SMEs key to Europe’s decarbonisation efforts

New H2020 institutional project will tackle policy gaps, propelling Europe’s private sector to energy efficiency.

BRUSSELS, 13 January 2021 – The Horizon 2020 funded project, LEAP4SME – Energy audit policies to drive energy efficiency – aims to enhance effective policies for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to undergo energy audits and implement cost-effective, recommended energy-saving measures. 

According to The International Energy Agency (IEA), SMEs account for at least 13% of global final energy consumption annually and energy efficiency improvements are to provide 40% of the reduction in energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over the next 20 years. However, investment in energy efficiency is expected to fall 9% in 2020, making effective energy efficiency policies all the more urgent.  

As Europe is home to 25 million SMEs –  making up 99% of all businesses – energy efficiency policies for SMEs are key to meeting the targets set out in the EU Green Deal.

“We aim to support policy makers in improving the current approach to energy audit policies in SMEs, in line with each country specificity and under the main goals of the European Green Deal.”

Enrico Biele, Project Coordinator, ENEA, Italy

The LEAP4SME consortium, coordinated by ENEA, comprises nine national energy agencies from Austria, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom, covering 41% of SMEs in Europe and providing the impetus needed to address country irregularities in policy. 

LEAP4SME will mobilise and inform private stakeholders of existing opportunities through trainings and workshops in each partner country. This in turn will facilitate discourse with policy makers, resulting in clear, effective policy recommendations.

By mapping national energy audit programmes and incorporating energy use assessments by sector, LEAP4SME will develop innovative energy audit policies with key stakeholders across Europe, helping Europe take the steps it needs to facilitate a more energy efficient future.

Please click here to read the press release in Greek or Polish.