The BDEW on the implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive in Germany:
Müller: Resolute political action required to foster measures for improving energy efficiency
Existing instruments should be further developed / time limit ends in four weeks
"The German government must take resolute action to foster improvements in energy efficiency, in addition to reforming the German Renewable Energy Sources Act, accelerating network expansion and designing the energy market of the future. The immense potential available in the heating market for reducing CO2 emissions, for example through energy-related building renovation, must now finally be decisively utilised by federal and Land authorities. To this end, it is necessary for federal and Land authorities to coordinate their efforts more effectively than in the past, for example regarding energy-related building renovation work. Increasing energy efficiency is a key factor in the achievement climate policy targets." explained Hildegard Müller, Chairwoman of the General Executive Management Board of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), in Berlin today. The reason for these remarks is that Germany only has until 5 June 2014 to implement the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. This time limit ends exactly four weeks from now.
The EU directive gives member states the possibility of meeting energy efficiency targets either through strategic measures or of introducing systems of obligations for energy companies. "The BDEW rejects any such systems of obligations. New, dirigiste measures only lead to increased levels of bureaucracy and rising costs of energy efficiency measures. Instead of this, we should continue on the successful path of market-based solutions. Existing incentive instruments should be further developed and market impediments should be removed", stressed Hildegard Müller.
There is an especially large potential for saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions in the renovation of existing buildings. "This is also the conclusion of the current monitoring report on the Energiewende (energy transition). However, as yet no government action has followed." said Müller. According to the BDEW, the existing incentive and regulatory framework should be utilised and further developed. In order to encourage building renovation, federal and Land authorities should now finally agree on a tax benefit for energy related renovation measures in the case of residential buildings. The programmes of KfW Development bank, which incentivise high rates of private investment at low cost, should also be better funded. In addition, for example, specific information for building owners, public providers or small and medium sized companies in relation to the provision of heating by third parties in the form of contracting or district heating would make sense.
At the same time, existing impediments to the use of energy efficiency measures have to be eliminated. In the opinion of the BDEW, an easy-to-understand, Germany-wide, uniform legal framework for energy efficiency investments is necessary. Legal constraints on energy services providers, for example on contracting under the German Renewable Energy Sources Act or on switching to contracting or district heating in rental law, have to be removed. Qualified energy advice as offered by energy companies, supports an appropriate and low cost implementation of energy efficiency measures. Therefore, for customers, a recognition of these advice services in connection with state subsidies is overdue.