Reduction of energy consumption and enhanced energy efficiency are key elements of the energy transition. We make a contribution to achieving the efficiency goals targeted by government through new technologies such as smart meters, and new business models encompassing services focused on energy savings.
The European Union intends to reduce energy consumption by 20% in 2020 compared with the projected development in Europe (reference path). The EU Energy Efficiency Directive adopted in November 2012 requires member states to put in place measures for generating annual sav-ings amounting to 1.5% of their annual energy sales.
However, the approach of individual EU states is not regulated uniformly. While a statutory requirement in the United Kingdom is to install 53 million smart meters by 2019, the regulatory framework conditions for smart metering in Germany are as yet not at all clear. However, the installation of Smart Meters is mandatory in Germany for new buildings and from an annual consumption of 6,000 kWh. The expectations of consumers are rising irrespective of the statutory framework conditions. They expect us to offer products and services that will help them to save energy and cut costs, while also increasing their standard of living at the same time. This new situation presents us with innovative business opportunities.
RWE itself is also confronted with energy efficiency challenges. The efficient use of fuels at our power plants is a key element in our climate strategy (Climate Protection). However, we also have to reduce our own energy consumption, for example in our vehicle fleet and in our administrative buildings. The associated CO2 emissions account for only around 0.1% of the total emissions we are responsible for emitting, because the biggest percentage is caused by generating electricity. We must act as a good role model in order to boost the credibility of our business.