Energie-Cités. What if we finally turn our intentions into actions? Energy efficiency: 3x20%: Play the Game. Fuel poverty ignored - PDF

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q Energie-Cités I N F O N 35 T W I C E - Y E A R L Y I N F O R M A T I O N B U L L E T I N F O R A L O C A L S U S T A I N A B L E E N E R G Y November 2008 P O L I C Y I N E U R O P E Energy efficiency: What if we finally turn our intentions into actions? 3x20%: Play the Game p. 3 & 9 Energy challenges in New Member States Fuel poverty ignored p. 7 p. 4-5 qdossier When energy meters turn backwards... Everything started with a typo, a poorly mislaid n picked up by Amory Lovins, a renowned experimental physicist, co-author of Factor 4 and fervent advocate of sustainable energy solutions. This typo in a report had accidentally transformed the word megawatts into negawatts. Since the 1980s, negawatt has become a synonym for Lovins and many others efforts to promote a better life with less energy. It stands for the watt of electricity that is not created due to energy efficiency and energy conservation. How long will it take before the first negawatt station is built in Europe? I believe that energy efficiency is the most important energy policy of all, said Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs last July during an informal Energy Council in Paris. So why has the EU 2020 objective of increasing energy efficiency by 20% been brushed silently under the carpet by the majority of Member States until now? I believe that energy efficiency is the most important energy policy of all.,, Serious political willingness to reduce the energy demand is still not a common feature in many countries poor implementation of EU directives is but one indication of it. Things would be different if the savings potential was more visible and if the knowledge concerning cost-effectiveness, returns and risks of investments in energy end-use efficiency was greater. Local authorities, in particular, have to become more aware of their responsibility and their chances in the field of energy efficiency. In English, energy-efficient literally means productive without waste. Wasted energy has become a chronic disease that requires care management. So, the main question for society as a whole should not be where to get more energy, but how to revise energy needs and uses. Numerous energy-requiring services can be provided while reducing energy needs: comfortable housing in energy-efficient buildings, easy and safe transportation with a good public transport infrastructure and well-planned cities, social and cultural activities offered close to home... Energy management has to become everybody s task to finally make energy meters turn backwards! Lovins keynote speech in 1989: French association Negawatt : Poor European procrastinators! Let s take the financial crisis as a unique opportunity Most of us know about the fight with our weaker self: Urgent, but uncomfortable tasks are all too often pushed down to the bottom of a To do list. We choose the easy option by saying Let s do it later. The task itself, though, remains. Procrastination is the official term for this type of behaviour. And procrastination is what you read between the lines of many of the national energy efficiency action plans (NEEAP) which were requested from each Member State by the EU Energy Services directive: Urgent tasks are being put off for another time. Instead of detailed, integrated and forward-looking measures, the majority of Member States have presented weak and business-as-usual promises. Where are the countries which have made an effort to anchor energy efficiency in territorial planning? Where are the attempts to design cross-sector policy measures aiming at energy savings? And above all, where are the European Heads of States when energy efficiency issues are to be discussed and real actions to be implemented? The recent financial turmoil should help to set Europe in motion. It is an opportunity to green the economy, especially if we consider that the financial crisis and the energy crisis have the same origin: The failure of the free market to set high prices which reflect the true medium and long-term risks taken by financial and energy actors. So, listen: Procrastination can be cured... act now! p.2u Find all NEEAPs on the website of the European Commission: Energy efficiency: a slowgoing three-step dance? 