Energy Efficiency First!

Energy efficiency is cornerstone of climate protection endeavours at the national and international level. The target for energy efficiency set by the new EU Directive states that energy consumption should be cut by at least 32.5 percent by 2030, although this target is not binding for EU member states. As Austria’s largest regional energy provider, Wien Energie attaches great importance to the issue of energy efficiency. We have carried out 1,200 individual energy consultations alone, in which measures aimed at optimising energy use are proposed, along with a whole host of other implementation measures for customers provided through energy efficiency services.

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Background information

Austria has implemented the core contents of the EU Directive by means of the Federal Energy Efficiency Act (Bundes-Energieeffizienzgesetz). The law as it stands is being revised as a result new targets under EU law. As per the #mission 2030 strategy, Austria has been set the goal of improving primary energy intensity by 25-30 percent compared with 2015, which corresponds in real terms to an annual savings obligation of 0.8 percent.

Austria’s current system for complying with the Energy Efficiency Directive 2012 is one that is comprised of obligations on the part of energy providers together with alternative, strategic measures. The Federal Energy Efficiency Act obliges energy providers to provide evidence that 0.6 percent of the prior year’s sales volume has been converted into energy efficiency measures for end customers.

In order to bring the Energy Efficiency Act in line with the EU targets, a process was launched in September 2018 to evaluate the existing regulations, with the deadline for this being set for summer 2019. Relevant stakeholders are involved in developing potential courses of action here. The new EU directive must be implemented by 25 June 2020.

Michael Strebl

“Wien Energie is committed to sustainable, future-oriented corporate governance with the goal of offering comprehensive energy services. This why we firmly believe in the principle that the best kilowatt hour is the one that is not consumed.”

Michael Strebl, General Manager of Wien Energie

Our demands

The current method of obligating providers is mainly associated with disadvantages, as the bureaucratic burden is too high and there is a lack of incentives for new measures as well as of certainty in terms of legal aspects and planning. What this means is that the targets defined for the 2021-2030 period should be met exclusively using an efficient system comprising alternative, politically strategic measures.

One specific proposal would be to make it compulsory for large companies to report energy efficiency measures that have not been subsidised. The incentive here lies in the partial refunding of the energy tax, for instance, and in the use of existing systems (e.g. the company service portal or the National Energy Efficiency Monitoring Centre (run by the Austrian Energy Agency)). This measure provides planning certainty and improves the ability of Austrian companies to compete on the market.

  • Shaping and managing economically worthwhile energy efficiency measures in a targeted way by means of (financial) incentives and funding (e.g. tax incentives, incentives for investments)
  • Ensuring the eligibility of energy efficiency measures in the top-down principle (e.g. reporting all district heating connections, reporting all appliances with an energy efficiency class of A++ higher, etc.)
  • Cost efficiency and economic viability
  • Legal and planning certainty must be ensured

If the current system taking a blended approach is to be maintained, it is absolutely necessary to improve the current way in which energy providers are put under obligation. Wien Energie proposes making following changes:

  • No obligation for energy providers in kWh, but instead identifying potential energy efficiency measures for customers
  • A greater level of consulting services and more awareness raising (e.g. information campaigns)
  • Removing the 40 percent quota for budgetary measures
  • Broadening the range of methods to enable the eligibility of action taken.

Further information

Your contact person

Yolande Kyoni
Yolande Kyoni

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