Open letter: Energy efficiency needs a long-term strategy for climate, security, solidarity and prosperity

(eceee open letter, 15 Dec 2022) To European policy makers and politicians on Ukraine and the current energy crisis.

eceee members are invited to sign this open letter

The impacts of the energy price and supply crisis following Russia’s illegal and brutal invasion of Ukraine could have been less severe if we had invested more in energy efficiency. Our current actions to save energy has helped reduce demand – and prices. But for sustained demand reductions in the future, we must invest now and we must keep investing. Energy efficiency needs a continuous approach with systematic and coordinated measures ranging from energy performance standards and financing to innovation, information, structural changes – and behaviour change.

The European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (eceee) is a membership-based association with individuals, agencies, research institutes, NGOs and companies as members. We ask all European policymakers, in whatever your capacity, to step up efforts to promote energy efficiency.

We who sign this letter acknowledge that:

  • Energy efficiency makes economic sense. Most actions to reduce demand are cost effective and cheaper than investments in new energy supply.
  • Energy efficiency is an act of solidarity. Fuel exports means large incomes for many undemocratic regimes. Here and now, this is a concrete way to support Ukraine, but it is also an act of solidarity with future generations and vulnerable people around the world.
  • Demand reduction means increased energy security. Reduced demand decreases reliance on volatile global energy markets. We will need to invest less in defending energy supply.
  • Energy efficiency makes the transition to renewables affordable. We simply cannot afford the transition to a decarbonised energy system if we focus only on new supply.
  • Energy efficiency makes the transition to renewables sustainable. Without efficiency, the environmental and resource cost of a decarbonised energy system will be too high.
  • No time to relax. It is very hard to replenish gas storage or reduce demand enough to avoid another tough winter. The 2023/24 heating season could be even more challenging than winter 2022/23.
  • Long-term, sustained policies and programmes can reduce demand substantially. This requires long-term policies that build awareness, competence and infrastructure, such as a skilled labour pool and strong supply chains for key products and services.
  • Short-term demand reductions are not futile. Short term demand reductions can have a big impact on energy prices. This is true also for marginal demand reductions.
  • Subsidies to fuels and electricity are not a long-term solution. While vulnerable households and companies need support in times of extreme prices, financial support should help users to reduce consumption and build resilience rather than pay for their energy bills.
  • Engage the whole society but don’t dump all responsibility on individuals. The whole society must be involved, but governments must establish structures and programmes that make it easier to establish energy efficiency and low-carbon practices.

The board of eceee 2022-12-14

We invite all eceee members and member organisations to co-sign the letter, as individuals or organisations. Please send us an email if you want to sign. eceee@eceee.org
I
f you are not a member, join us now.

Disclaimer: The contents of this letter and the opnions expressed are those of eceee and those who have signed, and not necessarily those of eceee's member organisations.

Signatures

Sergio Andreis, Kyoto Club

Prof. Anibal T. de Almeida, ISR – University of Coimbra

Sophie Attali, the bureau of Global Chance

Peter Bach

Edgar Blaustein, the bureau of Global Chance

Dr. ir. Robert de Boer, TNO, the Netherlands 

Dr. Nina Boogen, Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland

Nils Borg on behalf of Borg & Co

Stefan Büttner, EEP – Institute for Energy Efficiency in Production

Emilie Carmichael, Head of International, Energy Saving Trust

Marine Cornelis, Next Energy Consumer

Dario Di Santo

Angela Druckman, University of Surrey

Hans Erhorn

Prof. Nick Eyre, Director, Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions

Ralf Goldmann

Andreas Gürtler on behalf of European Industrial Insulation Foundation

Prof. Dr. Runa T. Hellwig

Gilberto M Jannuzzi, PhD, International Energy Initiative Brasil

Hans Korteweg, COGEN Europe

Juraj Krivosik, SEVEn

Bernard Laponche, the bureau of Global Chance

Érika Mata, PhD, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

William Mebane

Dr Simon Minett, Challoch Energy

Colin Nolden, University of Oxford and University of Bristol

Heidi Norrström

Vlasis Oikonomou, Managing Director IEECP

Agneta Persson, Anthesis AB

Ettore Piantoni 

Lennart Rolfsman

Prof. Dr. Joachim Schleich, Fraunhofer Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung ISI

Peter Sweatman, CEO of Climate Strategy & Partners

Stefan Thomas

Alexandra Waldmann

Prof. Ernst Worrell, Utrecht University, The Netherlands