Last 4th of February, representatives from TESLA project were visiting the European Commission to speak about the project and the importance of energy issues in the rural and food sector. Severalmaterials from the project were delivered in these meetings, mainly the handbooks on energy efficiency in the different sectors.
The first meeting was held with the Director of the Rural Development Unit at DG AGRI. It was very interesting since they are looking for good examples of networking in the rural sector, in order to transfer technologies and best practices. In this sense, They were very interested in the involvement of associations of cooperative businesses, and besides the 110 SMEs audited. The role of the rural development within the Common Agricultural Policy is crutial since the investment in physical assets such as efficient boilers or IE3 motors are elegible for EU rural development funds.
During the afternoon, the TESLA team met members from the Cabinet of Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy. This Cabinet informed us about the keystone role that Energy Efficiency will have in the European policy on energy.
In fact, in a two days later speech, Commisisioner Arias Cañete quoted the three pillars of his commitment with the Energy efficiency:
First: a revision of the eco-design, labelling, buildings and energy efficiency directives, a new strategy on heating and cooling, and continuing leadership on efficient vehicles, including promotion of electro-mobility;
Second: greater and more effective use of available funds, including the Juncker Investment Initiative and regional and structural funds. In this respect the Commission will promote a Smart Cities and Communities initiative and will use the Covenant of Majors to its full potential; and
Third: the EU could do more to deliver all the potential benefits of improving the efficiency of buildings. Investments on insulation are amongst the most profitable ones for citizens and industry nowadays. Most of the work in these topics has to be done at national, regional and local level, but the Commission can play a strong role creating the ideal framework for progress, with a particular focus on the poorest citizens, in rented accommodation, and those in energy poverty.