According to the rapporteur, the adoption by the Commission of the non-legislative Energy Union package as a “step towards a better-integrated energy market across the 28 Member States and as a framework for wider debate on current key challenges in the area of energy policy”. Within this context, he regrets the absence of references to local authorities in key areas dealt with by the Energy Union Package, such as renewable energy, innovation and technology, security of supply and external relations.  He also asks to be more closely involved in the work of the Commission, specifically in setting up a new initiative on “Financing for Smart Buildings” and as regards the measures to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings. The opinion recalls that the European electricity system is currently in transition and that the electricity market faces great challenges, not least with regards to declining wholesale market prices and infrastructure demands. The Covenant of Mayors is cited as best practice example of how local and regional authorities can be involved in energy policies through a system of multilevel governance. Lastly, the focus on consumers is welcomed by the rapporteur who believes that tackling energy poverty should be a European priority.

 

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