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Auditor chides EU over energy efficiency funds

Monday - 1/14/2013, 11:10am  ET

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union's auditor says that some EUR5 billion ($6.7 billion) 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, 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 7-year EU budget next month.


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