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    EU adopts ambitious energy efficiency plan
    European Parliament votes in favor of policies meant to push energy efficiency across bloc's member nations

    The European Parliament voted on favor of new energy efficiency legislation designed to help the bloc's member nations to reduce energy consumption by 17% by 2020.


    The EU energy efficiency directive was approved by a vote of 632 to 25, with 19 abstentions.


    The move could save the EU up to $75 billion annually through reduced fuel imports, and meet greenhouse gas reduction targets.


    The policies demand the EU nations install new energy efficiency legislation that will require all large businesses to undertake energy use audits.


    The various governments would have 18 months to transpose the new legislation into national law.


    The directive aims to push advanced energy efficiency targets for public sector buildings. Also, the new regulations demand that utilities companies will be required to demonstrate that they are delivering annual energy savings between 2014 and 2020 equivalent to 1.5% of their annual energy sales to customers.


    Additionally, all large businesses will be made to undertake officially approved energy use audits every four years.


    The bill is also likely to crank up pressure on the European Commission and Parliament to finalize long-awaited plans to tackle the low price of carbon in the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS).





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    New energy efficiency (Illustration)
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