Cities struggle to promote energy efficiency

Municipalities at a loss in face of liberalisation, absence of EU energy demand management policies

European municipalities' efforts to improve urban energy efficiency are being swamped by the effects of energy liberalisation and an absence of coherent EU and national demand management policies, a network representing 100 EU cities concluded on Friday.

Members of the Energie-Cités network were meeting in London to share information on progress in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energies, and a succession of delegates highlighted the difficulties they faced in achieving real improvements. Falling energy prices due to liberalisation and weak political commitment to energy efficiency were cited as the main obstacles.

These frustrations are reflected in the network's response to the European Commission's green paper on security of energy supply (ENDS Daily 30 November 2000), finalised at last week's meeting. Though the paper's emphasis on the importance of energy demand management is to be welcomed, says Energie-Cités, it should have gone further and shown explicitly what energy savings could be achieved in different areas.

Follow Up:
Energie-Cités, tel: +32 2 544 0921.

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