Tag Archives: Energy saving

Reduction in CO? emissions of new passenger cars

Reduction in CO? emissions of new passenger cars

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Reduction in CO? emissions of new passenger cars

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Air pollution

Reduction in CO? emissions of new passenger cars

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 443/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the Community’s integrated approach to reduce CO? emissions from light-duty vehicles (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Regulation sets standards to frame the CO? emissions of new passenger cars. The limit set by the Regulation is 130 g of CO?/km. From 2020, this level is to be reduced to 95 g of CO?.

Types of vehicles concerned by the Regulation

The Regulation shall apply to vehicles of category M1 as defined in Annex II to the Directive on the type-approval of motor vehicles which are registered in the European Union (EU) for the first time and which have not previously been registered in a third country.

Specific emissions targets

Manufacturers of vehicles have average CO? emission targets, the formulae for which are set out in Annex I to this Regulation.

For each manufacturer, the following percentages of passenger cars are taken into account in order to determine average specific emissions of CO?:

  • 65 % in 2012;
  • 75 % in 2013;
  • 80 % in 2014;
  • 100 % from 2015 onwards.

This Regulation includes specific provisions for vehicles running on a mixture of fuel with 85 % ethanol (E85). In order to determine whether a manufacturer meets their CO? emission targets, the percentage of specific emissions for this type of vehicle is to be reduced by 5 % by 31 December 2015. This reduction target is only applicable if at least 30 % of the service stations in the Member State where the vehicle is registered are able to offer this type of biofuel.

In order to create incentives for the car industry to invest in new technologies, super-credits encourage the development of cars generating less emissions than traditional cars. In calculating the average specific emissions of CO?, each new passenger car with specific emissions of CO? of less than 50 g/km shall be counted as:

  • 3.5 cars in 2012,
  • 3.5 cars in 2013,
  • 2.5 cars in 2014,
  • 1.5 cars in 2015,
  • 1 car from 2016.

Pools of manufacturers

In order to meet targets for specific emissions, manufacturers may form pools. To do this, they shall send the European Commission an information file including the list of participating manufacturers, the name of the manufacturer nominated as pool manager and proof that the latter has the capacity to fulfil their duties.

The members of the pool shall exchange data relating to:

  • the average specific emissions of CO?;
  • the specific emissions target;
  • the total number of vehicles registered.

Monitoring and reporting of average emissions

Member States shall be responsible for collecting data for each new passenger car registered in their territory. They shall send the Commission the following information concerning these vehicles:

  • their number;
  • their average specific emissions;
  • their average mass;
  • their distribution;
  • their footprint.

The Commission shall keep a publicly available central register of this data and for each manufacturer shall provisionally calculate:

  • the average specific emissions of CO? in the preceding calendar year;
  • the specific emissions target in the preceding calendar year;
  • the difference between its average specific emissions of CO? in the preceding calendar year and its specific emissions target for that year.

Excess emissions premium

From 2012, manufacturers must pay an additional premium if they exceed their specific emissions target. From 2019, this premium will be calculated in a different way.

Derogations for certain manufacturers

Manufacturers may apply to the Commission for a derogation in the following cases:

  • they produce fewer than 10,000 new passenger cars registered in the EU;
  • they do not belong to a pool of manufacturers;
  • they belong to a pool of manufacturers which represents fewer than 10,000 new passenger cars registered in the EU;
  • they are part of a pool of manufacturers but operate their own production facilities and design centre.

The Commission may grant a derogation for a period of five years.

Eco-innovation

Suppliers and manufacturers may introduce innovative technologies to reduce CO? emissions. The total contribution of these technologies may reach a maximum of 7 g of CO?/km.

The Commission will re-examine specific emission targets by 1 January 2013 at the latest.

This Regulation repeals Decision No 1753/2000/EC.

Reference

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 443/2009

8.6.2009

OJ L 140 of 5.6.2009

Related Act(S)

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1014/2010 on monitoring and reporting of data on the registration of new passenger cars pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 443/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council (Text with EEA relevance).

This Regulation lays down guidelines relating to the collection and reporting of data about each new passenger car. These data are to be used in determining the specific CO? emissions target and in assessing whether manufacturers comply with that target.
These data are based on the information contained in the certificate of conformity of the passenger car concerned. They also concern vehicles which:

  • generate low CO? emissions;
  • run on ethanol;
  • are equipped with innovative technologies.

