Cutting dependence from Russian gas is an immediate necessity. Meanwhile, permanently moving away from fossil
fuels and gas is a key EU objective, strategically adopted in 2019 as part of the EU Green Deal. This major transition is
already initiated in gas-abundant countries – like the Netherlands – that decided to stop relying on gas for heating as
they recognise the risks linked to fossil fuel supply and its incompatibility with the climate targets.
To achieve the needed decarbonisation of buildings, decision makers must approach the problem from the perspective
of not only removing fossil gas from the system, but of thinking about creating a more integrated energy system
overall. Starting with end-use efficiency and demand response measures allows for the needed demand reduction
and flexibility possibilities that facilitate greater electrification and reveal where the use of alternative gases may be needed. Electrifying heat increase end-use efficiency and is an addition to improving the building fabric to reduce heat energy need.
This policy briefing, written by Enefirst’s partner RAP, gives guidance on how the Energy Efficiency First principle can facilitate the development of an energy system that is aligned with net-zero climate goals.