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Full articles out of AIE E-Newsletter January-March 2016 > PDF-version

A warm thanks for all your kind messages.

Source: Evelyne Schellekens/ Picture AFP/Knack

Brussels in tears

It is with a heavy heart that we all learned of the terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday. At the AIE secretariat, we are safe and well as well as our families! We would like to warmly thank all of you who send us their thoughts and messages of support and courage!

These attacks are not only a threat to Belgium but to the whole of Europe, to our industry, to our way of life and our freedoms. Our sincere thoughts and sympathy are with the victims, their close ones and to all those affected. Let’s keep our heads high and be united!

Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means, you don’t let fear stop you! Bethany Hamilton.

02_01 AIE responses to EPBD/EED and RED and follow-up.

AIE's response to consultation EPBD/EED and REDII

In the Energy Union Strategy adopted on 25 February 2015, the Commission has launched the Review of Directive 2012/27/EU on Energy Efficiency (EED) and the Review of Directive 2010/31/EU on Energy Performance on Buildings (EPBD).

As the Commission had yet announced in 2015 and reiterated recently, 2016 will be the year of delivery! It is therefore no surprise that both reviews are foreseen for adoption before the end of 2016.

The review processes are supported by comprehensive stakeholder consultations, to which the AIE Energy Task Force responded in due time. The AIE positions /responses are available in the ‘Member only’ section in the Policy area's Energy Efficiency EED / EPDB  on the AIE website as well as the response on the new Renewable Directive REDII within the Policy area Renewable Energy. An analysis of the European Commission of all contributions received to the online questionnaire on EPBD is available here. Equally the draft report of the Committee of the Parliament on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) on the implementation of the EED that should have been discussed in the week of Monday 14 March is available for your information here. The discussion has however been postponed due to the important Summit on the refugee crisis and the deal Europe-Turkey.

The AIE participated to a high-level stakeholder event on 14 March 2016 to discuss the findings of these evaluations and possible policy options and ways forward for the EED and the EPBD. The meeting opened by Mr Dominique Ristori, Director General for Energy presented different policy options and was a way for the Commission to collect the stakeholders view on them. Main conclusions of the day were: If we are serious about the COP21 engagements and targets, we need to go further and faster, increase renovation of buildings, implement energy efficient measures and ensure the quality of the performance certificates.

> The presentations of the meeting are available here 

> Action: The AIE Energy Task Force has planned to meet on 14 April next to discuss the next actions to undertake. Positions of AIE will be prepared and presented in person in the following months to the EU Commission, who is planning to present their first draft texts in September.

    02_02 EU Stakeholders meeting on the Primary Energy Conversion Factor

    Primary Conversion Factor

    The AIE attended in January the EU Stakeholders forum on the review of the default primary energy factor (PEF) in the framework of the Review of the Energy Efficiency Directive. The Energy Efficiency Directive has set a target to reduce the EU primary energy consumption in 2020 by 20%.

    Further to pressure and criticism of several stakeholders coordinated by the AIE, the European Commission contracted a study in 2015 to consultants to review and explore adequate ways to determine the value of PEF for electricity and eventually other fuels. The aim of the exercise is to update the value of the PEF and to know whether the default factor of 2,5 is still relevant.

    The consultants presented their working papers (available at the AIE secretariat) explaining the methodology, criteria and their weighting to evaluate different parameters and options for the PEF. Though the extensive and complex study has generally been appreciated, a lot of questions were raised such as the scope of the exercise, its impact on other policies, the weighting of the different criteria and many others. Thereafter, a constructive and interesting discussion on the possible different options took place.

    > Action: The AIE gathered the 8 different European associations that yet worked together on this topic during a most fruitful conference call to share positions and common comments. This issue is certainly to be followed.

    02_03 Communication on Labour Mobility Package & Posting of Workers Directive

    Posting of Workers

    The Posting of Workers Directive, adopted in 1996, puts in place a number of safeguards to protect the social rights of employees being sent to work to another member state. However, the Commission has published on the 8th of March a Communication on the Labour Mobility package which will launch a public consultation on social rights and the revision of the Posting of Workers Directive. Various issues remain indeed to be solved: posted workers are still hired under lower wages and experience exploitation.

    Within the European Parliament, several political groups have yet expressed their position. The S&D Group calls for further improvement to the directive: “we want to ensure equal rights at the workplace, better labor inspection control and clear responsibilities in the subcontracting chain“.

    The EPP group (European People’s Party) anticipated the Commission’s proposal in a position paper, highlighting the Social Market Economy, or ‘a Market Economy with a human face’, where competitiveness and welfare instruments go hand in hand. "Any proposed measures must be clear, proportionate, non-discriminatory and justified and respect the different wage-setting mechanisms in the Member States. The announced revision should only touch upon the necessary unsolved elements in order to ensure a just treatment of workers and a level playing field for business. A revised Directive must continue to facilitate the freedom to provide services.”