Green vehicles: a European strategy

Green vehicles: a European strategy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Green vehicles: a European strategy

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Air pollution

“Green” vehicles: a European strategy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee of 28 April 2010 – A European strategy on clean and energy efficient vehicles [COM(2010)186 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication details several lines of action aimed at encouraging the development of “green” vehicles and the market uptake of these vehicles.

Vehicles covered by the strategy

The strategy proposed by the European Commission covers:

  • conventional vehicles using conventional internal combustion engines;
  • vehicles using alternative fuels such as liquid biofuels or gaseous fuels (LPG, CNG and biogas);
  • battery electric vehicles or the plug-in rechargeable type;
  • hydrogen fuel cell vehicles which produce water vapour.

This strategy concerns light- and heavy-duty vehicles, two- and three-wheelers and quadricycles.

The Action Plan established by the strategy covers the following areas with flagship initiatives.

Regulatory framework

This strategy will implement the framework relating to new passenger vehicles which sets CO2 emissions performance standards.

The Commission has proposed a Regulation on type-approval requirements for two- and three-wheelers and quadricycles. The Commission announces its intention to formulate a proposal to reduce the fuel consumption impact of mobile air conditioning systems. There will also be a future proposal on fuel consumption of, and CO2 emissions from, heavy-duty vehicles.

Supporting research and innovation

It is vital that research work is carried out on electric cars and those equipped with hydrogen fuel cells. The manufacturing of these cars and their components is expensive, but research would enable the costs to be reduced. In particular, new materials must be investigated for use in batteries and for storage of hydrogen, as well as alternative charging and energy storage technologies.

In this context, the Commission will propose a long term research strategy in the Strategic Transport Technology Plan and in the Communication on Clean Transport Systems.

Market uptake

Consumers have an important role to play with regard to the demand for green vehicles. To stimulate the latter, consumers must be informed of the multiple options, advantages and practical aspects of this type of vehicle. Similarly, financial incentives to buy vehicles represent interesting alternatives for encouraging their market uptake.

To this end, the Commission plans to present guidelines on financial incentives to consumers to buy green vehicles, which will encourage coordination of demand-side measures adopted in Member States. It also wishes to work on a revision of the energy taxation Directive with the aim of incentivising consumers to use conventional fuels efficiently and to gradually adopt alternative low-carbon emitting fuels.

The Commission will also ensure that the Directive on clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles is implemented.

Global issues Aspects

It is essential that there is a level playing field for everyone in the world markets. Similarly,
fair access to the raw materials
required for the production of hydrogen fuel cells should be ensured so that a potential shortage does not hamper the competitiveness of EU industry.

The Commission wishes to engage in standardisation activities in the world markets and to carry out regulatory cooperation initiatives.

Employment

With the prospect of a transition towards sustainable mobility, employees in the automobile sector must have suitable skills (which are quite rare at the moment) in the field of green vehicles. To make up for the lack of skills in the workforce, the Commission plans to use funding from the European Social Fund starting in 2011 to launch initiatives which encourage retraining and upskilling.

The Commission will also establish a “European Sectoral Skills Council”.

Specific actions for electric vehicles

A European framework for electric mobility does not currently exist. As a result, this Communication highlights several actions required to establish a regulatory framework for this technology.

Through working together with international partners at the UNECE, the Commission will propose technical rules relating to electric safety for vehicle type-approval.

In 2010 the Commission will mandate the European Committee for Standardization, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to develop by 2011 a standardised charging interface to ensure interoperability and connectivity between the electricity supply point and the charger of the electric vehicle.

Furthermore, an adequate electric charging network needs to be developed in order to meet the needs of electric car users.

The Commission will also evaluate whether the promotion of electric vehicles will lead to the additional provision of low-carbon electricity generation.

Governance

The European strategy on green vehicles should contribute to the development of sustainable transport in Europe and reinforce Europe’s capacity to produce smart and sustainable products in a key sector. Implementing the strategy requires a significant level of effort and coordination between the automobile industry and electricity providers, gas companies, grid managers, electric component manufacturers, scientific and standardisation bodies, as well as EU, national and regional authorities, municipalities and consumers.

The Commission will ensure coordination and co-operation with Member States on the actions of this strategy in particular to secure the internal market, to avoid fragmentation of efforts, to create sufficient critical mass for the industry and to monitor and discuss national developments.

