Transatlantic Best Practices for Energy Efficiency – How to Reduce Energy Dependence by Spurring Demand Response and Energy Savings?


The Ukrainian crisis has pushed energy security high on the agenda of EU policy makers. Energy efficiency could be the ‘silver bullet’ to reduce energy dependence, while at the same time boosting climate protection and competitiveness. The European Commission has recently been analysing different scenarios for the review of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), including the proposal of a 2030 energy efficiency target. At the June Council, the Commission presented a plan for the reduction of EU energy dependence.

The United States is often cited as an example when defining strategies to increase energy independence. Energy efficiency is widely recognized as having more immediate impact potential than possible exports of LNG from the U.S. to Europe, or if Europe were to develop its own domestic shale gas resources. The U.S. is rapidly improving innovation in energy efficiency and leaving Europe behind in the implementation of demand response measures.

What can Europe learn from the U.S. to get consumers involved in the electricity market? What should the EU do to unlock the potential of demand side flexibility and deal with concerns about adequate data protection? How should funds, regulations, incentives and measures be designed and implemented to ensure success in promoting energy efficiency? How can market and non-market barriers be identified and overcome to foster energy savings? In what way could 2030 energy efficiency targets help the EU to reduce its emissions in a cost effective way and to increase its energy security and how would this compare to an emissions-only approach? How can transatlantic cooperation help to unlock mitigation opportunities in energy efficiency in the pre-2020 period?

These and further questions were discussed at a lunch debate organised by the EU office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Brussels on the 18th of June 2014. The event was part of the EU-funded project ‘The Transatlantic Energy and Climate Network’, which is committed to strengthening dialogue between Americans and Europeans to advance a sustainable clean energy economy on both sides of the Atlantic. The lunch debate was moderated by Stefan Scheuer, the Secretary General of the Coalition for Energy Savings. Members of the panel were Mark Wagner, Vice President for U.S. Government Relations at Johnson Controls, Inc., Paul Hodson, Head of Unit Energy Efficiency, DG Energy, European Commission, Frederick Weston, Director, Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) and Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public & Government Affairs, Philips Lighting, Chairman of the Board of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE).

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About The Transatlantic Energy and Climate Network

The Transatlantic Energy and Climate Network is a project of the Heinrich Böll Foundation committed to strengthening dialogue between Americans and Europeans to advance a sustainable clean energy economy on both sides of the Atlantic. This project is funded by the European Union.

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Date of Publication
June 2014
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