The Energy Efficiency Directive

30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a package of policy initiatives that impact energy efficiency policies to 2030.  The Commission proposes a binding EU-wide target of 30% for energy efficiency by 2030, emphasising the EU's commitment to put energy efficiency first.

The Commission is launching new and innovative energy efficiency measures. These measures focus on:

  1. Setting the framework for improving energy efficiency in general;
  2. Improving energy efficiency in buildings;
  3. Improving the energy performance of products (Ecodesign) and informing consumers (energy labelling);
  4. Financing for energy efficiency with the smart finance for smart buildings proposal.

The Commission proposes to update the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive by:

  • aligning energy efficiency targets with the EU 2030 climate and energy framework;
  • extending beyond 2020 the energy saving obligation requiring energy suppliers and distributors to save 1.5% of energy each year from 2021 to 2030 with a view to attracting private investment and supporting the emergence of new market actors; to enable tailor-made policies that take account of national specificities, Member States can also meet this requirement through alternative measures having the same effect, such as energy efficiency support schemes;
  • improving metering and billing of energy consumption for heating and cooling consumers.

eceee response to the EED public consultation, January 2016 (download).

Understanding the EED Directive. Steering through the maze guide #6 (download).

FAQ pages on the EED



The Energy Efficiency Directive, approved in 2012, was the legislative result of the EEP that was published in March 2011. The new directive repeals the Cogeneration Directive (2004/8/EC) and the Energy End-Use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive (2006/32/EC.  The EED is ambitious.  It is meant to fill the gap between existing framework Directives and national/international measures on energy efficiency and the 2020 EU target for energy savings. It covers all sectors except transport, and includes, for the first time in an “energy efficiency” directive, measures for supply side efficiency.

The Energy Efficiency Directive also puts a major focus on targets.  The first target concerns the indicative 20% target mentioned above. The target calls for energy consumption for the entire EU of no more than 1 474 Mtoe of primary energy and/or no more than 1 078 Mtoe of final energy in 2020. The second target concerns the public sector.  Article 5 states: “each Member State shall ensure that, as from 1 January 2014, 3 % of the total floor area of heated and/or cooled buildings owned and occupied by its central government is renovated each year.”  The third target concerns specific energy savings from an energy efficiency obligation. According to Article 7: “That target shall be at least equivalent to achieving new savings each year from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020 of 1,5 % of the annual energy sales to final customers of all energy distributors or all retail energy sales companies by volume, averaged over the most recent three-year period prior to 1 January 2013.”

eceee Resources

eceee response to the EED public consultation, January 2016. Download

Determining Energy Savings for Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes eceee and RAP report. Download

Toolkit for Energy Efficiency Obligations (RAP). Download

Energy efficiency obligations – the EU experience. eceee briefing for DG Energy on EU energy efficiency obligations on energy companies and their importance in meeting climate change and energy security challenges. Download.

How is Article 7 of the EED being implemented? Bertoldi et al 2015. Abstract. (full version in eceee Summer Study proceedings)

Coalition Guidebook

The Coalition for Energy Savings offers a guidebook on strong implementation of the EED. It is available both as interactive web pages as well as a downloadable free pdf.

EU resources

energy efficiency policy

Increasingly ambitious EU policies

Europe has had increasingly more ambitious energy efficiency policies since the oil crises of the 1970s. Particularly since 2000, the pace of change has picked up significantly as the priority for energy efficiency gains ground.  The most significant indication of the policy direction in the EU has been through the energy efficiency (action) plans. An energy efficiency action plan came out April 26, 2000.  This was followed by another in 2006 and then most recently, an energy efficiency plan (EEP) in March 2011.

The Energy Efficiency Plan covered targets, public sector measures, buildings, energy supply obligations, cogeneration and industry. The Plan also went into financing issues, promoting smart meters and smart grids, expanding the National Energy Efficiency Action Plans to cover the entire energy chain and not just energy demand.