CAN Europe and Friends of the Earth Europe, assisted by Energy Savings Man, paid a visit to MEPs in the European Parliament yesterday. The mission? To remind MEPs on the Energy Committee (ITRE) to ‘be an energy hero’ and support binding 20% energy savings targets, annual 1.5% savings obligation for energy companies and deep renovation of buildings.

In an impressively united result, MEPs voted to support:

  • Binding national energy savings targets to achieve 20% reductions in Europe’s energy use by 2020, with national trajectories to plot the path to 2020
  • Obligations on energy companies to deliver 1.5% annual energy savings
  • National roadmaps for deep or staged renovation of all buildings by 2050, with a 2.5% annual renovation rate for public buildings
  • National financing facilities for energy efficiency projects
  • Additional requirements for combined production of heat and power
  • Measures to adjust the EU Emissions Trading System so as to stabilise and bolster its carbon price.

Member States will be allowed more flexibility on the specific measures if they adopt and get on track to meeting their binding national targets.

Although in an ideal world MEPs would have gone even further and solved some remaining problems in the text, they must be congratulated for finding a balanced agreement that could be supported by a huge majority of MEPs from across the political divides: 51 in favour, 6 against and three abstentions.

The result gives MEPs an excellent mandate for negotiating with national governments at the European Council over the coming weeks. CAN Europe urges national governments to support the MEPs’ vision for binding national targets, energy company obligations and deep building renovations.

One thing is for certain, Energy Savings Man will not rest until the people and businesses of Europe have warm homes and an efficient energy system.