The EU’s total energy consumption has declined due to EU energy saving initiatives.
The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre released a report which revealed that in 2014 there were 1,061 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) consumed in the EU. This decreased from 2000 where 1,133 Mtoe was used, meaning that energy consumption is already lower than the 2020 target of 1,086 Mtoe.
This is as a result of a number of energy efficiency initiatives that the EU has introduced in recent years. These methods include energy labelling for domestic appliances, co-generation and the energy performance of buildings.
With buildings making up nearly 40% of energy consumption in the EU, focusing on improving the energy performance of buildings is key to saving energy. In terms of the building sector, according to the report from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, energy consumption depends on aspects such as the building materials and the lifestyles of the residents of the building. The EU’s residential sector has seen a 9.52% decrease in energy consumption. The report proposes that one of the main reasons for the decrease in this sector is due to more energy efficient appliances being used.
Energy consumption in the EU is predicted to sustain a steady decrease until 2040. However, this cannot be presumed -energy analysts have raised concerns that the UK could potentially contribute to reversing this trend due to Brexit. If the major energy consuming sectors in the EU (transport, services, residential and industry) fully comply with all EU energy efficiency legislation this will help keep energy consumption low.