Apr 27, 2024 | European Focus

The final session of the European Citizens’ Panel on Energy Efficiency, which took place from 12-14 April in Brussels, saw the adoption by 150 European citizens of recommendations for the European Commission on energy efficiency.

Using less energy, and using it wisely, is key for clean, secure and affordable energy and an important component of the European Green Deal and the REPowerEU Plan. Energy efficiency helps reduce overall energy consumption and is therefore central to achieving the EU’s climate ambition, while enhancing present and future energy security and affordability.

The Energy Efficiency Directive, recently strengthened as part of the ‘Fit for 55’ legislative package, established the ‘energy efficiency first’ as a fundamental principle of EU energy policy, giving it legal standing for the first time. It also significantly raised the EU’s ambition with new EU-level target to improve energy efficiency by 11.7% by 2030, with a stronger emphasis on people affected by energy poverty.

Since February 2024, citizens have gathered to discuss the challenges and benefits of energy efficiency, both in person and online. The input gathered from both the Panel and the Citizens’ Engagement Platform will now feed into a Commission Recommendation on the ‘Energy Efficiency First’ principle to be considered by the College of Commissioners and ultimately addressed to the Member States later this year.

The final recommendations encourage the Commission to focus on:

  • Increasing the attractiveness of public transport for passengers.
  • Delivering the most energy-efficient transport across Europe: Get goods off the road, get people out of planes, and introduce a ‘railway first principle’.
  • Expanding the implementation of energy efficiency in buildings.
  • Improving the state of skilled labour in the EU in the energy efficiency sector.
  • Securing the future through education on green issues.
  • Managing and monitoring the implementation of EU directives.
  • Helping EU citizens to develop energy communities focused on energy efficiency by providing information and financial support.
  • Financing a fair right to energy related home renovation.
  • Achieving energy efficiency targets by strengthening everyone’s ability to act.
  • Increasing energy independence and efficiency, becoming a global example.
  • Developing energy-efficient communities for responsible consumption and increased local energy production.
  • Empowering consumers to become energy efficient.
  • Optimising and developing the grid system, from producer to the end-user, in favour of renewable energy sources.

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