Europe outlines 9-step plan to save energy, Ukraine and the planet

(EurActiv, 22 Apr 2022) Together with the European Commission, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has presented a 9-step plan to reduce the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels, save households’ money, and protect the climate.

As Russia’s war in Ukraine enters its third month, energy prices are higher than ever and households are buckling under the strain. To alleviate the impact on the poorest, policymakers are turning towards a tested concept: energy conservation.

“Energy saving actions by EU citizens could save enough oil to fill 120 supertankers and enough gas to heat 20 million homes – and save a typical EU household an average of nearly €500 a year,” the IEA’s Fatih Birol said on Thursday (21 April).

Together with the EU executive, his agency has come up with nine actions that citizens can take in order to “save money, reduce reliance on Russian energy, support Ukraine and help the planet.”

EU citizens are shocked by the “human tragedy and humanitarian disaster” in Ukraine, said Ditte Juul Jørgensen, EU-Commission Director-General for Energy. “The one thing that each of us can do individually, at home and at work, is to save energy,” she told a webinar presenting nine steps that citizens can take to save energy.

  1. Turn down heating and use less air-conditioning (19°C or 20°C instead of the EU average of 22°C)
  2. Adjust your boiler’s settings (lower temperatures set at boilers can save around €100 each year)
  3. Work from home (commuting accounts for around a quarter of oil use in EU cars)
  4. Use your car more economically (making car trips with multiple people, relying on air conditioning less)
  5. Reduce your speed on highways (driving an average of 10 km/h slower will reduce average fuel bills by €60 per year)
  6. Leave your car at home on Sunday in large cities
  7. Walk or bike short journeys instead of driving (a third of EU car journeys are less than three kilometres)
  8. Use public transport
  9. Skip the plane, take the train

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EurActiv, 22 Apr 2022: Europe outlines 9-step plan to save energy, Ukraine and the planet