Reducing energy consumption is the most immediate and cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to ensure security of energy supply, thereby reducing import dependency. Finding ways to save energy also has great potential to enhance industrial competitiveness, to create millions of jobs, reduce energy poverty and increase comfort levels.
In March 2007 EU Heads of State endorsed an EU-wide target to reduce energy use by 20% by 2020. In contrast to the EU's 2020 targets for emissions reductions and renewable energy use, the energy saving target is still non-binding and at risk. The Energy Efficiency Directive which was adopted in 2012 is meant to help close the energy savings gap towards meeting the 20% target, but it is more likely that additional efforts will be needed to ensure that this will actually happen.
Meeting the EU's decarbonisation goals will much depend upon lowering our energy use. So too will increasing the share of final energy demand met by renewable energy sources. The higher the energy demand is, the more challenging the effort becomes. Reversing the trend of increasing energy demand will also provide us with the time needed to develop new renewable sources to maturity, avoiding lock-in to unsustainable energy sources like coal and nuclear.
Energy use can be lowered by both increasing technological efficiency, for example of buildings and appliances, and by structural and behavioural changes.
CAN Europe focuses on underlining the primary position energy savings hold within the climate and energy political agenda for 2020 and beyond. We seek to ensure the development and implementation of ambitious policies and measures that can deliver those savings.