The European Commission has stated that EU member states will have to meet an energy efficiency target of 30% by 2030, a goal which has been criticised by Glass for Europe.

Last March, the European Council gave a mandate to the European Commission (EC) to design a coherent strategy to improve energy efficiency and to reduce the energy dependence of the EU.

Glass for Europe has responded angrily to the communication released by the EC, describing it as an opportunity ‘ruined by political bargaining solely revolving around a number to serve as a target.

‘In the absence of a focus on the energy efficiency potential of the different sectors of the economy and without any policy measure foreseen to help grasp subsequent savings, the communication and the 30% target unveiled yesterday are de facto meaningless’.

Glass for Europe continues:

The impact assessment and the Commission’s communication published yesterday pinpoint once again the huge cost-effective energy saving potential associated with the renovation of existing buildings.

It even rightly suggests the huge energy efficiency gains which could be achieved thanks to state-of-the-art windows, when stressing that 44% of windows are still single-glazed in the EU.

“None of this is new so where is the strategy on energy efficiency in buildings?” asked Bertrand Cazes, Secretary General of Glass for Europe.

“What are the operational objectives in terms of building renovation? What measures will be set out by the EU to ensure that the 44% of windows which are still single-glazed are upgraded with efficient glazing solutions?”

Once again the Commission publishes a communication which does not contain any specific objective to reduce energy consumption in the building sector, nor propose concrete measure for triggering a market for building renovation.

“How many further studies, impact assessments and empty words will be necessary before the EU moves to action?” added Bertrand Cazes.

It will now be the Council and the new European Commission’s responsibility to fill the gaps of this meaningless communication.

Glass for Europe calls for the swift development of an EU energy labelling scheme for windows and for an ambitious revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

This could be the basis of a coherent plan meant to deliver energy efficiency in buildings.