In order to facilitate collaboration with stakeholders, the Commission proposes to re-launch the “CARS 21” High Level Group with a revised mandate and extended stakeholder involvement.

ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

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These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Interaction of the information society with certain policies

ICTs to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

2 emissions to be reduced considerably whilst bringing the European Union up to a high level of innovation and competitiveness.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 12 March 2009 on mobilising Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy [COM(2009) 111 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication describes measures aimed at fully exploiting the potential of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The objective is to reduce carbon footprints in all sectors of society and the economy whilst maintaining high energy efficiency.

The role of ICTs

ICTs can:

  • reduce the quantity of energy required to provide a given service;
  • produce quantitative data on which energy-efficiency strategies can be devised, implemented and evaluated.

The challenges of ICTs and action to be implemented

Situation

ICTs used in the delivery of services represent about 1.75% of carbon emissions in Europe and 0.25% of carbon emissions come from the production of ICT and consumer electronic equipment. The remaining 98 % of emissions come from other sectors of the economy and society.

At the moment there is a lack of quantitative data concerning the potential and effective impacts of ICTs. It is essential to harmonise methodologies for the measurement and quantification of energy performance, in order to have access to data which allows new energy-saving strategies to be developed and “greenwashing” practices (pdf > src=”../../../wel/images/doc_icons/f_pdf_16.gif” Title=”PDF” border=”0″ class=”alIco/”>) to be avoided.

Measures

In order to harmonise the use of ICTs to serve energy efficiency, the European Commission plans to present three types of measures:

  • measures common to energy consumption and carbon emissions and related to the production techniques of the ICT sector;
  • measures to promote energy efficiency and a reduction in emissions in the ICT sector and major energy-using sectors;
  • measures aimed at mainstreaming the use of tools based on ICTs that are likely to trigger a shift in the behaviour of consumers, businesses and communities and thus support demand for innovative ICT solutions.

Buildings and transport

The buildings sector is responsible for 40% of energy consumption in the EU. The use of ICTs would lead to a reduction of 11 % in total energy consumption by 2020 using techniques such as intelligent sensors and optimisation software.

Partnerships between public and private sectors should be established in order to develop green technologies, as well as energy-efficient systems and materials in buildings. In addition, a recast of the directive on the energy performance of buildings is proposed.

Transport represents about 26% of energy consumption in the EU. Cooperation between the ICT sector and transport logistics should allow the quality of information concerning energy consumption and carbon emissions in the transport sector to be improved.

The development of new behaviour

Tools allowing a carbon footprint to be reduced do exist. The generalisation of their use should lead to new behaviour emerging. Smart metering can allow for real-time information flows between network operators, energy suppliers and consumers, allowing them to better manage and control their energy consumption and associated costs.

Member States are therefore invited to stimulate demand for innovative solutions based on ICTs by including energy efficiency requirements in their policies for construction, town planning and public procurement and by supporting innovative projects.

In this regard, the Cohesion Policy 2007-2013 provides for EUR 86 billion for investment in research, development and innovation, which includes ICT use and technology development.

In order to support the implementation of the recommended measures, the European Commission is introducing several initiatives such as the creation of a web portal dedicated to the exchange of best practice, or the publication of a practical guide for regional and local authorities.

Context

In December 2008, the Union confirmed its commitment to make a reduction of 20 % in its carbon emissions by 2020. The economic and financial crisis has reinforced its will to pursue these objectives and to build a more sustainable economy in the long term.

ICTs have a major role to play in attaining these objectives since they are present in virtually all parts of the economy and could contribute to increasing productivity by more than 40 %.

Product energy consumption: Information and labelling

Product energy consumption: Information and labelling

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Product energy consumption: Information and labelling

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > Energy efficiency

Product energy consumption: Information and labelling (from July 2011)

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2010/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Directive establishes a framework for labelling and consumer information regarding energy consumption for energy-related products *.

Which products are concerned?

The Directive shall apply to products which are likely to have a direct or indirect impact on the consumption of energy and on other potential resources during use. It does not apply to:

  • second-hand products;
  • any means of transport for persons or goods;
  • product rating plates.

What sort of information must be provided?

Suppliers shall place on the market products that have a label containing information on the product’s consumption of electric energy or other forms of energy.

Suppliers must also make available technical documentation including:

  • a general description of the product;
  • the results of design calculations carried out;
  • test reports;
  • the references allowing identification of similar models.

The technical documentation must be available for a period of five years.