10 key measures on how the national level can encourage local authorities to optimise energy consumption 1. Consider explicitly the role of local authorities as being crucial to achieve the targets and improve quality of life 2. Design energy efficiency policies and measures together with local authorities 3. Adapt national legislation to a) eliminate obstacles to energy efficiency, in land use planning requirements, for instance, b) stimulate initiatives 4. Make mandatory territorial sustainable energy and climate action plans with concrete and ambitious targets in a cross-sector manner 5. Send price signals and implement tariffs encouraging energy efficiency (provide financial and fiscal incentives) 6. Provide financial and methodological support to local authorities having achieved their territorial action plan 7. Take advantage of existing funding opportunities (national, Structural Funds etc.) to orient the investments more energy efficiently 8. Use innovative and successful local initiatives to evolve legislation 9. Encourage networking and replication of successful practices 10. Re-draft the national energy action plans accordingly. There is a consensus that energy efficiency is the cornerstone of any sustainable energy policy. But there is often a gap between intentions and reality. We can even talk about a slow-going three-step dance as regards energy efficiency. STEP 1: Energy efficiency is given top priority... STEP 2: We realise that this involves large numbers of decision-makers of greater or lesser importance and that this will prove difficult... STEP 3: We continue (almost) as before! Do the test yourself at European level, in your country, municipality or at home! Leave a meeting on energy efficiency and join a discussion on town planning issues or transport infrastructure and you will have the feeling of being in a totally different world! The 3x20 are far from being part of all our policies. This will be the challenge of the Covenant of Mayors at local level. Member States must provide evidence that their collective commitment to the 3x20 in March 2007 was not just a media-staged operation. However, most of their National Energy Efficiency Plans are quite poor. And at European level, we will be paying a great deal of attention to the energy package focussing on energy efficiency that is to be presented in November. Fortunately, there are an increasing number of exceptions to this threestep dance in three-four time, essentially in our towns and cities and also in some countries. A few examples of them are given in this issue of Energie-Cités Info. Gérard Magnin I Energie-Cités gerard European energy efficiency associations are joining forces In a joint letter addressed to the European Energy Commissioner, eight professional associations representing cogeneration, insulation, construction, lighting, energy efficiency, intelligent energy service and household appliance companies, call for better recognition of energy efficiency technologies in the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan ( SET- Plan ). This SET-Plan is supposed to facilitate the launch of industrial initiatives but it says very little about energy efficiency... Energie-Cités is supporting this approach. 1&DAT_IM=20B8D8 p.3u qdossier The local energy challenges in New Member States Energy efficiency plays an increasing role in the Czech municipality of Brno EU energy goals are common to all Member States, but the starting points are completely different. Post-communist countries, in particular, have to build upon a past in which energy efficiency was an ignored parameter. The Czech Republic is one of those countries. In an interview with Energie-Cités INFO, Mrs. Jana Drapalova, Mayor of the City District of Brno-Nový Lískovec (12,000 inhabitants) since 2002 and Member of the Brno City Council, provides an insight into the local energy challenges in New Member States. Mrs. Drapalova, the EU has set three main objectives for 2020, one of which is to increase energy efficiency by 20%. Is this target considered to be an opportunity or an obstacle to the competitiveness of New Member States? Over the last ten years, energy prices have grown so remarkably that energy savings and energy efficiency have become much more economic than environmental issues for citizens. Since 2004, the Czech Republic has had an Energy Concept which aims to maximise energy efficiency and which is backed up by a set of legislative and tax instruments. The national support programmes for saving measures are the most important for municipalities, and we now also have European Funds. The housing sector is considered to be very important within the energy policy. Huge savings should come from residential buildings. Brno - Nový Lískovec Energy efficiency standards for buildings have been set several times, but these only apply to new or renovated buildings. Between 1950 and 1990, over 60,000 buildings were built in the Czech Republic with prefabricated concrete panel technology. This represents 1.2 million flats, one third of the Czech housing stock. A substantial share of the country s existing housing stock is in a rundown condition, which is why the government has introduced a special support programme to help refurbish prefabricated panel buildings. We are all aware that these EU objectives cannot be achieved without practical action at the municipal level. From your experience, what challenges are local authorities currently facing to make energy efficiency a political priority? Municipalities, and large cities in particular, play an important role in achieving energy policy goals. They are not only owners of a significant