Energy Efficiency Directive one year on

Time for Member States to show more ambition

25 October 2013 - Since the publication of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) exactly one year ago today, most countries have demonstrated little ambition in setting national energy savings goals, and the EU is expected to miss its 20% target for 2020. 

The Coalition for Energy Savings’ analysis of indicative national energy efficiency targets, which Member States were to report to the Commission by April 2013, showed the EU is expected to miss its 20% target for 2020 by a whopping 68 million tonnes of oil equivalent, or twice the size of the annual energy consumption of Austria.

Several targets are so low (see Figure 9) that they are unlikely to generate additional savings beyond the requirements of the EED, in particular the 1.5% annual energy savings target to be delivered starting in 2014.

“It is the unfortunate proof that voluntary targets do not work. To close the gap the 2014 review of the Directive has to lead to setting binding targets. They are necessary to commit Member States to an implementation beyond the legal minimum and move to ending energy wastage by 2030, creating much needed local jobs, increasing competitiveness and improving energy security”, urged Stefan Scheuer, Secretary General of the Coalition.

Several countries have already stepped up existing programmes or put in place new initiatives over the last twelve months: Ireland and Poland have established energy efficiency obligation schemes, and the Czech Republic has rolled out its 2013 Green Savings programme, which redirects revenues from sales of its surplus emission allowances to renovate private residences, and a subsidy programme to replace low-performing boilers.

Another source of encouragement is the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework proposal currently under negotiation, as it contains more than double the allocations for energy savings compared to the current budget.

The next important EED implementation milestones for Member States are setting up methods and measures by the end of 2013 to deliver 1.5% additional energy savings from 2014 on and the publication of national long–term building renovation strategies by the end of April 2014.

To assist Member States with these and other measures in the EED, the Coalition has developed a Guidebook for Strong Implementation, which provides national and local governments with easy access to the legislation, recommendations and good practices.

In its recent position paper, the Coalition also shows that a 40% energy savings target for 2030 is the only way to tap the EU’s cost-effective potential and deliver the EU’s competitiveness, energy and climate objectives, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by between 49-61%.

A greenhouse gas only approach for the 2030 climate and energy package would fail to deliver additional energy savings, wasting money and energy and leading to incoherent policies.

Download the full press release here.

Friday, 25 October, 2013