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Proposal for Energy Efficiency Directive issued

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Following its publication in June 2011, the European Commission has adopted the legislative proposal for a Directive on Energy Efficiency (See June 2011 Eurobrief). The proposal establishes a common framework for the promotion of energy efficiency within the Union in order to ensure the achievement of the Union's target of 20% primary energy savings by 2020 and to pave the way for further energy efficiency improvements beyond that date. The proposal sets several energy efficiency requirements for end-user sectors such as the cement industry.

These include:

  • Energy efficiency targets, whereby Member States must set a national energy efficiency target expressed as an absolute level of primary energy consumption in 2020. They can also decide whether or not to include binding targets in their national energy efficiency plans.
  • Ensuring that the public sector leads by example by pushing for market uptake of energy efficient products and services. In addition, renovation works covering at least 3% of the total floor area of public bodies’ own premises will have to be carried out and, from 2014, 3% of public buildings should be renovated each year.
  • Removing obstacles to energy efficiency in buildings.
  • Obliging large companies to conduct an energy audit by 2014 to identify the potential for reducing their energy consumption. This audit would need to be repeated every three years. The proposal is also linked to BATi (Best Available Techniques) and the Energy Efficiency BREFi (BAT Reference Document).
  • Linking energy efficiency with the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETSi) via the “set aside” issue.
  • Member States drawing up an annual inventory of data for all installations using fuels with total rated thermal input of 50 MW or more.

The proposal will have to be approved by the European Parliament and Council following the co-decision procedure. First reading will start by a vote in Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) on 28 February 2012 leading to a vote in plenary scheduled for 17 April 2012.

More information: Commission webpage