A recently published European Commission Report found that investments in energy efficiency are increasing. However, the report noted that there is limited information on the effectiveness of the different financial support measures, both at EU and national level. Few member states have provided details on the effectiveness of national support measures, making it difficult to obtain a good overview of the impact of financial mechanisms in Europe. A report commissioned by the French Environment and Energy Academy (ADEME) reinforced this message stating that that annual national spending by EU countries on energy efficiency measures varies from €4 to €40 per person, per capita.
According to Paul Hodson, head of Head of Unit C3 (Energy Efficiency) within DG ENER, sufficient investment in energy efficiency is lacking. EUR 100 billion a year of investment is needed to meet the EU’s energy efficiency target of 20% improvement by 2020 but “we’re seeing only about half at the moment”.
A key barrier to increasing investment in energy efficiency projects is the lack of data and the lack of harmonised assessment methods for gathering data. As a result sufficient proof of how much energy savings projects or products can deliver is missing. Evaluating programmes would strengthen the case for increasing public budgets dedicated to energy efficiency as a responsible use of scarce public resources.
Some useful online portals for sharing data and analysing energy efficiency in buildings:
- Building Performance Institute of Europe’s data hub for the energy performance of buildings
- MURE database provides information on energy efficiency policies and measures that have been carried out in the EU.