    The EPP Group calls on all Member States to quickly implement the Enforcement Directive on the Posting of Workers and to consequently analyse the impact of its implementation. Stricter controls to combat and prevent abuse with improved cross-border cooperation between accountable inspection services and electronic exchange of information and data are a must to make it work.

    > Action: EIO, the Swedish AIE member association has yet been very active with its national Employers association to draw the Commissioner M. Thyssen’s attention on the lack of implementation or proper application of the existing Directive and the effects on national wage bargaining systems. We will very soon come back on this issue!

    AIE technical experts and World Skills Europe

    Euroskills 2016 GothenburgWith the EuroSkills 2016 ahead, the preparations for the largest European Skills Competition held in Gothenburg (Sweden) from 1-3 December are well on track. In the category 18 ‘Electrical installations’, 18 countries have registered a competitor.

    EU PLATFORM AIE-WSE EXPERTSEU Platform AIE-WSE Experts meeting at AIE

    To coordinate and prepare the competition, the AIE organized on 10 March a meeting of the Platform of the national technical experts of the Competition ‘Electrical installations’. With the participation of Adrian Sommer of VSEI, our Swiss member association and Chief expert for Euroskills 2016 in Gothenburg, the technical experts went through the different tasks of the competition, the material, the theoretical test and the rating system.

    Adrian Sommer also met with Belgian representatives to explain the ‘Dual-Lehren’ education system in Switzerland.

    During a meeting with the new Secretary General and the new President of World Skills Europe (WSE), Jos de Goey and Hubert Romer, the AIE and WSE agreed together to guarantee for a better visibility to the AIE during the competition, offering more possibilities for networking and the AIE to lead the exchange platform of the electrical technical experts.

    > Action: At the WSE General Assembly on April 19-20th at which all WorldSkills Europe members will be present, the AIE will participate to the Strategic and Marketing Communication meeting as to guarantee a maximum involvement and visibility of AIE.

    > More info on the AIE-WSE EU Experts platform here.

      03_02 AIE @ Light and Building

    AIE @ Light and BuildingIn the week of 14 March, Light and Building attracted about 216,000 trade fair visitors (2014: 211,000) out of which 49 percent came from abroad (2014: 47 percent) amongst which several representatives of the AIE and AIE member associations. Evelyne Schellekens, Secretary General of AIE had the pleasure to meet with the Austrian, Swiss, Luxemburg and Hungarian AIE members but also with different representatives from the electrical wholesalers, lighting industry and the Director of the Brand management of L&B.

    The AIE Policy Coordination Committee met to discuss several internal AIE issues and the technical task force had a fruitful and interesting meeting focusing on the theme: light!

    Several speakers were invited to the meeting to speak about OLEDs, human centric lighting, connected lighting solutions, standardisation, energy management….

    The main conclusion was that there is no doubt anymore that the future is all about connectivity, Internet of things and digitalisation.

    The world is moving fast and the technology is there, offering a lot of business challenges and new opportunities which means that business as usual will certainly not be an option for the future!

    Electrical safety and an update on the current situation and lack of renovation of electrical installation in dwellings will equally be part of the actions for 2016, results of which will be presented in Autumn to a European audience. More on this in due time.

    ZVEH President Lothar Hellmann explained that the new E-House shows how a building with intelligent networking and automation solutions can be made more energy efficient. The improvement of energy efficiency went along with an increase of comfort and safety. He stressed that the electrical contractors with their expertise and knowledge play in this market segment a crucial role as first contact point!

    Finally, Thomas Carlsson (on the right side) AIE President ad Interim was invited to present the nominees of the KNX award International-Europe and in front of the thousand attendees handed over the beautiful award to the winner.

    An exciting and inspiring week!!

      03_03 Technical news

    Not far from the House of Commons in London two streetlamps will soon be erected. These are no ordinary lights. The manufacturer Monopoles unveiled at Light and Building last week, convert sunlight to streetlight via photovoltaic (PV) panels. The energy they generate can then be stored in a battery and used during the night to power the lamps.

    The “zero-emission streetlight” eliminates electricity costs. But not only do they generate enough energy to light themselves, they create a surplus which can be sold to the National Grid, potentially making millions of pounds for Britain’s local authorities, for which running streetlights costs an estimated £300m a year. Many councils are now dimming their streetlights or switching them off, raising fears of an increase in accidents and crime.

    There are 7 million streetlights in the UK. Scotia claims that if they were all replaced with lamps equipped with solar technology they would generate more than 4 terrawatt hours of energy a year. That would cut the UK’s CO2 output by more than 2m metric tons a year.

