Directive on Energy Efficiency: small steps for a big agenda


[22nd June 2011, Brussels] - The EEB today welcomed the European Commission’s proposed Directive on Energy Efficiency as a useful step towards an energy efficient Europe. The green group warned however that stronger policy action was needed in view of the fact that Europe is expected to miss its 20% energy savings target for 2020 by about half, and that the Directive alone would not get the EU back on track to that target.

“There is huge potential right under our noses to save massive amounts of energy and we are pleased the Commission is finally beginning to see the benefits that savings bring to our society and economy. However, this Directive still lacks decisive, immediate action with binding targets and the scope and ambition necessary to start achieving our energy savings goals,” said EEB’s Catherine Pearce.

EEB warned that the Directive falls short of proposing a binding energy savings target and in doing so fails to stimulate stronger, broader commitment across all sectors and to catalyse changes in thinking and behaviour.

The lynchpin of the package, the Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme, sets a savings target on ‘all energy distributors or all retail energy sales companies’, based upon a percentage of their market share.

However, the EEB says the scheme as it is proposed lacks a clear definition and is limited in scope, missing out on other vast potential of savings, including deep renovations of the existing buildings. [1]

The EEB is also concerned that the Directive lacks any attention to the largest barrier: financing. They say the Directive can play an important role in establishing new schemes and mechanisms in order to leverage funds from private and third parties, and that binding targets would bring stability and certainty to investors.

Without clear, transparent monitoring and verification of the savings made, EEB is concerned that there is no guarantee of achieving the target. Furthermore, the review and assessment of progress comes in June 2014, which according to EEB is far too late, making it difficult to reach the savings target and risk locking us into out-dated and inefficient methods and technologies.

The Directive sets out the legislative proposals to the Energy Efficiency Plan and also repeals and brings together the Energy Services Directive and the Cogen Directive.

EEB will be working over the coming months to see the draft Directive strengthened.


Catherine Pearce, Climate Senior Policy Officer, +32 2 289 13 02,

Notes for editors

Commission information on the Directive:

[1] Ensuring the suppliers obligation are coupled with “deep renovations” of building and best in class appliances substitution would avoid the allocation of certificates to partial renovations that miss the full energy savings potential, or to appliances that may just comply with legal requirements. As a solution, EEB suggests to associate stringent refurbishments standards and only upper class products (A++ and A+++ or Ecolabel) to be rewarded with certificates.