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EU executive proposes higher energy efficiency target to curb emissions, gas imports

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BRUSSELS - The European Union's executive is proposing legislation to curb the energy use of households and firms by almost one third by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower its dependence on gas imports, particularly those from Russia.

The Commission proposed Wednesday to increase energy efficiency by 30 per cent, an upward revision of its earlier target of 20 per cent by 2020.

Energy savings can be achieved by improving building insulation, upgrading heating systems or lowering the electricity need of new appliances like fridges.

The Commission says that for one additional per cent in energy savings, EU gas imports are expected to fall 2.6 per cent.

It estimates reaching the target will require investments of 89 billion euros ($132 billion) annually across the 28-nation bloc.

The proposal still requires approval from EU governments.

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