Suppliers shall provide dealers with labels and product information free of charge.

Dealers must affix labels in such a way that they are visible and legible.

What are the conditions for distance selling?

In some situations, the final consumer does not see the product – in particular when purchasing by mail order, by catalogue or through the Internet. However, the consumer must have access to product information through delegated acts which specify the way in which the label or the fiche is displayed or provided to the end-user.

What is the function of delegated acts?

A delegated act shall indicate in particular:

  • a description of the product;
  • measurement standards and methods;
  • details of the technical documentation;
  • the design and content of the label. The classification of the product on the label shall be indicated using the letters A to G. The most efficient class shall be represented by A+++. A scale with a maximum of seven colours shall also be used, and dark green shall always represent the maximum level of efficiency;
  • the location where the label shall be fixed to the product;
  • the duration of label classification.

If a product is covered by a delegated act, contracting authorities which conclude public works, supply or service contracts as referred to in Directive 2004/18/EC shall procure products which comply with high performance levels, expressed as ‘energy classes’. These criteria are as follows:

  • products which allow significant energy savings to be made;
  • equivalent products on the market shall have a wide disparity in performance levels;
  • the Commission shall take into account relevant EU legislation and self-regulation.

A delegated act shall take into account environmental parameters.

The European Commission has the power to adopt delegated acts for a period of five years from 19 June 2010. The period shall be renewed automatically unless the European Parliament or the Council revoke this right. These two institutions also have the power to object to a delegated act.

Transitional provisions

Member States shall apply the provisions of the Directive from 20 July 2011. This Directive repeals Directive 92/75/EEC from 21 July 2011.

Key terms of the Act
  • Energy-related product: any good having an impact on energy consumption during use, which is placed on the market and/or put into service in the Union, including parts intended to be incorporated into energy-related products covered by this Directive which are placed on the market and/or put into service as individual parts for end-users and of which the environmental performance can be assessed independently.

Reference

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2010/30/EU

19.6.2010

20.6.2011

OJ L 153 of 18.6.2010

Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Energy efficiency

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency

Reducing energy consumption and eliminating energy wastage are among the main goals of the European Union (EU). EU support for improving energy efficiency will prove decisive for competitiveness, security of supply and for meeting the commitments on climate change made under the Kyoto Protocol. There is significant potential for reducing consumption, especially in energy-intensive sectors such as buildings, manufacturing, energy conversion and transport. At the end of 2006, the EU pledged to cut its annual consumption of primary energy by 20% by 2020. To achieve this goal, it is working to mobilise public opinion, decision-makers and market operators and to set minimum energy efficiency standards and rules on labelling for products, services and infrastructure.

POLICY ORIENTATIONS

  • Energy Efficiency Plan 2011
  • Energy efficiency for the 2020 goal
  • Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (2007-12)
  • Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) (2007-2013)
  • The Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund
  • Green Paper on energy efficiency
  • “Intelligent Energy for Europe” programme (2003-2006)
  • Action Plan for energy efficiency (2000-2006)

DELIVERING ENERGY EFFICIENCY

  • Energy performance of buildings
  • Energy end-use efficiency and energy services
  • Cogeneration

Energy efficiency of products

  • Product energy consumption: Information and labelling (from July 2011)
  • Tyre labelling
  • Ecodesign for energy-using appliances
  • Ecodesign requirements for fluorescent lamps, for high intensity discharge lamps, and for their ballasts
  • Energy efficiency of office equipment: The Energy Star Programme (EU – US)
  • Hot-water boilers

Energy end-use efficiency and energy services

Energy end-use efficiency and energy services

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Energy end-use efficiency and energy services

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > Energy efficiency

Energy end-use efficiency and energy services

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2006/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2006 on energy end-use efficiency and energy services and repealing Council Directive 93/76/EEC [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The purpose of the Directive is to make the end use of energy more economic and efficient by:

  • establishing indicative targets, incentives and the institutional, financial and legal frameworks needed to eliminate market barriers and imperfections which prevent efficient end use of energy;
  • creating the conditions for the development and promotion of a market for energy services and for the delivery of energy-saving programmes and other measures aimed at improving end-use energy efficiency.

The Directive applies to the distribution and retail sale of energy, the delivery of measures to improve end-use energy efficiency, with the exception of activities included in the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme, and, to a certain extent, the armed forces. It targets the retail sale, supply and distribution of extensive grid-based energy carriers, such as electricity and natural gas as well as other types of energy such as district heating, heating oil, coal and lignite, forestry and agricultural energy products and transport fuels.

