18.06.2012 - The new Energy Efficiency Directive has finally reached an informal agreement. The Parliament fought until the last moment so that the directive would not miss the 20% energy saving target. However, the new deal is set to cut Europe’s energy consumption by 17%. Member states will be allowed to set their own targets for energy efficiency, instead of the original plan for a mandatory EU-wide target of 20% improvement in efficiency. According to the Danish Climate and Energy Minister, Martin Lidegaard “It’s only 17% because that was possible to get. We fought like lions. We started at 13%, and now we have 17%, and that is actually something we are proud of”.
When the directive will take force on 1 January 2014, the member states will have to renovate each year 3% of the total floor area of heated and/or cooled buildings owned by their central government. Furthermore, each member state will have to set up an energy efficiency obligation scheme ensuring that energy distributors and/or retail energy sales companies will achieve by the end of 2020 a cumulative end-use energy savings target of 1.5 % of the annual energy sales to final consumers. This obligation scheme still leaves the option to the member states for flexibility measures as well as equivalent alternative measures.
The text of the directive contains also provisions on energy audits and energy management systems, metering, billing information and promotion of efficiency in heating and cooling, energy transformation, transmission and distribution, and energy services.
The proposed Directive is expected to create hundreds of thousands of jobs in Europe in the short term and in the long run contribute significantly for reaching the EU’s climate objectives and decrease the EU’s dependence on fossil fuels.
The agreed text, adopted by the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) will be put to an Energy Committee vote, probably in July, and then a plenary one in September (provisional timetable)