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Energy Efficiency Directive agreed upon at EU negotiations

5 July 2012

The Energy Efficiency Directive, which sets out binding energy legislation for EU member states, has been agreed upon by the European Parliament, Commission and Council. Although the measures put in place will contribute to improving energy security, boosting the European economy and tackling climate change, some members of the European Parliament argue that the Directive does not go far enough to meet Europe's goal of a 20 percent energy reduction by 2020.

Claude Turmes, the Green MEP from Luxembourg who was leading the negotiation on behalf of the European Parliament has asked the Commission to propose additional measures for transport to increase the directives efficacy, which could potentially lead to new standards for car fuel efficiency. Energy Commissioner G√ľnther Oettinger welcomed the deal, saying: "This is a big step ahead: for the very first time we have legally binding energy efficiency measures. Europe is now much better placed to achieve its 20 percent energy efficiency target for 2020".

Under the legislation each member state is obliged to draw up a roadmap to make the buildings sector more energy efficient by 2050. Other detailed measures include binding financial instruments for energy efficiency and better consumer information, such as through the use of smart meters. It was agreed that all measures in the directive will be gradually phased in, allowing more time for EU member states and industries to prepare.

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