The European Union’s auditor says that €5bn ($6.7bn) in funds specifically targeted at energy efficiency projects over the past dozen years were largely ill-spent.
Harald Woegerbauer, who compiled a report for the European Court of Auditors (ECA), said Monday that funds often went to general refurbishment of public buildings, “while energy efficiency was, at best, a secondary concern.”
Returns on the investments were expected only after about 50 years, and sometimes as much as 150 years. The ECA said, “these funds were not spent in a sensible way.”
EU spending is coming under increasing criticism as member nations have to tighten their belts to keep debt within acceptable limits. EU leaders are expected to decide on a new seven-year EU budget next month.