Letter signed by 19 industry and enviromental bodies calls for government to accept EU energy reduction targets

The Royal Institute of British Architects has criticised the government’s “confusing” and “unambitious” approach to energy policy because of secretary of state for energy Ed Davey’s opposition to binding EU targets on UK emissions.

The government is currently in talks to negotiate a European Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) which currently proposes imposing a 20% savings target, which would need to be met by 2020. But Davey opposes this.

A letter signed by a further RIBA and 18 other organisations including the UK Green Building Council, Knauf Insulation and the Association for the Conservation of Energy said: “The EED is key to maximising the full potential of energy efficiency, reducing emissions, saving money and creating jobs.

“The EED, with binding targets and measures, is necessary both to ensure that the EU meets its 20% energy saving target and to provide certainty for business and investors, creating opportunities for British companies, as well as creating hundreds of thousands of local jobs.”

It urged the government to accept the targets, back ambitious renovations targets for public buildings and oppose moves by some member states to have past actions counted towards meeting the targets.

Anna Scott-Marshall, head of external affairs at RIBA, said:  “The coalition government’s current position on the EED is confusing and causing us some concern. In particular, the coalition appears to be pushing for an unambitious target on public buildings renovations.

“This does not help lead the market for energy efficiency renovations, and leaves a large energy bill for the taxpayer.”