Europe enforcing energy efficiency
The European Commission has announced it is making stricter laws on energy efficiency for the European Union and performance in 2016. It will continue to apply existing regulations more.
Maros Sefcovic, Vice President of the Commission confirmed that the new rules would have more stringent requirements with respect to the Directive on energy efficiency (EED) and the existing directive on the energy performance of buildings.
Sefcovic conceded, however, that there was little or no chance that the national governments agree to revise upwards their target of increasing energy efficiency by 27% by 2030. A figure that was agreed in October and can be reviewed in 2020.
On June 18, the Commission referred Greece to the European Court of Justice for not having implemented the EED. Greece must now face the payment of a daily fine of 30 000 euros, until it complies under the Directive.
Other countries such as Germany, Austria, Portugal, Croatia, Bulgaria, Ireland, Latvia and Romania have received a final warning. The next step for these aforementioned countries will be the appearance before the judges of the European Union if they continue to renege on their responsibilities.
In March this year, the Commission started legal action against each Member State of the European Union, with the exception of Malta, for not having integrated the EED in their national constitutions. During that same month, Hungary has been referred to the European Court of Justice for their lack of action on the issue.
The Commission’s Executive plans to oblige Budapest to pay a daily fine of 15,444 euros for non-application of the Directive since the deadline of June 2014. Sefcovic also hinted that this is not the end of the judicial process and that further implementing measures will come. On June 18, the block is 100% dependent on energy imports for the whole year and spends more than € 1 billion a day to import energy it needs.
Sefcovic is currently touring Europe to mobilize more support for energy in the Union. He hopes to create a grid where deficits in one part of the European Union can be explained by the excess energy outside Europe.