By any consideration, the size of energy imports across the European Union has a massive impact on member states and business energy prices
, particularly those suffering in the current economic climate. In 2011, these equated to 3.9% of EU GDP, or €488 billion, in terms of brass tacks, of Euros and cents.
The issue has therefore been carefully considered this year, at the level of the European governance. On June 13th, the European Parliament and the Energy Council reached an agreement on a draft Energy Efficiency Directive and The European Parliament voted in favour of this Directive on September 11th 2012. It will be signed off in October, coming into force only weeks after.
So OK, some big wigs in Brussels have banged heads – what’s the actual upshot? Well, the Directive creates legally binding measures compelling member states to use energy more efficiently, at all stages of the energy chain - from procurement, to distribution, to final consumption - to drive energy efficiency in the business sector, and push the public sector to tighten its belt. Alongside this macro picture, on the micro level there are concurrent calls for consumers to be given the legal right to find out, and then therefore consider, how much energy they actually use.
The good news is that as well as the public sector, utility companies will also have targets set – annual savings of 1.5% of annual domestic and business energy
sales to customers, between 2014 and 2020. Large businesses will also have to carry out energy efficiency audits every four years to identify possible energy savings. And governments are not exempt, compelled annually to modernise a modest proportion of government buildings and improve their energy efficiency.
It is hoped the directive will assist with both energy security and climate goals, as well as lifting the prospects for jobs and the wider economy. At Utility Helpline we hope such enforced measures with the utility companies may ultimately feed into reductions in business energy prices they then sell on to businesses. Perhaps not surprisingly, the directive has had huge support and will come into full effect within the next couple of years. In the meantime, we'll help you compare business energy prices
- contact us for a quick business energy quote.