Europe's High Level Group on Competitiveness, Energy and the Environment (HLG) was established to "explore ways to unleash the growth potential of product industries by further integrating competitiveness, energy and environmental policies." But when the group issued its June 2nd report, according to European appliance association CECED, it failed to recognize that markets need to be transformed to promote the diffusion of existing energy efficient technology.
"It is sad to see that the High Level Group has completely missed the point," said Luigi Meli, director-general of CECED, "The challenge now is not to promote new dynamic efficiency standards, as the High Level Group demands, but rather to accelerate the diffusion of efficient appliances into European homes, replacing old gear."
Only this, CECED said in a statement, will turn European investment in "energy efficiency" into real "energy savings" in Europe, and the HLG thus ignored huge, untapped potential that could come from a broader range of market mechanisms to promote competitiveness, achieve energy savings and contribute to Kyoto goals.
The European appliance producers represented by CECED said the HLG has missed an opportunity to introduce innovative thinking into the energy efficiency debate.
"At least as far as our sector is concerned, the short-sightedness displayed in the energy efficiency recommendations puts the HLG's credibility into question," CECED said.
The organization said European governments must take the lead in ensuring that older, less-efficient appliances in use all across Europe are soon replaced with newer and much-more efficient products.
"This will result in massive energy savings and promote the competitiveness of European industry," the association said. "CECED estimates that 22 metric tons of CO2 emission reductions could be achieved by replacing 188 million outdated appliances that are currently in use in Europe with new energy efficient appliances. Calling for new standards - as the HLG does - is inadequate when the existing cutting-edge gear is already available but still on the shop shelves."
CECED represents the household appliance industry in Europe. Direct Member companies include:
BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte
CECED's member associations cover:
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