Content updated 21 February 2023.

The Energy Efficiency Directive

The 2018 Directive on Energy Efficiency (EED) set an energy efficiency target for 2030 of at least 32.5%. As a part of the Fit for 55 package and RePowerEU the Energy Efficiency Directive and target is under revision.

In July 2021, a revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive was proposed, setting a more ambitious binding annual target for reducing energy use at EU level. The revised Directive is due early 2023.

The 2018 Directive on Energy Efficiency

In 2018, as part of the 'Clean energy for all Europeans package', the amending Directive on Energy Efficiency (2018/2002) was agreed to update the policy framework to 2030 and beyond.  The key element of the amended directive is a headline energy efficiency target for 2030 of at least 32.5%.

Under the Governance Regulation 2018/1999, Member States are required to draw up integrated 10-year national energy and climate plans (NECPs) outlining how they intend to meet the energy efficiency and other targets for 2030.   

Other elements in the 2018 Directive include:

  • stronger rules on metering and billing of thermal energy
  • requirements for transparent, publicly available national rules on the allocation of the cost of heating, cooling and hot water consumption in multi-apartment and multi-purpose buildings.
  • monitoring efficiency levels in new energy generation capacities


The Energy Efficiency Directive, originally approved in 2012 and updated 2018. The EED was designed 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 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive

Directive 2012/27/EU established a set of binding measures to help the EU reach the 20% energy efficiency target for 2020. Measures that were introduced include:

  • Policy measures to achieve energy savings equivalent to annual reduction of 1.5% in national energy sales
  • Obligations to make energy efficient renovations to at least 3% per year of buildings owned and occupied by central governments
  • National long-term renovation strategies for the building stock in each EU country
  • Mandatory energy efficiency certificates accompanying the sale and rental of buildings
  • The preparation of national energy efficiency action plans (NEEAPs) every three years
  • Obligation schemes for energy companies to achieve yearly energy savings of 1.5% of annual sales to final consumers
  • Large companies conducting energy audits at least every four years