Every year, much of the consumed energy is wasted through transmission, heat loss and inefficient technology – costing families and businesses money, and leading to increased carbon pollution.
Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to combat climate change, clean the air we breathe, improve the competitiveness of our businesses and reduce energy costs for consumers. South Poland Cleantech Cluster is working with universities, research institutes, businesses and the cities to develop new, energy-efficient technologies while boosting the efficiency of current technologies on the market.
The EU is aiming for a 20% cut in Europe’s annual primary energy consumption by 2020. Commission has proposed several measures to increase efficiency at all stages of the energy chain: generation, transformation, distribution and final consumption. The measures focus on the public transport and building sectors, where the potential for savings is greatest. Other measures include the introduction of smart meters (which encourage consumers to manage their energy use better), and clearer product labeling.
The new Directive entered into force on 4 December 2012. Most of its provisions have to be implemented by the Member States by 5 June 2014.
An effective common framework
This Directive establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the Union in order to ensure the achievement of the Union’s 2020 20 % headline target on energy efficiency and to pave the way for further energy efficiency improvements beyond that date.
All EU-28 countries are thus required to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain – from the transformation of energy and its distribution to its final consumption. The new Directive will help remove barriers and overcome market failures that impede efficiency in the supply and use of energy and provides for the establishment of indicative national energy efficiency targets for 2020.
In Poland energy efficiency still increases, but its growth is slower than a few years ago. Polish economy is still more energy-intensive than the EU average. At the same time a communication from the European Commission (EC) proposing a new energy saving target of 30% for 2030 calls for energy efficiency to become an integral part of the EU’s policy framework for climate and energy from 2020 to 2030.
Energy efficiency is not energy conservation.
Energy conservation is reducing or going without a service to save energy.
For example: Turning off a light is energy conservation. Replacing an incandescent lamp with a compact fluorescent lamp (which uses much less energy to produce the same amount of light) is energy efficiency. Both efficiency and conservation can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.