Energy Efficiency Directive

Enregy Efficiency Directive (EED) adopted

On 25 October 2012, the EU adopted the Directive 2012/27/EU on Energy Efficiency. This Directive establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the Union in order to ensure the achievement of the Union’s 2020 20 % headline target on energy efficiency and to pave the way for further energy efficiency improvements beyond that date. It lays down rules designed to remove barriers in the energy market and overcome market failures that impede efficiency in the supply and use of energy, and provides for the establishment of indicative national energy efficiency targets for 2020. The Energy Efficiency Directive 2012 (EED) was brought into force on 4 December 2012. It introduces binding measures for energy efficiency on the public sector and industry and covers the entire energy chain from generation and transmission to end use. EU member states have to implement the EED by 5 June 2014.

According to  Article 24, paragraph 11, of the Energy Efficiency Directive the "Commission shall make the reports referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 publicly available". Reports are published on the website of DG Energy as soon as they are received from Member States.

Summary of key measures:

  • Energy companies are requested to reduce energy sales by 1.5% every year among their customers. This can be achieved via improved heating systems, fitting double-glazed windows or insulating roofs.
  • The public sector is required to renovate 3% of buildings "owned and occupied" by the central government in each country. Buildings need to have a useful area larger than 500 m2 in order to be covered by this requirement (lowered to 250 m2 as of July 2015).
  • EU countries are requested to draw up a roadmap to make the entire buildings sector more energy efficient by 2050 (commercial, public and private households included).
  • Energy audits and management plans are required for large companies, with cost-benefit analyses for the deployment of combined heat and power generation (CHP) and public procurement.

Each country has to present national indicative targets by April 2013. If the European Commission estimates that those are insufficient to meet the EU's overall 2020 goal, then it can request member states to re-assess their plans. In the first semester of 2014, the Commission will review the progress towards the 20% energy-efficiency target, report on it and assess whether further measures are needed.


Timelie of the directive

  • 8 March 2011: European Commission puts forward a new Energy Efficiency Action Plan (EEAP), setting out measures to achieve further savings in energy supply and use.
  • 22 June 2011: Commission tables draft Energy Efficiency Directive.
  • 14 Feb. 2012: Energy Council debates draft Energy Efficiency Directive for the first time.
  • 13 June 2012: Negotiators from the European Parliament, Commission and Council strike deal on the Energy Efficiency Directive.
  • 11 Sept. 2012: Deal voted on in Parliament plenary.
  • 4 Oct. 2012: EU Council of Ministers vote on agreement.
  • Nov. 2012: The directive will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the EU
  • 30 April 2013 (and every 30 April thereafter until 2020): Member states present the European Commission with reports on their progress towards meeting national energy efficiency targets.
  • 2014, 2016: European Commission to review the Directive.