Don’t waste the current energy price crisis!

9 Dec 2021 | Blog post | by Kees van der Leun

If I were in the government of an EU member state exposed to natural gas scarcity and very high energy prices, I'd use the momentum to put in place a massive energy efficiency drive, with short-, medium-, and long-term elements. Never waste a good crisis. 

Such a program would address all energy demand sectors, in particular homes and large buildings, but also industry and transport. In all of these sectors national policy can make a real difference, on top and ahead of EU policies stemming from the Fit for 55 package now under negotiation.

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The energy efficiency drive would combine quick wins with structural measures taking a bit more time. Long term commitments would form the basis for a whole new industry;

the emergence of big, dynamic, growing markets for energy efficiency solutions would trigger competition and innovation in companies. The country would become a hotspot for domestic and international suppliers, and this in turn would make practical technical jobs popular again. 


Right from the start, an improvement plan for energy monitoring would be implemented. In my own country, the national statistics agency doesn't really know the electricity consumption of households anymore: it lost track since some grid companies subtract residential PV and others don't. You can't drive forward a serious energy efficiency program, constantly learning and improving from doing, without proper, robust, and validated monitoring of what's happening, at an adequate level of detail. 


And how to generate enthusiasm in society without being able to properly report on progress? Because that's what we need. Without it, you get moaning about high prices and improbable stories about renewables causing natural gas scarcity, instead of joint action to do something about it.

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