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No low-carbon economy without energy-efficient heating, cooling and refrigeration


05 Jun 2012



Brussels, 5 June 2012: More than 100 participants from EU institutions, industry, academia and NGO’s attended this year’s annual general meeting of EPEE, the European association of manufacturers of refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment. At the heart of the debate: energy efficiency, the links between European energy and climate legislation and the sector’s great potential to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

The debate showed that energy efficiency is essential to close the 10% gap when it comes to reaching Europe’s energy saving targets whilst at the same time helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to achieve the objective of a low-carbon economy by 2050. 

Energy efficiency is not just a buzzword for our sector, we can provide the solutions to get to a low carbon economy said Andrea Voigt, EPEE’s Director-General.

The current economic climate, however, overshadows environmentally motivated legislation such as the Energy Efficiency Directive. Andrea Voigt: “EPEE supports the principle of mandatory targets on energy efficiency as proposed in the draft Energy Efficiency Directive. Member States need to understand that even if the initial investment may be higher, the reduced operating cost will ensure that the overall lifecycle cost will turn out to be much lower. That’s particularly true for energy efficient technologies such as heat pumps.”

On the other hand, Paul Hodson, Head of Unit in DG Energy underlined: “Even though much of the Commission’s focus has been on the a successful conclusion of the Energy Efficiency Directive, we would not be able to make progress without  the Eco-Design Directive. This framework is an imperative to reach the energy efficiency targets. It shows how a comprehensive approach towards products that are part of our daily life can save energy, money, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” 

Expectations are just as high when it comes to the future of fluorinated gases and all eyes are on revision proposal of the F-gas Regulation in the autumn of this year. Whilst there are very diverging views on the best way forward, stakeholders agree on the absence of a “one-size-fits-all” solution to replace f-gases that meets energy efficiency, safety and affordability requirements.

Ray Gluckman, Technical Director at the British research institute SKM Enviros rounded up the discussions between Member States’ representatives Rolf Engelhardt (Germany), Jean Clarke (Ireland), the contractor body AREA, the International Institute of Refrigeration IIR, the Environmental Investigation Agency EIA and EPEE with a positive message: “Lower GWP alternatives to the HFCs used today have already been introduced where it makes sense in terms of energy efficiency, safety and affordability. A phase down would give the right stimulus to further accelerate this tendency.“



Note to the editor:

The European Partnership for Energy and the Environment (EPEE) represents the refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump industry in Europe. Founded in the year 2000, EPEE’s membership is composed of 40 member companies and national associations across Europe realising a turnover of over 30 billion Euros and employing more than 200,000 people in Europe.  As an expert association, EPEE is supporting safe, environmentally and economically viable technologies with the objective of promoting a better understanding of the sector in the EU and contributing to the development of effective European policies. For more information please visit:

A video of the EPEE AGM will be uploaded shortly on the EPEE website.

EPEE – European Partnership for Energy and the Environment

Avenue des Arts, 46

1000 Brussels

Tel : +32 (0) 2 732 07 40

Fax : +32 (0) 2 732 71 76

Email :

Website :