The European Commission adopted a Green Paper on Energy Efficiency this week. Increasing oil prices and the prospect of having 70% of its energy needs covered by imports by 2030, forces the European Union to start discussions on how the energy demand can be gradually reduced.

The Green Paper lists a number of options with the goal of saving 20% of energy by 2020 in a cost effective way. The cornerstones of the published recommendations are built on changes in consumer behaviour and energy efficiency technologies. The potential savings would allow the EU to save an estimated ?60 billion on its energy bill. This should in return spark investments in economy and strengthen the lead of the European industry.

"This energy efficiency initiative will help Europe achieve two fundamental goals of the Lisbon Strategy: creating more growth and better jobs. It will also help Europe meet its Kyoto commitments", said Commissioner Andris Piebalgs in charge of energy.

"The European Union needs to explore all the possible avenues to reach the goal of 20% savings" Source: press release of the European Union ()

The latest version of the Commission's Green Paper on Energy Efficiency, which was adopted by the Commission 22 June, can be found at the following link:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/energy/efficiency/doc/2005_06_green_paper_text_en.pdf

The Commission has posed a number of questions for public debate, which can found on the Commission's website at:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/energy/efficiency/doc/public_consultation_en.pdf