Energy poverty and air quality: top executives highlight to the Polish Government how EU energy efficiency directives can help solve these social and environmental issues.

Press release

Energy poverty and air quality: top executives highlight to the Polish Government how EU energy efficiency directives can help solve these social and environmental issues.

Warsaw, 23 May 2017 — Polish business representatives who are members of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), met today with the Undersecretary of State from the Polish Ministry for Energy, Mr. Michał Kurtyka, to urge the Government to grasp the full social, environmental and economic potentials that can be derived from the current revisions of key EU energy efficiency directives.
 
Because of its key role among Visegrad countries and in the Council, the position of the Polish Government influences the ambition of the revisions of both the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), which are currently being analysed by Member States. The meeting with the Undersecretary of State takes place one month before the last Energy Council under the Maltese EU Presidency, which is trying to seal an agreement on the EED and EPBD files on 26 June.
 
Ahead of today’s meeting, Monica Frassoni, EU-ASE President, said: “In Poland, our companies have production sites which create hundreds of local jobs, stimulate exports and contribute to national economic growth. Energy efficiency is a business opportunity that needs to be boosted by a cost-effective EU binding target of 40% for 2030 to guarantee security for private and public investments. Energy efficiency also provides the answer to two major political problems in Poland: energy poverty and air quality.
 
Energy poverty in Poland concerns 9.6% of households (approximately 4.4 million people), largely due to the low energy efficiency of buildings. With regard to air quality, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), a staggering 33 out of the 50 most polluted cities in Europe are in Poland. This is due to the fact that the Polish energy mix relies mostly on coal, the main energy source, which generates more than 80% of the national electricity and is also used to heat homes. This coal use has led to very high levels of harmful pollutants, especially when temperatures drop in winter.
 
Ahead of today’s meeting, that took place at the Ministry of the Treasury in Warsaw, Bogdan Ślęk, Government Affairs Director, CEE Lighting, Philips Lighting Poland, said: “We count on the Polish government to secure an ambitious EU Energy Package, driving growth and innovation in Europe. Technology is available today. For example, switching to connected lighting systems in buildings can save up to 80% of electricity used.
 
Adam Jedrzejczak, Regional CEO, Danfoss, added: “Today, the economic cost of energy consumption in Poland related to buildings sector exceeds 70 bn PLN which represents about 4% of GDP annual. This shows what great potential for the Polish economy can be released by introducing energy efficiency technologies in this sector. The revision of the EPBD is a unique opportunity to reduce the energy demand of the building stock and improve air quality at the same time. A priority is to tap into the enormous potential that lies in the control of energy flows inside buildings.

Business representatives highlighted to Mr. Kurtyka key policy recommendations as identified by EU-ASE companies in a Position Paper on the Clean Energy for All Europeans package and the revisions of both EED and EPBD, which are intended to inform policy-makers throughout the co-decision procedure.
 
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Notes to the editor
EU-ASE was established in December 2010 by some of Europe’s leading multinational companies. The Alliance creates a platform from which our companies (1E, Danfoss, Ingersoll Rand, Kingspan, Knauf Insulation, Oracle Utilities, Philips Lighting, Saint-Gobain, Schneider Electric, Siemens and Veolia) can join with politicians and thought leaders to ensure the voice of energy efficiency is heard from across the business and political community.
EU-ASE members have operations across the 28 Member States of the European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.