Commission welcomes European Citizens’ Panel recommendations on energy efficiency

150 European citizens adopted 13 recommendations for the European Commission on energy efficiency during the final session of the European Citizens’ Panel on Energy Efficiency, which took place from 12th to 14th April in Brussels.

Using less energy, and using it wisely, is key for clean, secure and affordable energy and an important component of the European Green Deal and the REPowerEU Plan. Energy efficiency helps reduce overall energy consumption and is therefore central to achieving the EU’s climate ambition, while enhancing present and future energy security and affordability.

The Energy Efficiency Directive, recently strengthened as part of the Fit for 55 legislative package, established the ‘energy efficiency first’ as a fundamental principle of EU energy policy, giving it legal standing for the first time. It also significantly raised the EU’s ambition with new EU-level target to improve energy efficiency by 11.7% by 2030, with a stronger emphasis on people affected by energy poverty.

Since February 2024, citizens have gathered to discuss the challenges and benefits of energy efficiency, both in person and online.

The input gathered from both the Panel and the Citizens’ Engagement Platform will now feed into a Commission Recommendation on the “Energy Efficiency First” principle to be considered by the College of Commissioners and ultimately addressed to the Member States later this year.

The final recommendations encourage the Commission to focus in particular on:

  • Increasing the attractiveness of public transport for passengers
  • Delivering the most energy-efficient transport across Europe: Get goods off the road, get people out of planes, and introduce a ‘railway first principle’
  • Expanding the implementation of energy efficiency in buildings
  • Improving the state of skilled labour in the EU in the energy efficiency sector
  • Securing the future through education on green issues
  • Managing and monitoring the implementation of EU directives
  • Helping EU citizens to develop energy communities focused on energy efficiency by providing information and financial support
  • Financing a fair right to energy related home renovation
  • Achieving energy efficiency targets by strengthening everyone’s ability to act
  • Increasing energy independence and efficiency, becoming a global example
  • Developing energy-efficient communities for responsible consumption and increased local energy production
  • Empowering consumers to become energy efficient
  • Optimising and developing the grid system, from producer to the end-user, in favour of renewable energy sources

More information available here.

RESILENS – Realising European Resilience for Critical Infrastructure

EU programme: Horizon 2020 – Societal challenge

Irish partners: EMRA, Future Analytics, Irish Water

Description: Critical infrastructure (CI) provides the essential functions and services that support European societal, economic and environmental systems. As both natural and man-made disaster and crises situations become more common place, the need to ensure the resilience of CI so that it is capable of withstanding, adapting and recovering from adverse events is paramount. Moving resilience from a conceptual understanding to applied, operational measures that integrate best practice from the related realm of risk management and vulnerability assessment is the focus of the RESILENS project.

RESILENS developed a European Resilience Management Guideline (ERMG) to support the practical application of resilience to all CI sectors. Accompanying the ERMG is a Resilience Management Matrix and Audit Toolkit which enables a resilience score to be attached to an individual CI, organisation (e.g. CI provider) and at different spatial scales (urban, regional, national and transboundary) which can then be iteratively used to direct users to resilience measures that will increase their benchmarked future score. Other resilience methods including substitution processes and measures to tackle cascading effects have also be developed.

The ERMG and resilience management methods have been tested and validated through stakeholder engagement, table-top exercises and three large scale pilots (transport CI, electricity CI and water CI). The ERMG and accompanying resilience methods are hosted on an interactive web-based platform, the RESILENS Decision Support Platform (RES-DSP). The RES-DSP also hosts an e-learning hub that will provide further guidance and training on CI resilience. Overall, RESILENS aims to increase and optimise the uptake of resilience measures by CI providers and guardians, first responders, civil protection personnel and wider societal stakeholders of Member States and Associated Countries.

Start date: April 2015 – End date: April 2018