Ed Davey welcomes Energy Efficiency Directive amendments

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Energy secretary Ed Davey has acclaimed the changes to the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) that will allow member states of the EU to set their own energy efficiency targets.

In its original form, the EED was set to impose a mandatory set of energy efficiency targets across the EU member states - demanding a 20 per cent improvement.

Energy suppliers - including the big six energy companies - will also be expected to improve their energy efficiency levels under the directive - by 1.5 per cent each year from 2014 up until 202o; suppliers will also be able to take into account any improvements they've made from 2010, as well as any improvements made from 2020 to 2023.

The Guardian revealed that it is thought the UK was one of the main advocates for the changes to be made.

Davey, whilst denying that the UK had succeeded in watering down the agreement, stated: "The deal which has now been agreed is good for the UK and for the EU as a whole and maintains the EU's position as a global leader in tackling climate change.

"It signals a step-change in energy efficiency, and for the first time sets legally binding energy saving targets, which at a time of economic challenge will help improve the EU's competitiveness and boost growth.

"The UK played a central role in not only brokering a deal but also increasing its ambition," Mr Davey concluded.

However, the amendments to the directive have not been well-received by all quarters, with  Friends of the Earth arguing that efforts to promote energy efficiency had been undermined, attacking the UK Government's efforts.

Energy campaigner for the group, Dave Timms, stated: "The UK Government played a particularly significant role in weakening the directive by opposing an overall binding energy saving target and, at the last minute, insisting on loopholes so it could claim credit for old policies as a way of meeting its future obligation.

"Undermining European efforts to promote energy efficiency while proclaiming the benefits at home is both dishonest and damaging, especially from a self-proclaimed 'greenest government ever'," he added.

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