Europe moves to cut energy use

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The European Union is hoping to reduce energy use across member states by up to 20%.

But it wants countries to volunteer to cut energy use, which has drawn criticism from environmental campaigners.

The move comes alongside current Europe-wide drives to shift towards renewable energy sources and cut emissions.

The EU originally wanted mandatory targets for cutting energy use - but that was opposed by Germany.

The new directive instead asks European governments to volunteer to meet the targets.

As part of a raft of measures, the EU also wants energy suppliers to help cut consumer's energy use  by encouraging them to use less power and be more energy-efficient. If implemented, that would mean cheaper gas and electricity across the continent, but would reduce sales for suppliers by 1.5% year on year.

United Press International also reports that Governments are also being encouraged to improve energy efficiency across three percent of their public buildings every year.

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