    “Instead of being a drain on the National Grid and a huge expense for local authorities, Monopoles turn streetlights into mini-power stations,” said Steven Scott, Scotia’s chief designer. “They’ve already proved to be hugely successful in our pilots in Copenhagen, Abu Dhabi and Riyadh and we anticipate demand will be high from around the world. A small Monopole can be erected by just two people, without the need for machinery, in under five minutes.”

    In 2014, the International Energy Agency issued two reports claiming that the sun could be the world’s largest source of electricity by 2050, ahead of fossil fuels, wind, hydro and nuclear.

    Energy Watch Group, an independent, non-profit global network of scientists and parliamentarians, suggests that, as the cost of PV panels continues to decline, it will stimulate growth in the number of installations of the technology worldwide. “At the same time more financial investors are turning their back on fossil and nuclear projects in favour of renewable energies,” the group argues.

      03_04 Dyson developing an electric car, according to government documents

    (Guardian , 23 Mar 16) The company last year refused to confirm they were working on a green vehicle, but a government plan on infrastructure suggests they are. Dyson is developing an electric car at its headquarters in Wiltshire with help from public money, according to government documents.

     The company, which makes a range of products that utilise the sort of highly efficient motors needed for an electric car such as vacuum cleaners, hand dryers and bladeless fans, last year refused to rule out rumours it was building one. But on Wednesday, the government appeared to have accidentally disclosed Dyson is working on one, along with other big companies outside of the automotive industry,such as Apple. Dyson recently reported profits up 20% in 2015, driven by strong growth in China, and said it plans to invest £1bn in battery technology over the next five years. Last October, Dyson bought solid-state battery company, Sakti3, for $90m, which founder Sir James Dyson said had “developed a breakthrough in battery technology.”

    Please don’t forget to take a look on the AIE website for future AIE meetings in 2016.

    04_01 SAVE THE DATES

    > 14.04.2016 | ETF meeting [ETF] | Brussels

    > 12.05.2016 | AIE General Secretaries Committee [GSC] [GSC] | Brussels

    > 26.05.2016 | Policy Coordination Committee PCC] | Brussels

    > 20-24.06.2016 EU PVSEC | Munich, Germany

    The 32nd EU PVSEC takes place from Monday to Friday, at ICM - International Congress Center, in Munich, Germany. The experts of the PV solar branch meet in Munich to discuss new concepts, trends and developments in science and industry. The EU PVSEC provides the most inspiring platform for dialogue and information exchange across the World. More info:

    > 08-10.09.2016  AIE COUNCIL OF DELEGATES | Oslo, Norway

    Oslo, Norway – The invitations will be send and web information will be provided by the end of April

    > 01-03.12.2016 1-3 .12.2016 EUROSKILLS | Gothenburg, Sweden

    On 1–3 December 2016, young people up to the age of 25 from all over Europe will meet in Gothenburg to compete for the European title in vocational skills. This is the first time that the competition will be held in Scandinavia. EuroSkills is Europe’s biggest skills competition and aims to improve the quality, status and attraction of vocational training.

    So many member countries of AIE will have young, sharply skilled representation again, competing in the single trade of ‘Electrical Installations’! So surely save the date and visit the competition booth!

    AIE is associate member of WorldSkills Europe and reports lively on the competition through Blog and Facebook. View our info pages at the AIE website.

    More info on the competitions’ official site:

    > OTHER EUROPEAN EVENTS | see our AIE webpage

    Check new and related publications at our AIE library on ISSUU


    AIE members and other related organisations from the electrical value chain are invited to inform us on actual (max 2 years old) interesting articles, brochures, scientific reports that can be added to our AIE online Library!

    European Association of Electrical Contractors “ELECTRICITY SURROUNDS US – TOUCHES EVERY ONE OF US, EVERY DAY, EVERYWHERE."

    Who we are: The AIE – the European Association of electrical contracting companies - represents through its 18 national member associations about 137,000 specialist contracting companies employing about 1,300,000 workers in the EU-countries and beyond. The AIE represents companies from all sizes, the big majors and a majority of small and medium size enterprises [SME]. AIE member companies have an in-depth knowledge and high-quality expert skills to carry out all kind of electrical engineering and infrastructure works [high, medium and low voltage]. The overall turnover of the sector is approximately 158 billion Euros.

    Monitoring the EU agenda/Directives relevant for the electrical sector, the AIE points out the key strategies and main priorities for the modern electrical contractor. With the increasing complexity of technical installations, the private consumer and house owners are becoming more and more dependent on the knowledge and creativity of the electrical contractor. He is an expert adviser who is able to explain to the client the possibilities and advantages of new technology in a technical and environmental way. Kindly visit our website: or contact us at

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