part of the housing stock - they also establish and operate municipal companies which provide public services (heat supplies, communal waste management, public transport, street lighting, etc.), and run the housekeeping in public buildings and school facilities. Energy costs are thus an important part of obviously limited public spending. Prices of municipal services for citizens are also remarkably influenced by energy prices and cities need to tackle the issue of social sustainability of these service charges. Hence, municipalities have become increasingly aware of the importance of efficient energy management. Municipalities have become increasingly aware of the importance of efficient energy management.,, p.4u There is a range of actions and tools for optimising energy use: from awareness-raising through private-public-partnerships to financial incentives. What precisely is the city of Brno doing in this respect? Brno, a city of nearly 370,000 inhabitants, approved its Energy Concept in 2006 but its energy saving objectives remain far from being ambitious enough. If any saving measures are implemented, they are mainly motivated by the Brno - Nový Lískovec Annual energy consumption in refurbished buildings (in kwh/m 2 ) kwh/m Year Oblà 14 (2003) Oblà 2 (2001) Kaminky 6 (2001) Kaminky (2003) Kaminky (2003) Oblà 3 (2003) Brno - Nový Lískovec ever-growing energy prices and by the opportunity to obtain grants. Renovation of the housing stock in Brno has been in progress for over 10 years now. It has been managed by individual City Districts since Each district is an autonomous administrative entity. The city provides them with financial means originating from a fund raised by means of revenues from the privatisation of flats. City Districts also use commercial loans, as they are able to apply for a State subsidy for part of the interest. Currently about 45% of the municipal housing stock have been partly or fully renovated, which means 8,000 apartments. In co-operation with NGOs, the university and the tenants, Brno- Nový Lískovec designed the renovation of panel houses according to a low energy consumption standard in It was not only about thermal insulation, but it also included comprehensive ventilation (something completely unprecedented at that time). We refurbished 10 buildings with 386 flats between 2001 and Heat consumption went down by 65%, and the costs of heating hot water decreased by 30%. Our experience is now put to good use by other city districts and panel house owners. This leads to my conviction that potential energy savings in the housing sector far outreach the figure of 20% estimated in the State Energy Concept. Potential energy savings in the housing sector far outreach the figure of 20% estimated in the State Energy Concept.,, Do you have any advice to give to the EU decision-makers? Most of the heat generated in the Czech Republic still comes from fossil fuel (gas and coal), which is why possible savings have a direct bearing on CO 2 emissions. It is, therefore, a pity that the EU has not allocated subsidies for the thermal insulation of residential buildings. It could set the building low energy consumption standard as a requirement for the use of such subsidies. This would prevent many panel buildings being as insufficiently insulated as they are today at the minimum possible level required by relevant legislation. The problem is that it will be another 20 years before any such badly repaired buildings will be given another chance. Energy efficiency and Structural Funds belong together! We have identified major improvement potential in building heating and insulation. We need a far-reaching revision of the Directive on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. It would be ironical if, as far as energy efficiency is concerned, this were the only sector excluded by European regulations as regards the use of structural funds. Danuta Hübner (Commissioner for Regional Policy) is ready to look at our margins for manoeuvre in this field. (Excerpt from the conclusions of the Presidency of the informal Council of Ministers for Energy 5 th July 2008) p.5u Thanks to the large series of energy efficiency measures carried out in six municipal residential building units of Brno - Nový Lískovec, their annual energy consumption could be reduced by at least 50%. Brno - Nový Lískovec qdossier A green elephant in London How the borough of Southwark combines efficiency and quality of life! London, this multicultural and buzzing city, is currently adding a sustainability layer to its international profile. The famous eco-neighbourhood BedZED, situated in the borough of Sutton, is but one of several initiatives striving for a human city. Less known, but just as impressive, is the 1.5 billion Elephant and Castle regeneration programme in Southwark, a borough situated in the South-East of Central London and member of Energie-Cités since Launched in 2004, it is one of the largest schemes of its kind to be undertaken in Europe, covering a total of 68.8 