Buildings are major consumers of energy, responsible for 40 per cent of final energy consumption in the European Community alone. EC research has indicated that by improving energy efficiency, carbon emissions from buildings and related energy costs could be reduced by 42 per cent. Given the significance of public procurement in Europe and that approximately 40 per cent of the procurement budgets of local authorities are spent on buildings, promoting energy efficiency of public buildings has an important role to play in contributing to this potential.
Public bodies also buy huge amounts of energy consuming equipment, such as computers, monitors and printers. Again here, buying energy efficient models can make major reductions in energy consumption.
Following liberalisation in the electricity sector, public bodies are also now able to choose their electricity supplier. With the public sector responsible for around 7 per cent European electricity consumption switching to green electricity can have a huge impact in reducing CO2 emissions.