That was the message told to those attending the EREC 2011 – European Renewable Energy Policy Conference, 23 – 24 May in Brussels. The conference on Monday was told that energy efficiency is the ‘most economic way’ of reducing emissions in the short term.
The EU wants a 20 per cent increase in energy saving by 2020 although the commission admits that, currently, it is well short of meeting that target. It is also seeking a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade.
The conference heard that, in Europe, buildings are responsible for 40 per cent of energy consumption and 36 per cent of CO2 emissions and represent the most ‘cost-effective’ way for countries to meet the EU targets.
The event also heard from the owner of the Empire State Building in New York, Anthony Malkin. He said, ‘through various measures the Empire State Building has increased in energy efficiency by 38 per cent.’
Malkin then said that ‘when the upgrade project is complete in 2013 it will be among the top 10 per cent of all office buildings in the US for energy efficiency.’ ‘By lowering operating costs and improving comfort, the Empire State Building will become more profitable,’ said Malkin.