More steps needed to harness cost-effective potential
Brussels, 19 June 2018 – An agreement on the future of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) post 2020 was reached today by negotiators representing the three EU institutions. The EU’s 2030 target is set at 32.5%, a level which is still below the energy efficiency cost-effective potential, falling short of maximising benefits to citizens and businesses. The deal foresees a slight strengthening of the national energy savings obligation in Article 7 beyond 2020.
Following months of negotiations, the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU and the European Parliament negotiators led by Rapporteur MEP Miroslav Poche settled on the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive.
The co-legislators set the 2030 target at 32.5% compared to a reference scenario, beyond the level originally proposed by the European Commission. It is estimated that this increase will create 840,000 additional jobs in the EU. They also agreed to review the level of the target in 2023. Such an upward revision should allow taking into account the falling costs of technologies and the imperative of the Paris agreement climate objective. Energy efficiency stakeholders across industry and civil society are calling for a binding 40% energy efficiency target which would reflect the cost-effective energy savings potential and maximise benefits for citizens, business and the environment.
“The last years are marked by an extraordinary mobilisation in favour of EU energy efficiency legislation and the ambition levels are going only one way: upwards,” said Stefan Scheuer, Secretary General of The Coalition for Energy Savings. “We are encouraged to continue working on closing the gap toward the full cost-effective potential. The review clause should be a stepping stone to more energy efficiency action: this is needed to make the Energy Union attractive to citizens and businesses and rapidly decarbonise our energy system.”
Legislators abandoned the ‘binding’ nature of the target, and its expression in primary and final energy terms. This means that the value of the target commitment strongly depends on the annual energy savings obligation set by Article 7 of the EED and on the mechanisms set out in Energy Union Governance. The deal strengthens the Article 7 obligation beyond 2020, an important signal for the markets of energy efficiency products and services. This will ensure that policies continue after 2020 but it is not adequate to secure the 32.5% target.
“The annual energy saving obligations are the centrepiece and backbone of securing the delivery of the efficiency targets, but it will not be enough”, adds Stefan Scheuer. “All countries will have to step up their efforts and accept to take their responsibility. The ongoing negotiations on Energy Union Governance will play a key role in this regard and we expect clear and robust rules of the game”.
Notes for editors
• Article 7 was conceived so that Member States secure new savings equivalent to 1.5% of energy sales each year. This is currently not achieved in the period 2014-2020 because Member States are allowed to use different options to reduce the savings to only half of this. The deal focuses on ensuring a real annual savings rate of 0.8% after 2020.
Marion Santini | +32 2 235 20 13 | marion.santini[a]energycoalition.eu | @EUenergysavings