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How is article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive being implemented? An analysis of national energy efficiency obligations schemes

Panel: 2. Energy efficiency policies – how do we get it right?

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Paolo Bertoldi, European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC) Ispra, Italy
Vlasis Oikonomou, Joint Implementation Network, The Netherlands
Tina Fawcett, ECI, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Niki Artemis Spyridaki, UPRC, University of Piraeus, Greece
Nele Renders, VITO, Belgium
Ils Moorkens, VITO
Luca Castellazzi, European Commisison JRC


The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) is the main policy instrument at the EU level to reach the 20% energy saving goal in 2020. Article 7 is a key pillar of the EED, which requires Member States (MS) to introduce energy efficiency obligation schemes (EEOSs). Under the EEOS, energy companies must save an annual 1.5 % of their energy sales with additional energy efficiency projects. This Article also offers MS the option to introduce alternative policy measures to EEOS, provided that these measures deliver equivalent energy savings.

In December 2013, MS reported to the European Commission the implementation plans for Article 7 and they have or are planning to introduce EEOS and/or alternative measures to reach the 1.5% energy saving goal. Four MS are planning to rely on EEOS alone, 14 will use a mixture of EEOS plus alternative measures, and 10 MS will use only alternative measures. The paper describes the EEOS introduced and planned by MSs in terms of sectoral coverage, obligated actors, eligible projects, monitoring and verification (M&V), baseline and additionality, sanctions, trading rules if any, and public authorities' role. A comparison among the different national EEOS is made, and their common features highlighted. Key issues including the time scale needed to introduce an effective EEOS, type and number of obligated partners, changing business models of energy companies and scale of expenditure are discussed.

EEOS are expected to deliver more savings, in more countries, at the same time as the opportunities to install low cost, mass-market, ‘additional’ efficiency options are reducing. This challenge will affect all MS, and to meet it they are encouraged to keep learning from each other.


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