General targets for saving energy

Member States must adopt and achieve an indicative energy saving target of 9 % by 2016 in the framework of a national energy efficiency action plan (NEEAP). This target has been set and calculated in accordance with the method set out in Annex I to the Directive.

They must also appoint one or more new or existing independent public sector authorities or agencies to ensure overall monitoring of the process set up to achieve these targets.

Public sector purchasing policy

Member States must ensure that the public sector adopts measures to improve energy efficiency, inform the public and businesses of the measures adopted and promote the exchange of good practice. Annex VI to the Directive contains measures that the public sector can adopt, including:

  • the use of financial instruments for energy savings, such as third-party financing contracts and energy performance contracts;
  • the purchase of energy-efficient equipment and vehicles;
  • the purchase of low-energy products.

Member States must appoint one or more new or existing organisations to carry out administrative, management and implementation duties in order to meet their obligations.

Promotion of energy end-use efficiency and energy services

Member States must ensure that energy distributors, distribution system operators and energy retail businesses that sell electricity, natural gas, heating oil and district heating:

  • refrain from any activity which could hamper the supply of energy services, programmes to improve energy efficiency and other measures aimed at improving general energy efficiency;
  • supply information on their final customers needed to develop and implement programmes to improve energy efficiency;
  • at the discretion of the Member States, possibly using voluntary agreements or other market-based measures, offer and promote energy services to their final customers or offer and promote energy audits and/or measures to improve energy efficiency or contribute to the financial instruments for improving energy efficiency.

Member States must ensure that market operators are provided with transparent information on programmes and measures to improve energy efficiency.

Member States must also repeal or amend national legislative provisions and regulations which unnecessarily or disproportionately impede or restrict the use of financial instruments or other measures for making energy savings on the energy services market. Model contracts for financial instruments must be made available to interested parties.

They must also develop high-quality energy auditing systems for all final customers aimed at determining which measures can be taken to improve energy efficiency and which energy services it must be possible to provide and prepare for their implementation. Certification following such audits is equivalent to that obtained under the Directive on the energy performance of buildings.

Member States must also ensure that end-users are provided with competitively priced individual metering and informative billing that shows their actual energy consumption. As far as possible, bills must be based on actual energy consumption and must include, in addition to other information, the following: current actual prices and consumption, a comparison of current consumption with consumption for the previous year, contact details of bodies from which information on improving energy efficiency can be obtained. Individual meters must be installed at a competitive price wherever economically and technically feasible.

Finally, Member States must draw up reports in 2011 and 2014 on the administration and implementation of this Directive.

Context

The Green Paper on the security of energy supply highlighted that, if no action is taken, the European Union’s dependence on external energy sources will increase from 50 % to 70 % by 2030 according to current estimates. At the same time, the EU is continuing to produce more and more CO2 and other greenhouse gases and the human activities associated with the energy sector are responsible for no less than 78 % of Union greenhouse gas emissions. This is why efforts must now focus on improving end-use energy efficiency and controlling energy demand.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2006/32/EC

17.5.2006

17.5.2008

OJ L 114 of 27.4.2006

Amending acts Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation No 1137/2008

11.12.2008

OJ L 311 of 21.11.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2006/32/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purpose only.

Related Acts

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 2011 on energy efficiency and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC [COM(2011) 370 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The European Commission has set itself the overall objective of reducing energy consumption by 20 % by 2020. In this context, it proposes a new strategy on energy efficiency which continues its Energy Efficiency Plan 2011. This Proposal for a Directive takes elements from this plan and makes them legally binding.
Furthermore, it proposes to repeal Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC, which no longer enable the potential for energy savings to be fully exploited. However, Article 4 of Directive 2006/32/EC should continue to apply in order to enable Member States to reach the objective of achieving 9 % of energy savings by 2016.

Commission Communication of 23 January 2008 on a first assessment of national energy efficiency action plans as required by Directive 2006/32/EC on energy end-use efficiency and energy services – Moving forward together on energy efficiency [COM(2008) 11 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC [OJ L 2011 of 14.8.2009].

Directive 2009/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/55/EC [OJ L 211 of 14.8.2009].

