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EU energy savings grants used wastefully: Auditors

Published on Jan 14, 2013 11:57 PM

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - EU funds to spur energy saving have gone to waste, with some projects so inefficient that it would take longer than the lifetime of an improved building to recover the costs, a European Court of Auditors report said on Monday.

The Court of Auditors, which is responsible for checking the finances of EU institutions, said payback time for projects averaged half a century.

Energy savings were debated fiercely for much of 2012, when the European Union agreed on a new law to improve the bloc's record on using less energy through measures such as better building insulation. The aim is to cut bills, reduce carbon emissions and curb dependence on fossil fuel imports.

Without the 2012 law, the European Union was expected to meet only about half of its goal to cut energy use by 20 per cent, compared with projected levels, by 2020.

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