Legislative Framework

As part of the first package of Fit for 55 the European Commission published a new proposal for a revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) on 14 July 2021 (COM/2021/558 final). The EED was originally adopted in 2012 to help the EU and its Member States make energy efficiency improvements of at least 20 % by 2020. The EED places an upper limit placed on total EU energy consumption and includes a series of provisions to help Member States collectively meet this goal. The EED had undergone a first revision in 2018 to increase the target of energy efficiency improvements to 32.5 % by 2030, with each Member State required to deliver higher annual energy savings obligations (+0.8 %). As part of the Green Deal the EU pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2050. To achieve this the energy efficiency improvements should be accelerated and deepened in comparison to what is enshrined in current legislation, hence why the EED is undergoing another revision under Fit for 55.

Key measures proposed in Fit for 55 by the Commission

Key measures proposed in Fit for 55 by the Commission

  • The EED recast introduces a higher target for reducing primary energy consumption (39%) and final consumption (36%) by 2030;

  • Stronger promotion of actions to increase energy efficiency in heating & cooling;

  • The annual energy savings obligations  for Member States would be almost doubled for the period of 2024-2030 (+1.5 % compared to the +0.8% in the 2018 revision of the EED);

  • The public sector as a whole would need to reduce annual energy consumption by -1.7 % every year;

  • Member State shall ensure that at least 3% of the floorspace of buildings owned by public bodies shall be renovated each year to at least nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEB);

  • More systematic energy efficiency requirements in public procurement procedures;

  •  New requirement on Member States to take measures to implement energy efficiency improvements for people affected by or at risk of energy poverty, vulnerable customers and those living in social housing;

  • Clearer legal basis for applying the 'energy efficiency first' principle (introduced in the 2018 EED) and ensure its practical implementation;

  • Member States would need to monitor and publicly disclose data on the use of energy in data centres.

2030 framework

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a revised Energy Efficiency Directive (European Commission's Proposal of 30 November 2016 for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency (COM(2016) 761 final 2016/0376 (COD)), as part of the Winter Energy Package. 

In particular, the European Commission proposed a 30 % binding EU energy efficiency target for 2030, to be achieved by means of indicative national targets. On 17 January 2018, under the EED, Parliament endorsed a binding EU-level target of 35% in energy efficiency improvements. The EED also accelerates the annual energy savings requirements under the article 7 from 0.75 % to 1.22%, which also includes the energy use in transport after 2020, with addition to delivering new energy savings each year. Due to that, the trilogue negotiations started in February 2018 and resulted in a provisional agreement among the EU institutions on 19 June 2018. 

The final text was formally adopted by the European Parliament (on 13 November 2018) and Council (on 4 December 2018). Provisional Agreement published on 17 July 2018 sets:

      1. A headline EU target of at least 32.5 % efficiency improvements by 2030, a non-binding goal to be achieved through indicative national contributions reflecting final and/ or primary energy consumption

      2. energy savings obligations of 0.8 % per annum between 2021 and 2030, to be calculated in terms of final energy consumption. Obligations may include policy measures enacted before 2020 that impact on energy savings in the 2021-2030 period.

More sectors would be covered by energy-savings obligations than under the existing EED, although the EU Member States could still choose to exclude transport, certain industrial activities and some energy use in buildings. 

On 21 December 2018 the Directive (EU) 2018/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2018 amending Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. It has entered into force three days later.

Future steps and impact on building system

Future steps and impact on building system

The revised EED is to be transposed into national legislation within 18 months of its entry into force i.e. by 25 June 2020. The European Commission is required to evaluate the functioning of the revised EED by 2023 and could accompany this review with a legislative proposal that raises the headline target. 

The mains parts of this directive that are directly related to building sector are the following:

  1. Article 3: describes the energy efficiency objective for 2030 of 32,5% and the obligation of member states to specify their contribution to the common objective;

  2. “Long-term strategy for renovation” is moved to the revised EPBD directive: merge it with the plans for nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEBs) and the decarbonisation of the buildings. All the measures from the strategies can be claim as energy measures under article 7 of the EED.

  3. Article 7: refers to energy efficiency obligation schemes with some more upgrades on requirements on energy savings; the ways in which the savings can be calculated and options to include alternative policy measures.

Article 20: concerns financing of energy efficiency measure through national funds.

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