Green Paper on energy efficiency

Green Paper on energy efficiency

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Green Paper on energy efficiency

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Tackling climate change

Green Paper on energy efficiency

The Commission wishes to relaunch European Union (EU) action in energy saving using this Green Paper. It invites public authorities to make citizens and businesses more accountable by rewarding energy saving behaviour. Energy efficiency is a major challenge as current developments in energy consumption threaten the environment and the economic growth of the EU. Efforts must be made in the transport, energy production and building sectors in particular.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Green Paper, 22 June 2005, “Energy Efficiency – or Doing More With Less” [COM(2005) 265 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Why save energy?

The EU depends on energy imports for 50% of its current consumption, a figure that could reach 70% by 2030. This high level of dependence is added to the expected depletion of traditional energy resources and the insufficient development of renewable resources, three factors that require energy demand to be controlled in order to do more with less.

In the Green Paper, the Commission estimates that the EU could reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2020, which would release a sum of EUR 60 billion per year for other investments. Such a level of saving would have a positive impact on EU citizens in two ways. It would reinforce the competitiveness of European industry within the framework of the Lisbon agenda and could lead to the creation of a million jobs in related fields (transport management, high energy efficiency technologies, etc.). A 20% energy saving would also allow the EU to meet its Tokyo commitments by reducing CO2 emissions in order to protect a healthy environment for the citizens of today and tomorrow.

In which areas could energy efficiency be strengthened?

If current consumption trends continue, energy consumption in Europe will rise by 10% in the next fifteen years. The Commission intends to reverse this trend by combating the main forms of energy waste.

The first sector with a high energy saving potential is transport, representing a third of the EU’s total consumption. The dominance of road transport and its high level petrol dependence are accompanied by congestion and pollution problems which add to energy waste.

Another area affected by the improvement of energy efficiency is energy production itself. Depending on the technology used, 40 to 60% of energy necessary for electricity production is lost in the production process.

Finally, important progress can be made in the buildings sector, either in houses or offices. Heating and lighting buildings counts for nearly 40% of energy used in the EU and could be managed more efficiently.

Applying existing measures and thinking of new ones

The Commission emphasises energy saving actions already launched at European level. Out of the 20% of possible savings that could be made by 2020, 10% could result from the full application of existing legislation, particularly in the transport, heat production and buildings sectors. Effectively implementing the Intelligent Energy – Europe (2007-13) programme is equally important before launching new initiatives. Instruments for improving energy efficiency in the EU exist and so must be used.

The other 10% of energy savings require new laws and new behaviour to be adopted by all players concerned, i.e. across all public authorities, industries and individuals. The Commission therefore proposes practical energy saving measures in different sectors to meet the objective of 20% by 2020.

Avenues opened by the Green Paper

In the transport sector, tax schemes favouring clean and economical vehicles must be put in place to ensure that the polluter really pays. Similarly, manufacturers supporting energy efficiency must be rewarded and consumers must be made accountable for issues such as tyre pressure, use of public transport and car pools. The Commission also wishes to finance research and the development of alternative fuels. Finally, it calls for better road and air traffic management on a continental scale to limit congestion and pollution, particularly by using the applications of the GALILEO programme.

In the buildings sector, the Commission intends to encourage industry and consumers to use their energy better through more economical technology and behaviour. Replacing light bulbs, boilers and refrigerators with better performing appliances should be encouraged. However, the stand-by function in electrical appliances seems to be a significant source of electricity waste. The Commission points out that households can save significant amounts by being more careful with their energy use, and invites construction companies to apply the legislation transposed at national level in 2006.

In the industrial sector, the Commission invites businesses to invest in more efficient technology to produce more with less energy. Public authorities must be ready to take action if market mechanisms are not sufficient to give an incentive for energy saving. In the long term, investing in efficient technology allows businesses to reduce their production costs and to be more competitive. Europe can also reinforce its place in the energy efficient technology market and lead the debate on energy saving on a global level.

Background

Five years after the Commission’s action plan of 2000-06 on energy efficiency, this Green Paper attempts to relaunch the debate at all levels of European society, to find solutions adapted to this urgent and universal problem. Consultation with all interested parties should lead to concrete measures, for example national action plans to establish best practice in terms of energy saving. This would allow the EU to operate at the centre of the international effort against climate change and depletion of energy resources.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission – Action Plan for Energy Efficiency: Realising the Potential [COM(2006) 545 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Green Paper

, of 29 November 2000, “Towards a European Strategy for the Security of Energy Supply” [COM(2000) 769 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Communication from the Commission

to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, of 26 April 2000, “Action Plan to improve energy efficiency in the European Community” [COM(2000) 247

final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 29 April 1998 “Energy efficiency in the European Community – Towards a strategy for the rational use of energy” [COM(1998) 246

final – Not published in the Official Journal].

