Secretariat coordinates efforts to improve energy efficiency and reduce demand amid the energy crisis

Energy efficiency
31 March 2023

The Energy Community Secretariat held its next Energy Efficiency Coordination Group (EECG) on March 28, with representatives from ministries of the Energy Community Contracting Parties, the European Commission, and donors such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and KfW in attendance. The group discussed ways to make the Energy Community more energy-efficient, with a view to contributing to the achievement of the 2030 targets and implementing the objectives of the Energy Community Decarbonisation Road Map.

The EECG also discussed regional support programs currently active in the Contracting Parties and emphasized the need to coordinate Contracting Parties' efforts to ensure that the energy efficiency dimension is effectively incorporated into draft integrated National Energy and Climate plans. The plans are due by June 30 of this year.

During the meeting, the EECG Work Programme for the period 2023-2024 was also discussed, which will focus on implementing new requirements stemming from the Clean Energy Package. This includes updating provisions on energy efficiency obligations, long-term building renovation strategies, consumption-based metering and billing in the district heating sector, among others. Additionally, the EECG will continuously assess and report on existing and planned demand-side energy efficiency measures in the Contracting Parties, aimed at reducing energy demand and combating the current energy crisis.

In the context of the current energy crisis and the need for decarbonisation, the EECG also highlighted the importance of implementing demand-reduction measures. These measures aim to reduce energy consumption, improve energy efficiency, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. The EECG is committed to supporting the Contracting Parties in implementing effective demand-reduction measures, particularly in the lead-up to the next winter season.

The group discussed ways to improve the integration of demand-reduction measures into national energy policies and highlighted the need to address barriers such as lack of funding, lack of awareness, and a reluctance to adopt new technologies. The EECG also emphasized the importance of engaging with stakeholders, including consumers, in the development and implementation of demand-reduction measures.

On the second day, back-to-back with EECG, the workshop co-organised by the Secretariat with EBRD - under EU funded REEP – Plus program - addressed the importance of delivering long-term building renovation strategies and shared experiences, learnings, and best practices (BPIE, ADENE, ECA associate). The concept of the new policy guidelines that will guide Contracting Parties in the effective implementation of the strategies was introduced, leading to a discussion on barriers such as illegal construction, shortage of construction workers, and split incentives, and solutions for overcoming these constraints.