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EU 'on track' for energy targets

By 2020, the European Union (EU) aims to have improved energy savings by one-fifth, which it is reportedly on track to achieve.

According to a document seen by news provider Reuters, current efforts are proving so successful that a significantly higher target for improvement may be put in place for the following ten years.

The draft European Commission papers show energy efficiency has become an increasingly prevalent concern in recent months, particularly in light of the crisis in Russia and Ukraine, which has led to worries surrounding the importation of fossil fuels and gas supplies being cut off.

Although not due for publication until July, the report shows 18 or 19 per cent of energy savings are almost certainly going to be achieved, with a possible target of 35 per cent being introduced for 2030.

The document states this would be considered "taking into account the increased importance of energy efficiency in the context of the European Energy Security Strategy".

All countries involved appear to be performing well with regard to the target, as the report notes no "emergency EU legislation" is needed at present to make states conform to the energy saving efforts.

Next week, heads of state and government from across Europe are set to meet to discuss issues such as energy efficiency and security in light of Russia's gas supply to Ukraine being cut off, which has resulted in concerns that this could have a knock-on effect across the continent and in the UK.

To achieve the 20 per cent savings target, energy companies are now obliged to employ more eco-friendly power generation measures, with the largest organisations being required to carry out energy audits every four years.

Consumers are being urged to help to achieve the target too, by taking advantage of schemes such as the government's Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, which can assist with the cost of installing energy saving tools such as solid wall insulation.

In addition, more accurate measures relating to meter readings have been introduced, allowing households to access real-time data on their energy usage, potentially resulting in significant power savings.

Posted by Rachel Jenkins