Plaid Cymru President, Jill Evans MEP has welcomed an agreement on energy efficiency and savings following negotiations last night in the European Parliament. She described the deal as a boost for the economy and EU energy goals, even though the targets were watered down by member state governments. She said that the Welsh Government should play a much greater part in meeting targets for reducing energy consumption 20% by 2020.
Jill Evans said,
"This deal will give a boost to Europe's economy and help achieve our energy security and climate goals.
“The Welsh Government could do much more to meet energy targets. For example, Plaid Cymru has called for an extension of the Arbed scheme to insulate homes. 25,000 houses have already been improved but this should be extended to cover all homes in Wales. It not only saves energy but means cheaper bills for householders and more work for the building sector. ”
Ms Evans continued,
"Realising the EU's energy saving target makes sound economic sense, creating thousands of jobs across Wales and bringing down energy bills.
“Energy prices have been consistently going up but we can counter that through ambitious energy efficiency. It would lead to vast benefits for us.
"The new law will deliver concrete energy savings. European Member states will have to set out a roadmap for achieving energy savings of 80% in the buildings sector by 2050. Energy companies will have to deliver 1.5% in annual savings across all end-use sectors. Better consumer information, such as smart meters, are also included."
The European Parliament and Council reached agreement on a draft first reading agreement on the proposed Energy Efficiency Directive. The legislative agreement is now set to be endorsed by the European Parliament as a whole and EU governments in Council.