EU Energy Efficiency Directive

The European Parliament has approved a new directive aimed at encouraging efficient use of energy in the EU. This energy efficiency directive should contribute to the optimistic objective to reduce European energy consumption by 20% before 2020. The Commission says implementation of the Directive will cost 24bn Euros annually, but with an annual saving of 44bn Euros in energy consumption. However, financing for the Directive has not yet been agreed.

The Directive will have implications for all member states, energy providers, large enterprises and, to a lesser extent, SMEs. Member states will be required to annually renovate 3% of the heated or cooled buildings used by central government. In addition, the Directive obliges each member state to draw up a plan to make the entire energy building industry in the country more efficient by 2050.

Large companies are required to undergo an energy audit every four years. This audit should be conducted by a qualified and independent organisation. Energy suppliers will be obliged to reduce their energy turnover to industrial and private customers by at least 1.5% per year.

In essence large investments are expected from companies to make their operations more energy efficient and the national government has to lead by renovating public buildings and encouraging businesses to be more energy efficient. From 2014, member states will have to present their national plans in the field of energy efficiency every three years. The European Directive for Energy Efficiency is a clear step towards conducting business in a more energy-efficient way.

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