European Parliament Adopts Binding Energy Efficiency Target Requiring 20 Percent Savings in Energy Use by 2020

If the 20 percent target is met, according to the European Commission, households could save up to €1,000 each on energy bills, while the European Union (EU) as a whole could save some €100 billion and reduce emissions by almost 800 million tons a year.

Washington, D.C., December 16, 2010 - The European Parliament (EP) has adopted a binding agreement calling for a 20 percent increase in energy efficiency by 2020 by implementing effective policies and measures in all economic sectors. If the 20 percent target is met, according to the European Commission, households could save up to €1,000 each on energy bills, while the European Union (EU) as a whole could save some €100 billion and reduce emissions by almost 800 million tons a year.

The EP voted for the energy-saving target by a large majority - 511 to 64, with 57 abstentions - while a smaller majority (336 to 305) agreed to make the targets binding.

The agreement was based on a report authored by EP Member Bendt Bendtsen, an honorary member of the nascent European Alliance to Save Energy (EASE), a sister organization to the 33-year-old U.S.-based Alliance to Save Energy, and a member of the European People's Party. EASE brings together leading businesses, trade associations, civic organizations and politicians working to advance energy efficiency in Europe.

"The most important thing is that we focus on those tools which are most effective," said Bendtsen. "Standards for energy-related products are already expected to save a figure which corresponds to the annual energy consumption of United Kingdom or Italy. Furthermore, the Commission should have a coordinating role and be able to reject the National Energy Efficiency Action Plans should they not be sufficient to meet the 20 percent target."

"It's time to break the empty consensus on energy efficiency, and the European Parliament's vote in support of a binding target for energy efficiency is a significant step in this direction," explained EASE Chair and Knauf Insulation CEO Tony Robson.

Robson continued, "As an organization committed to creating a more energy-efficient European economy, EASE is now looking to energy ministers and heads of state to support the European Parliament's decision and, in doing so, to support the most cost-effective solution for climate and energy security - energy efficiency."

"The Alliance to Save Energy applauds the European Parliament for its bold, forward-looking action on energy efficiency, and we congratulate MEP Bendtsen for his key role in achieving the successful EP vote," said Alliance President Kateri Callahan.

"Importantly," she continued, "the Bendtsen Report and the EP decision reflect that without strong policies and a binding target, the potential for energy efficiency would be less than half of the 20 percent reduction target, which is readily achievable with currently available practices and technologies.

"We urge the U.S. government to emulate the EP's initiative," Callahan added. "All nations must be part of the push for greater energy efficiency, for the good of the global economy and environment."

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EASE), formed in 2010 in response to increased interest in energy efficiency throughout the European Union, advances energy efficiency throughout Europe to achieve a healthier economy, a cleaner environment and greater energy security. EASE, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, realizes this mission through collaboration among stakeholders representing government, community and business.

The Alliance to Save Energy is a coalition of prominent business, government, environmental and consumer leaders who promote the efficient and clean use of energy worldwide to benefit consumers, the environment, the economy and national security.

Learn about all our work at and how to save energy and money through energy efficiency at

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