This consultation is launched to collect views and suggestions from different stakeholders and citizens in view of the review of Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency (Energy Efficiency Directive or EED), foreseen for the second half of 2016.
This review plays a prominent role as the Commission called on Member States to treat energy efficiency as an energy source in its own right in its Energy Union Strategy of 25 February 2015.
The European Council of October 2014 agreed on an EU objective of saving at least 27% of energy by 2030 compared to projections and requested the Commission to review the target by 2020 “having in mind an EU level of 30%”. The existing policy framework should therefore be updated to reflect the new EU energy efficiency target for 2030 and to align it with the overall 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy.
Energy efficiency policies have been put in place by the EU for some time now and they have delivered tangible results. The Energy Efficiency Directive, Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, Energy Labelling Directive and EcoDesign Directive are the key building blocks of the current energy efficiency framework. Many climate policies, such as the CO2 performance standards for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, also make a major contribution to improving energy efficiency. Thanks to these instruments, significant progress has been achieved by Member States in terms of energy savings over the past (five) years, contributing to the overall 2020 energy and climate policy objectives.
Public funding has played an important role by supporting the implementation of energy efficiency policies at national and regional level. There has been an increase in financing over the last years due to greater importance of these polices in the context of the overall EU decarbonisation agenda. The European Structural and Investments Funds (ESIF) and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) are key to unlocking the needed private investments for energy efficiency. On the other hand, the effectiveness and impact of energy efficiency investment funding strongly depends (inter alia) on the implementation of the energy efficiency legislation, including the Energy Efficiency Directive.
Many measures taken by Member States today will, in fact, continue contributing to the energy efficiency targets and to the broader energy and climate policy framework beyond 2020. Since the Energy Efficiency Action Plan5 was adopted in 2011, the situation has greatly improved: primary energy consumption has continued to fall across the Union, with steady economic growth, and many Member States have successfully strengthened their national energy efficiency programmes.6
In line with the requirement of the EED (Article 3(2)), an assessment was carried out by the Commission in 2014 to review progress towards the EU 20% energy efficiency target for 2020, the findings of which were presented in the Energy Efficiency Communication, adopted on 23 July 2014.7 An updated analysis of how Member States are achieving the 20% 2020 target on energy efficiency will be published as part of the State of the Energy Union package in November 2015.