energy efficiency in europe


Energy efficiency in Europe

The levers to deliver the potential

Energy is at the heart of the European economy; the EU consumes 11% of global energy, importing more than 50% at a cost of more than EUR 400 billion per year. Energy efficiency could cut this dependence and this cost, but is not delivering on its promise.

Executive summary

Energy efficiency is a key component of any 21st century energy policy, and is crucial to meet climate change targets, particularly those agreed at the December 2015 COP21 summit in Paris. Currently, however, the EU is unlikely to meet its 2020 target of improving energy efficiency by 20% (primary energy savings are projected to reach only 17.6% by 2020), and needs to be even more ambitious if it is to become a low-carbon economy by 2050. The potential is really significant, but remains to a large extent untapped.

There are many reasons:

  • Energy efficiency potential tends to be spread over many small-scale savings; mobilizing them is complex;
  • Policymakers are not necessarily picking those indicators and targets which will stimulate use of the most cost-effective measures;
  • Users do not have access to the right or enough information thus, they lack the motivation to change their behavior or make the best investments;
  • The building sector, which has the largest potential for major gains in energy efficiency, suffers from perverse incentives: landlords have no interest in investing for the sake of tenants, and tenants do not want to invest when they will not get the long-term benefits; and
  • The market is failing to send the right price signals, making it hard to raise the capital to invest in energy efficiency, particularly in a difficult economic climate.

This study's aim

This study aims to identify the main levers for public authorities, private companies and households which could help to better unleash the untapped technical and economic potential of energy efficiency in Europe.

The solution will lie in a complex set of many different measures. We have grouped the key findings of this study into six main lines of action that need to be tackled to better unleash the untapped potential behind energy efficiency:

  1. Define and implement appropriate indicators and targets
  2. Promote product standards and labels
  3. Focus on buildings
  4. Mobilize retail consumers
  5. Send the right price signals
  6. Facilitate financing of energy efficiency measures

This study is based on Deloitte’s in-house expertise, bibliographical analyses, and consultation of several key European companies and industry associations.

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