By Fiona Harvey

Trend points to energy efficiency but Europe remains heavily dependent on fuel imports

Energy consumption in the European Union has fallen to levels last seen more than two decades ago, statistics published on Monday showed.

The dramatic drop in annual consumption – in 2013, the year to which the new research applies, it was down by more than 9% from its 2006 peak – reflects in part the continuing economic troubles in the eurozone, but also efforts taken by member states and businesses to cut energy use and improve efficiency.