Energy Efficiency Communication 2014

On 23 July the EU proposed a new energy efficiency target of 30% for 2030 in its Energy Efficiency Communication. The Communication assesses whether the EU is on track to reach its 2020 target to increase energy efficiency by 20% and outlines what is necessary to ensure that the target is achieved. It also analyses how energy efficiency can drive competitiveness and strengthen security of supply in the EU in the future. Overall it finds that with current measures the EU will achieve energy savings of 18-19% by 2020. However, if all Member States work to implement properly existing legislation the 20% target can be reached without the need for additional measures.

The Communication highlights many benefits of greater energy efficiency. For example, following the introduction of efficiency requirements in building codes, new buildings consume half as much energy today as they did in the 1980s. Ambitious energy efficiency policies create new opportunities for European businesses, particularly in the construction sector. 

The EU has put in place a legislative framework to achieve the indicative 20% energy saving target. The major elements are the Energy Efficiency Directive which provides for the establishment of indicative national energy efficiency targets for 2020, and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive which requires that minimum energy performance requirements be established and applied for buildings. The deadline for the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive passed on 5 June 2014, but so far only Cyprus, Denmark, Italy, Malta, and Sweden have declared its full transposition. Two years after the legal deadline for the transposition of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, nine Member States (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Croatia) have still not fully implemented it. 

It is estimated that reaching the 30% target by 2013 will require additional investments in energy efficiency of €89 billion annually, which will have to be funded primarily by private investments. The European Commission will review progress on energy efficiency in 2017. The proposed 30% target will have to be confirmed by the European Council in October, together with the CO2 reduction and renewables targets in the context of the 2030 framework for climate and energy policies. 

Further information is available at .