Kevin Meyerson kindly asked in a comment what Germany could do more on energy efficiency. One simple answer is to point to the recent EU Directive on energy efficiency adopted on October 25 last year.
This area is actually the one 2020 goal the EU is not firmly on track to achieve. The three goals are 20% CO2 reduction, 20% share of renewable energy, and 20% reduction of energy use. The first two goals will be achieved, energy efficiency will still require some extra effort (EU Commission “Citizens’ Summary“).
Here is a list of changes copied from the “Citizens’ Summary”
- Public bodies would need to buy energy-efficient buildings, products and services, and refurbish 3% of their buildings each year to drastically reduce their energy consumption.
- Energy utilities would have to encourage end users to cut their energy consumption through efficiency improvements such as the replacement of old boilers or insulation of their homes.
- Industry would be expected to become more aware of energy-saving possibilities, with large companies required to undertake energy audits every 3 years.
- Consumers would be better able to manage their energy consumption thanks to better information provided on their meters and bills.
- Energy transformation would be monitored for efficiency, with the EU proposing measures to improve performance if necessary, and promoting cogeneration of heat and electricity.
- National energy regulatory authorities would have to take energy efficiency into account when deciding how and at what costs energy is distributed to end users.
- Certification schemes would be introduced for providers of energy services to ensure a high level of technical competence.
The EU Directive 2006/32 on the service market in energy efficiency has been replaced by the new Directive. In Germany, the law on energy efficiency services has been enacted in 2010, and it has helped to make the German market for these services the biggest in the EU, with further growth expected by the German government.
There will be a lot of work to do considering legislation in Germany to transpose the new Directive, which needs to be done by June 2014. I hope much of that can be done with a new government not involving the FDP after the elections coming up this year.