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From Retrospection to Prospection: a Conversation on Energy Efficiency Priorities

We invited our Secretary General Seamus Hoyne and Deputy Secretary General Patrick Biard for a thought-provoking exchange on FEDARENE’s policy priorities for 2022.

From Retrospection to Prospection: a Conversation on Energy Efficiency Priorities
2021 was an extremely busy year for the European Commission as we witnessed the launch of the much awaited “Fit for 55” package. What hopes and fears do you as regions and energy agencies have regarding the announced reforms?

Seamus: A colleague of mine often says about us that “the people working in energy agencies wake up in the morning, and worry about energy efficiency”. On this point, the Commission’s announcements and ambition were reassuring for local/regional energy agencies who, as non-profit independent facilitators, have long been delivery agents of EU’s energy transition related directives. We were glad to see this recognition among the EED revision proposals. Energy Agencies across Europe have a wealth of experiences and expertise on transforming EU policy objectives into actual projects on the ground1. Drawing from their experience, I would say the greatest worries are seeing the legislative negotiations failing on 2 points: ambition and enabling frameworks.

Patrick: I couldn’t agree more. We have to realise collectively that this is the “make or break” decade for climate mitigation, and there’s no other way to achieve the 2030 goals but through acceleration and upscaling. Regarding Seamus’ point on enabling frameworks, the new objectives and policy instruments announced such as Minimum Energy Performance Standards will only succeed if accompanied by tailored funding programmes as well as technical assistance.

Since you are already mentioning one of the instruments announced, let’s dive right into some of the policy revisions announced. The Commission strengthened the provisions fostering the exemplary role of public authorities on energy efficiency, notably by widening the renovation obligation as well as setting a new target on total final energy consumption. Do you welcome these modifications? What role do you see for regions, cities and their energy agencies in upholding this leadership objective?

Patrick: as FEDARENE we were very much in favour of extending the renovation obligation to include the public buildings owned or occupied by local and regional authorities. All local/regional energy agencies have developed facilitation services specialised on the renovation of public buildings. (…)

Inside: more on one-stop-shops, Minimum Energy Performance Standards, Heating & Cooling, Competitiveness…

1 Open Letter: Regional and Local Energy Agencies Europe’s Enablers of the Renovation Wave

This best practice is issued from our publication Sustainable Regions in Action 2022. Read it now to discover many more best practices from FEDARENE members as well as an overview of our activities.