Energy efficiency

Energy 01-09-2021

Lights out for inefficient bulbs under new EU standards

Certain fluorescent and halogen light bulbs are being banned as of Wednesday (1 September) as new ecodesign and labelling rules come into force across the European Union.
Energy 06-07-2021

EU bets on energy savings, greener buildings to meet climate target

The European Union will require countries to renovate energy-guzzling buildings faster and meet tougher targets on energy savings as part of its drive to meet its climate goals, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.
Energy 06-07-2021

Industry: European electricity grid can handle 50 million heat pumps

Electric heat pumps can be deployed on a large scale in Europe without jeopardising grid stability while allowing greater integration of renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency in buildings, according to the CEOs of major energy groups, including Spain’s Iberdrola, Italy’s Enel and France’s EDF.

EU’s building renovation wave hits administrative snag

Differing views within the European Commission on how the EU's unprecedented recovery fund can be spent, and a rush to translate national spending plans from their original language, risk slowing down the EU's building renovation wave, experts say.
Energy 02-06-2021

Helsinki bets on electrification to decarbonise heating

Electricity from heat pumps, combined with a shift to renewables in district heat networks, emerged as the winning technologies to drive the Finnish capital’s transition to carbon neutrality by 2035.
Energy 07-05-2021

Using hydrogen fuel risks locking in reliance on fossil fuels, researchers warn

Using hydrogen-based fuels for cars and home heating risks locking in a dependency on fossil fuels and failing to tackle the climate crisis, according to a new analysis. EURACTIV's media partner, The Guardian, reports.
Energy 23-04-2021

Brussels urges 27 to ‘make the most’ of energy efficiency funds

The European commissioner for energy, Kadri Simson, said on Thursday (22 April) that member states should take advantage of the European Union's historic €1.8 trillion budget and recovery fund to invest in energy efficiency.
Energy 21-04-2021

Energy-efficient buildings should be ‘new normal’, says EU’s Simson

The European commissioner for energy, Kadri Simson, on Tuesday (20 April) underlined the importance of the 'Renovation Wave' strategy in combating energy poverty in the European Union, saying that sustainable, energy-efficient buildings should be "the new normal".
Energy 13-04-2021

Energy efficiency must apply across all renewables, EU Commission says

Europe needs a massive increase in renewable electricity to meet its 2030 decarbonisation targets, including a ramp up of clean hydrogen production from electrolysers, a senior EU official has said.

Italy’s celebrated building renovation scheme hits a snag

Last year, Italy launched an unprecedented plan allowing homeowners to finance 110% of energy efficiency renovation works through tax deductions. Almost one year on, the widely celebrated scheme is hitting snags related to mounting costs and bureaucracy.
Energy 05-04-2021

What now? Policymakers mull options for greater energy system integration

Consumers will be at the centre of EU efforts to create a more integrated energy system, with local authorities playing an essential role to bring energy users closer to suppliers in a bid to maximise efficiency and cut greenhouse gas...
Energy 30-03-2021

Green Homes Grant scheme to officially close this week, UK Government confirms

The UK Government has confirmed that it will axe its Green Homes Grant Scheme, which had £1.5bn of its £2bn funding pot withdrawn, on Wednesday (31 March).
Energy 22-03-2021

UK government’s green homes grant in urgent need of rescue, MPs say

The UK government’s flagship home insulation scheme, intended to kickstart a green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, has been botched, disastrous in administration, devastating in some of its impacts, and stands in urgent need of rescue, an influential committee of MPs has said. EURACTIV's media partner, The Guardian, reports.

EU’s green building push risks driving homelessness, activists warn

The European Commission must ensure that plans to price carbon emissions in the building sector does not lead to growing rates of homelessness, campaigners said on Wednesday (17 March).

Abolition of energy-saving incentives worries French building sector

The €2 billion of financial aid to boost energy renovation in France's COVID recovery plan may not be enough to compensate for the abolition of financial assistance provided to households under the so-called “energy saving incentives” – or what the French ministry has branded "coups de pouce isolation". EURACTIV France reports.

EU taxonomy shutting the door to grid-powered hydrogen, critics say

A coalition of industrialists and electricity companies have expressed concerns about a draft emission threshold below which hydrogen would be considered “green” under the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy.

Eco-homes become hot property in UK’s zero-carbon ‘paradigm shift’

Smart, low-carbon homes were once the preserve of one-off grand designs – now there are up to 30,000 projects in the pipeline, writes EURACTIV's media partner, The Guardian Environment.

National renovation plans falling short of EU’s 2050 climate goal: study

The long-term renovations strategies that EU countries submitted last year to the European Commission are not in line with the bloc's objective of reaching climate-neutrality by 2050, according to fresh analysis due to be published this week.

EU countries back green building renovations, but quiet on binding standards

European Union countries will rally behind the bloc's plan to massively expand building renovations to cut emissions, according to a draft document, but it did not explicitly endorse using legally-binding energy performance standards to do it.

Czech coal mining regions confronted with ‘hidden’ energy poverty

While Czech coal mining regions supply heat and electricity to the whole country, local people are often unable to afford heating their own homes, researchers say. More broadly, Czechia is struggling to meet its EU reporting obligations on energy poverty, an issue common to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
Energy 03-02-2021

30 million Europeans were in energy poverty in 2019

Thirty million Europeans – the equivalent of Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic's populations combined – were unable to adequately heat their homes in 2019, according to a new report from the Jacques Delors Institute.
Energy 21-01-2021

Avoid hydrogen for heating homes, urges energy efficiency coalition

A coalition of 33 business and civil society groups have urged the European Commission to prioritise renewables and energy efficiency over hydrogen as part of Europe’s efforts to decarbonise buildings.
Energy 20-01-2021

‘Matching sustainability with style’: EU lifts veil on new European Bauhaus initiative

The European Commission is inviting “creative minds” across Europe to contribute ideas to the "New European Bauhaus", an initiative aimed at designing new ways of living to meet the objectives of the European Green Deal.
Climate change 11-01-2021

Positive ‘tipping points’ provide fresh hope for climate, study says

Positive “tipping points” in the uptake of electric vehicles and the decarbonisation of electricity generation could spark a global transition to a climate neutral economy, scientists say, providing fresh hope in the fight against global warming.