FAQs on the Energy Efficiency Directive

The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) is the most comprehensive directive on energy efficiency in the European Union. It is the latest in a series of EU directives on energy efficiency, having been approved on October 25, 2012. [1] The EED covers all end-use sectors except transport and it also includes improving energy efficiency in the transformation sector.

While it was approved more than a year ago, there is still a lack of understanding of all the elements of the Directive.

eceee recently published Steering Through The Maze report #6 to explain the basic elements of the Directive. To complement that report, eceee provides an on-line question and answer section to clarify some of the more complicated issues and to respond to some of the questions that have been asked throughout the past year requesting clarification on some misunderstandings and updates on progress.

The following questions reflect many of the concerns of eceee members and other members of the wider energy efficiency community.  They have been grouped according to theme, not necessarily following the structure of the Directive itself.

Being an on-line FAQ, this will evolve.  Answers have been provided for the first five groupings of questions.  The rest will be completed in coming months.  Readers are encouraged to ask more questions and to provide comments on the existing ones.  The purpose of this is to be as inter-active as possible.

The questions


The EED refers to many targets (
see answer on FAQ targets page)

    • Are these binding targets for 2020 at the EU and at the national level?

    Energy efficiency obligations (see answers on FAQ EE obligations page)

    • Is the 1.5% savings obligations equivalent to -20% of primary energy consumption by 2020 compared to 2005?
    • Do all energy companies have to participate in the Energy Efficiency Obligation?
    • Who will monitor whether energy companies spend 1.5% of their sales on energy efficiency measures?
    • If energy companies do not participate, what are the options for MS to achieve the same expected results?
    • Will there be sanctions if they do not meet the EEO targets?
    • What will be the role of ESCOs in EEOs?

      Large industry must have a mandatory audit (see answers on mandatory audit page)

      • Who will pay for the audit?
      • Is there a cut off for the size of industry that is obliged to have an audit?
      • Are companies that have an audit obliged to implement the recommended measures?
      • How will SMEs benefit from the EED? 

        MS are to prepare long-term renovation strategies (see answers on long-term renovation page)

        • What are MS to do with the long-term renovation strategies once they are completed?
        • What is the timeline for the long-term strategy? Is it 2050?
        • Are they obliged to implement them?
        • Who will monitor the implementation?
        • Who will determine whether they are ambitious enough?
        • Will the cost-optimality calculation from the EPBD be used in determining the level of ambition?

        Renovating public sector buildings (see answers on public sector buildings page)

        • Is there a definition of central government to be used by MS?
        • Do MS have an inventory of their central government buildings, ranked from best to poorest energy performance?
        • If not, how long will it take to do?
        • Is this inventory development built into the time allotted to undertake the mandatory renovations?
        • Where will the financing come from for these renovations?
        • Are they any funding from the EU dedicated to these renovations?
        • What will the level of ambition of the renovations be?

        Monitoring (see answers on monitoring page)

        Impact (see answers on impact page)

        Cogeneration (see answers on cogeneration page)

        Financing (see answers on financing page)

        Miscellaneous (see answers on miscellaneous page)


        [1] The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) was approved on October 25, 2012 and entered into force on December 4, 2012

        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