Faced with great energy challenges relating to competitiveness, climate change and security of energy supply, Europe has launched several initiatives to do more with less energy. This not only includes important pieces of legislation such as the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the Eco-design Directive, but also supporting programmes like Intelligent Energy-Europe, to help implement policies in the field. Overall, the European Union is committed to reducing projected energy use by 20% by 2020. Europe recognises energy efficiency as one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools to produce a secure energy future.
Improvements in energy efficiency can make a real difference! The reduction of fossil fuel use decreases Europe's dependence on foreign energy supplies. The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions limits local air pollution. The expansion of competitiveness and consumer welfare results in significant economic benefits. There are many ways one can save energy and thereby benefit all sectors of the economy.
The mobilisation of all market actors and the launch of energy efficiency measures can greatly contribute to meeting the '3 times 20' targets set at the European and national levels on renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and the reduction of CO2 emissions by 2020. It is estimated that such energy savings would allow Europe to reduce its CO2 emissions by 780 million tonnes and save €100 billion in fuel costs. Local and regional energy actors are already actively contributing to improving energy efficiency in their communities through the introduction of measures, such as the retrofitting of buildings, climate competitions or the provision of incentives for purchasing energy-efficient products. A wealth of experience in this field is available on the ManagEnergy website.