Energy efficiency legislation post 2020: Key legislation passes Energy Council bruised but not broken

Energy Council saw both the emergence of supportive energy ministers and the reluctance from some Member States to commit to common targets

Brussels, 26 June 2017 – Despite the political mobilisation of a group of engaged energy ministers, the Energy Council failed to overcome the reluctance from some Member States to commit to meaningful energy efficiency targets and measures. The common approach agreed today introduces complicated arrangements and could halve the annual energy saving requirement after 2020. It also postpones the decision about the binding nature of the 2030 target, failing to show a strong commitment to energy efficiency.

Following difficult negotiations both at working level and in today’s Energy Council, Member States agreed on a general approach on the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive. The text weakens the 2030 target of 30% proposed by the Commission by removing the wording “binding” and deletes the 2050 perspective for the annual energy savings requirement – depriving investors of a much-needed visibility. Furthermore, it introduces complex new provisions and a review in 2026 which could halve the annual savings requirement of 1.5% as proposed by the European Commission.

“We are encouraged by the bold speeches from several ministers who insisted on the need to ramp up energy efficiency action – and its associated environmental, economic and social benefits”, said Stefan Scheuer, Secretary General of the Coalition for Energy Savings. “The agreement has bruised the Directive, but it is not broken, and the European Parliament should bring it line with both our climate commitments and the need for Europe to rally around common positive projects.”

The negotiation saw an increasingly vocal group of Member States, led by France and Germany, mobilising around the role energy efficiency will play in Europe’s energy transition and economic rebound. Despite the activism of the Commission to demonstrate the availability of public and private financing, some Member States did not resist the old habit of getting away from meaningful targets. Although the majority of the countries reported a successful delivery of the 1.5% annual savings requirement, which has created local economic opportunities and jobs, the text agreed today would significantly weaken action after 2020.

As a multi-stakeholder coalition, uniting 33 European business, civil society, cooperatives, consumer, professional, trade union and local government organisations, the Coalition for Energy Savings calls on the Parliament to support a binding 40% energy efficiency target based on the cost-effective potential, broken down by Member States, and to remove existing loopholes in the Energy Efficiency Directive to fully deploy 1.5% annual savings.


Marion Santini | +32 2 235 20 13 | marion.santini[at] | @Euenergysavings

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Notes for editors

  • More suggestions can be found in the Coalition’s position paper on the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package.
  • More information can be found on the Council website.


New: Assessment of the General Approach on the Energy Efficiency Directive, Briefing, June 2017

Monday, 26 June, 2017