Accelerating the transition of EU companies towards a sustainable growth model is one of the ambitious objectives of the European Green Deal, as they face various barriers that deter energy efficiency measures. In 2019, the industry and services sectors made up almost 40% of the total EU-27 final energy consumption (respectively accounting for 25.6% and 13.7%). Moreover, in line with the REPowerEU plan to phase out EU dependence on fossil fuels imports, facilitating the clean energy transition of EU companies through a larger uptake of energy audits and collaborative approaches has the potential to sensibly reduce EU fuels imports.
In the last years, energy audits proved to be a valid instrument to tackle the information gap that is one of the main barriers to implement energy efficiency measures in companies. To this end, Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive played a key role in promoting energy audits in the Member States. However, as highlighted in a recent study published by CINEA, the actual energy savings achieved by companies following an energy audit still remain limited. Additional barriers to overcome may include limited finance, human resources and expertise. One of the enabling factors that can play a positive role in the uptake of energy audits recommendations is the facilitation of structured support services tailored to the specificities of companies. In fact, depending on the market sector, energy intensity, size and/or territory, they may require different support to be able to implement efficiency measures and, where relevant, move to renewable energy sources. International and European standards on energy audits and competences of energy auditors can also play a positive role in ensuring that energy audits are of high quality and that their recommendations can be conveyed as a strategic proposition to management.
Furthermore, as highlighted also in the New Industrial Strategy, the achievement of climate-neutrality by 2050 will require a full mobilisation and deeper cooperation among all players operating across the different value chains. Exposure to energy prices, increased global competition as well as potential transition risks linked to changing regulation, market demand and buyers/suppliers procurement criteria are increasing pressure on EU companies. In order to increase resilience, competitiveness and market attractiveness, companies should increasingly operate in sustainable value chains both at local, national and European level.
The overall objective of this topic is to boost the market uptake of cost-effective energy efficiency measures and where relevant renewables and heat pumps among EU companies by means of implementing energy audits suggested measures OR through the engagement into sustainable value chain business models.
Proposals should address one of the two scopes below. The scope addressed should be clearly specified in the proposal’s introduction.
- Scope A: Foster a favourable energy audits ecosystem
- Scope B: Unlock the energy efficiency and renewable potential at value chain level
16 November 2022
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