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17. 3.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 82/55

Answer given by Mr Papoutsis on behalf of the Commission

(16 September 1997)

The Commission is following several lines of action to promote renewable energies.

Regarding the case evoked by the Honourable Member, several instruments devised to disseminate information
on Community programmes and renewable energy technologies are operating nationally and at regional level in
− the OPET (Organisations for the Promotion of Energy Technology) network, which includes the IDAE
(Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorro de la Energı́a) and the ICAEN (Institut Català d'Energia);
− the EnR (national energy agencies) network, which includes the IDAE;
− FEDERANE (Federation of regional energy agencies), which includes the ICAEN.

Catalonia also has a number of urban energy agencies which obtained Community support in setting themselves
up, including Maresme and the City of Barcelona.

The Commission also considers that the dissemination of information needs to be stepped up and improved, and
to that end has already begun work to develop a global information strategy for renewable energies. More
specifically, in response to Parliament's resolution on the Green Paper on renewable source of energy (1), it has
already started working towards setting up a single centre for the gathering and dissemination of information on
renewable energy.

(1) Doc COM(96) 576.

(98/C 82/100) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2315/97

by Anita Pollack (PSE) to the Commission
(3 July 1997)

Subject: Appliance energy efficiency

What action has the Commission taken to develop mandatory standards for domestic appliance energy

Answer given by Mr Papoutsis on behalf of the Commission

(16 September 1997)

The Commission has developed a strategy to improve efficiency of domestic appliances, which includes
measures concerning both manufacturers and consumers. The Commission has taken action to establish
minimum efficiency standards for all major energy using domestic appliances.

The Commission started this process with refrigerators and freezers, the single largest consuming domestic
appliances. Following a Commission proposal, Directive 96/57/EC (1) of the Parliament and of the Council of
3 September 1996 on energy efficiency requirements for household electric refrigerators, freezers and
combinations thereof was adopted to enforce mandatory standards as from September 1999.

For washing machines, televisions and videorecorders, following studies and expert recommendations, it was
decided that the best measure to achieve efficiency improvements was for manufacturers to negotiate agreements
to improve efficiency of appliances put on the market. Two agreements, currently under negotiation, will result
in a efficiency improvement of 20% and start on 1 January 1998. The Commission is of the opinion that these
agreements will be more effective than directives for minimum efficiency standards for these appliances, given
the high flexibility offered by negotiated agreements and the short time to adopt them.
C 82/56 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 17. 3. 98

For other appliances, such as dishwashers, electric water heaters and air conditioners, the Commission is
carrying out studies to identify efficiency improvement potentials and the best ways (standards or negotiated
agreements) to achieve the improvements.

(1) OJ L 236, 18.9.1996.

(98/C 82/101) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2316/97

by James Nicholson (I-EDN) to the Commission
(3 July 1997)

Subject: Groundwater Directive 80/68/EEC

A public inquiry was held recently which was concerned with a planning application to locate a thirteen million
cubic metre capacity landfill waste disposal site adjacent to Larne Lough, Co. Antrim. The applicants indicated
that substances listed under the Groundwater Directive 80/68/EEC (1) would be present in their estimate of
potential discharge to the Lough. The objectors to the application expressed the view that the applicants had not
considered the implications of the directive and the Northern Ireland implementing legislation.

How does the Commission view an application that, in the view of the objectors, has been prepared without due
regard to the Groundwater Directive 80/68/EEC?

Has the Commission any mechanism to review or scrutinize a decision made by the Northern Ireland statutory
authorities in the event of planning permission being granted for the landfill site without due regard to EEC

(1) OJ L 20, 26.1.1980, p. 43.

Answer given by Mrs Bjerregaard on behalf of the Commission

(18 September 1997)

In response to the suggestion by the objectors that the planning application had been prepared without due regard
to Council Directive 80/68/EEC of 17 December 1979 on the protection of groundwater against pollution caused
by certain dangerous substances, the first matter which needs to be clarified is whether the application is in line
with national legislation or guidelines on the matter. If it is not, then this should be taken up with the national

If, however, it is established that the application is in line with national legislation or guidelines on the matter but
these are considered to incorrectly or insufficiently implement the relevant Directive, then − in answer to the
second question − the Commission may register a complaint, leading to possible infringement proceedings
against the Member State under Article 169 of the EC Treaty.

(98/C 82/102) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2326/97

by Patricia McKenna (V) to the Commission
(7 July 1997)

Subject: Light rail system for Dublin

Luas, the sorely-needed light rail system for Dublin, is one of the main projects benefiting from EU Structural
Funds currently under development in Ireland.