hectares. The tenyear plan is remarkable as it looks at the neighbourhood as a whole, giving priority to density, proximity, mixed-tenure and mixed-use. Bob Fiddik, Energy Strategy Manager of Southwark Council, explains that the main idea is to revitalize the area. The Council aims not only to renew the building stock but also to improve the lives of residents through access to better housing, transport, health services, education, training and employment. The ten-year plan is remarkable as it looks at the neighbourhood as a whole, giving priority to density, proximity, mixed-tenure and mixed-use.,, The scheme has a zero carbon growth objective, says Tony Moseley, Assistant Director of Infrastructure and Sustainability for the Elephant and Castle Development Project, while, at the same time, almost tripling the number of homes and businesses in the area. With its focus on renewable energies including wind and solar power, it will set a new benchmark for green development of the highest eco-standards. The entirely private sector funded regeneration project has been developed as part of the local Spatial Development Strategy, the London Plan. As it has been selected to become one of the London Mayor s Energy Action Areas, it is fully in line with the plan s three-step logic: 1) Be lean: use less! 2) Be clean: supply energy efficiently! 3) Be green: Use renewable energy! Different renewable technologies are currently being tested. Over 5,100 new homes, 60,000 sq. m of new shops, five new open spaces, landmark buildings, a tram route and a central market square are foreseen. A tower containing 400 private units is currently under construction. Southwark s green elephant will start grazing in 2014 when the regeneration is completed. Maybe one can even expect a whole herd of lean, clean and green elephants throughout the city with London officially joining the Covenant of Mayors in 2009? Fingers crossed! p.6u Southwark Council is leading the Elephant and Castle programme so that by 2014, local people can benefit from tree lined streets, high quality open spaces and a largely traffic free environment. / Newington / Heygate Boulevard Eating or heating? Fuel Poverty, a known, but neglected phenomenon A short electricity black-out is not a drama. But what if light and heat become a daily battle? What if you have to choose between eating or heating? Despite the basic right to energy, there are a growing number of Europeans that do not have full access to modern and affordable energy services. However, it is still rare for the phenomenon of fuel poverty to be mentioned in current debates. According to the most commonly accepted definition, developed over thirty years ago in the UK, people who are fuel poor spend more than 10% of their income on keeping themselves warm. Estimations for single countries exist. In the UK, for example, more than 4 million people are concerned. The figure amounts to at least 800,000 in Germany. In New Member States, the proportion of fuel poor is much higher as people pay European tariffs with their low local incomes. In reality, though, the definition should not be limited to energy worries at home. New financial constraints are arising with people depending on their car to go to work, to shop or to enjoy cultural activities. The automobile is the main means of transport for 51% of Europeans, (Eurobarometer 2007). Therefore, rocketing fuel prices transform mobility into a luxury for those who do not live close to their work and urban sprawl becomes an epidemic. In general, the share of energy expenditures in the budget of people living in large cities is less than one third that of people living in rural areas (see graph). New financial constraints are arising with people depending on their car to go to work, to shop or to enjoy cultural activities.,, Good co-ordination between governments, local authorities, energy firms and the people concerned is crucial if the situation of vulnerable energy consumers is to be improved. Public measures are diverse. One option is to introduce social tariffs for lowincome households by means of subsidies or to grant tax relief to commuters. The European Charter on the Rights of Energy Consumers currently being discussed between the European Commission and its major stakeholders even foresees a free minimum level of energy services (power, heating and lighting) to prevent energy poverty. Social aid budgets, though, should move from curative to preventive if long-term remedies are to be found. Hence energy efficiency measures, e.g. in households, must be developed as is the case in Frankfurt am Main, Germany (see Cariteam article page 11). A similar service addressing the travel dimension is also currently being delivered within the EU supported project Eco n Home, a pioneering initiative to monitor and reduce the energy consumption of over 1,000 sample households across Europe... to be replicated on a large scale % Household energy costs according to place of residence a
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