy transition and the need for constant awareness-raising, including through instruments like the Climate Pact; in this regard, reiterates the crucial role that local and regional action plays in engaging with citizens and promoting the green transition through successful community-led best practices;

- welcomes the explicit reference to the need to combat energy and mobility poverty using energy efficiency measures and the subsequent need for Member States to support the local and regional level in this sense; considers it essential, in this connection, to alleviate the initial cost burden of energy efficiency measures, especially for vulnerable households and groups of consumers;

- underlines that the proposed absolute reductions in energy use and final energy consumption of all public bodies by 1.7% each year will be a huge challenge for most Member States. It will require extensive capacity building in terms of finance, competence, guidance, data, reporting etc.

- welcomes the proposal of legislative requirements to renovate 3% of the public building stock on an annual basis, sees a need for extensive capacity building through technical, financial (including EU direct financing) and policy support and exchange of good practice and calls for further clarification and a definition of measures and methods regarding building renovation, applicable correction factors for different building types and characteristics , as well as financial arrangements at local, regional and national level;

- calls on the Commission and the European Parliament to set up a Pilot Project dealing specifically with the challenging renovation and increasing of energy efficiency of historical and/or particular landmark buildings. The regions or cities participating in this Pilot Project would provide a detailed concept for the renovation of the historical or other landmark building of their choosing.
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