The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) was proud to sponsor a lively evening debate on 30 June organised by PubAffairs entitled “Heating and cooling in the Energy Union project: the challenges ahead for implementing an efficiency-based energy approach.”
The event brought together speakers from the European Commission, the Member State governments, industry, and academics to discuss the challenges that lie ahead for energy efficiency and in particular the heating and cooling sector in the EU.
The event attracted over 200 registrations, demonstrating the broad appeal of heating and cooling to a large swathe of EU policy-makers, industry stakeholders, NGOs, and academics.
The Director-General of EPEE, Andrea Voigt, opened the discussions, by saying: “EPEE has always strongly supported the principle of energy efficiency as a “first fuel”, and our industry is committed to developing energy efficient technologies and help reduce energy demand as per the objective in the EU Energy Union.”
“On such a warm evening it seems appropriate to recall the importance of cooling, which is often forced to play second fiddle to heating. Both aspects need to be included equally in future policies.”
She went on to list the four success factors which EPEE believes can bring about a sustainable and secure energy system in Europe namely:
- A holistic approach to ensure the effective use of energy;
- The implementation and enforcement of current legislation;
- A technology neutral approach and an equal focus on heating AND cooling; and
- Consumer awareness to trigger investments in energy efficient solutions.
Other speakers addressed a range of crucial issues, many of which will feature in the European Commission’s forthcoming Strategy on Heating & Cooling. These included public acceptance, consumer behaviour, different national cultures and problems related to a “one size fits all approach”, the role of producers and installers, oversizing of equipment, and the role of the EU. The dynamic exchange on the podium was followed by an interactive Q&A between the debate’s participants.
“During the debate, it became clear that there is tremendous potential to greatly increase energy savings within the heating & cooling sector,” continued Ms Voigt. “The heating, cooling and refrigeration industry in Europe is ideally placed to make these savings a reality, but this requires the right regulatory conditions and the creation of suitable consumer incentives.”
EPEE has already produced a position paper in view of the upcoming strategy and will continue to be very active in both Brussels and the Member States in pushing for a Heating & Cooling Strategy that is ambitious, proportional in its approach to both heating and cooling, and holistic in approach.