Lightbulbs, old and new Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Energy efficiency can create jobs

A European Commission ban on 60 watt light bulbs came into effect today, as we’re told we must make ourselves 20 per cent more energy efficient by 2020.

IRELAND IMPORTS OVER 80 per cent of what we consume in energy – if we can reduce that, we will grow the economy and create jobs.

That’s the message from a panel of experts attending a conference on energy efficiency and job creation, hosted by the European Commission in Ireland.

It comes on the day 60 watt light bulbs are phased out across the EU, to be replaced by more efficient alternatives.

The EC says European families can cut CO2 emissions by 15 million tonnes a year if they change all the light bulbs in their homes – that’s the equivalent of taking seven million cars off the road.

The conference is being held to discuss plans to realise an EU agreement making member states 20 per cent more energy efficient than they were in 2005, by 2020.

Speaking at the Conference in Dundalk today, Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Pat Rabbitte, said energy efficiency was an area that can contribute to economic growth through new jobs and investment.

The Minister said “Energy efficiency is an area of increasing investment and innovation in Ireland.”

Barbara Nolan, Head of the European Commission Representation in Ireland, said any plan to tackle the amount of energy we import will have to include renovating homes and buildings and harnessing smart technologies.

MEP Mairead McGuinness and TV’s Duncan Stewart were among those in attendance at the conference.

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