European Commission to reduce cooling and heating energy use

A new strategy outlines the European Commission’s approach to reducing heating and cooling energy use

The European Commission has produced a cooling and heating energy reduction strategy to tackle the enormous energy consumption of this sector throughout the EU member states.

It is hoped that the strategy could result in a four to five per cent reduction in energy consumption in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry by 2030 and between an eight to 10 per cent reduction by 2050.

However, this will only be achieved with the dedication of the building and construction industry and the building services engineering sector.

According to the European Commission’s strategy, if the continent is successful in its approach to energy consumption reduction, up to 30 per cent of the energy used in the cooling and heating sector could come from renewable energies by 2050.

At present, up to 50 per cent of the energy consumed throughout the EU member states is used for cooling and heating. Renewable energy accounts for 18 per cent of the current supply to the cooling and heating sector.

The strategy sets out a number of key plans to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings across the EU, including increasing the energy efficiency of buildings, improving the connection between district heating and electricity systems, and promoting the recovery and use of waste heat and cold produced in industrial processes.

Andrea Voigt, director-general at The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment, said: “As heating and cooling forms a major part of Europe’s energy consumption, it makes sense for there to be a strong focus on this sector, and this strategy is therefore long overdue.”

The strategy also endorses the financial benefits of cost-sharing between tenants and owners to upgrade the heating and cooling equipment in buildings.

Figures from the EU suggest that up to 50 per cent of boilers installed in buildings throughout the member states are more than 20 years old and have an energy efficiency rating below 60 per cent.

The European Commission has also announced that the accuracy and constancy of energy performance certificates will be under scrutiny in the upcoming Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

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