 

Action Plan for Energy Efficiency

Action Plan for energy efficiency

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Action Plan for energy efficiency

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > Energy efficiency

Action Plan for energy efficiency (2000-2006)

The Commission presents an Action Plan aimed at reducing energy consumption by improving energy efficiency. The goal is to protect the environment, enhance security of energy supply and establish a more sustainable energy policy.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, of 26 April 2000, entitled: “Action Plan to improve energy efficiency in the European Community” [COM(2000) 247 – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Background

Energy efficiency means reducing energy consumption without reducing the use of energy-consuming plant and equipment. The aim is to make better use of energy. Energy efficiency means promoting behaviour, working methods and manufacturing techniques which are less energy-intensive.

The measures to promote energy efficiency form part of the wider objectives of the European Community’s energy and environment policy. Greater energy efficiency has a major role to play in meeting the targets set in the Kyoto Protocol. It encourages a more sustainable energy policy and is a key element in the security of energy supply in the European Community, a subject which has given cause for concern in recent years.

The Action Plan is a follow-up to the Commission communication adopted in April 1998 on the rational use of energy and the Council resolution on energy efficiency.

This summary presents the measures proposed by the Action Plan and, where appropriate, gives an update of certain measures taken since its adoption.

Barriers to energy efficiency

There are many barriers to energy efficiency, such as inefficient use of energy in the industrial sector. Commercial barriers are also a major obstacle to improving energy efficiency, as they can prevent access to technologies and the spread of efficient energy forms. These include in particular:

  • the practice of selling energy by kWh rather than as a service;
  • energy prices that do not reflect the real costs of energy as they do not include the externalities;
  • institutional and legal barriers;
  • lack of or incomplete information which often hampers the use of cost-effective and energy-efficient technology.

Objectives

According to the 1998 Communication, the European Community’s energy consumption could be reduced by 18% compared with the current situation by improving energy efficiency. The Action Plan proposes a target of a 1% decrease per annum until 2010 over and above that currently envisaged. This means that two thirds of the overall objective should be achieved by 2010.

In order to meet this overall objective, the Commission has set detailed targets with the aim of developing action in the area of energy and environment policy, refocusing attention on the subject, underlining the possibility of exceeding the objectives set and, finally, introducing measures to ensure the long-term improvement of energy efficiency, through the use of market forces and new technologies.

Implementation

A wide range of instruments is to be used to implement the plan at European Community and national level. Many of the proposed actions are not mandatory (voluntary agreements, for example). The Community policies reinforce and supplement those of the Member States and the Community has an important coordinating role, through the SAVE programme in particular. It is important to note that SAVE projects will be undertaken in the areas described below. They are an important instrument for implementing the plan. A significant role is also attributed to the Fifth R&D Framework Programme.

The proposed actions are divided into three categories:

  • measures to integrate energy efficiency into other Community policies;
  • initiatives to strengthen and extend existing policies;
  • new policies and measures.

Category 1: Measures to integrate energy efficiency into other Community policies

There are six main areas:

Transport

The transport sector is a priority area for energy efficiency as it is responsible for over 30% of final energy consumption. The measures are mostly of a non-technological nature and include promoting the establishment of new infrastructures and, consequently, intermodality;

Modern enterprise policy

It is necessary to encourage sustainable development. This primarily concerns industries and can be achieved through voluntary agreements;

Regional and urban policy

This dimension should be integrated into the allocation of resources through the Structural Funds, the Regional Fund, the Cohesion Fund, etc.;

Research and Development

The Fifth Framework Programme of Research and Development and in particular the energy programme contribute to the research in this area. Of the 1 042 million allocated to energy between 1999 and 2002, 440 million will be allocated to energy efficiency;

Taxation and tariff policy

The Commission considers initiatives in these two areas important for improving energy efficiency. Tax exemptions for investments in energy efficiency are a possible example. In this connection, the Commission has already proposed a Community framework for taxation of energy products;

International cooperation and pre-accession activities

Approximation of legislation, harmonised efficiency standards, etc. as well as a measure of international liberalisation are desirable. In this context, the Energy Charter concluded with third countries and the participation of accession countries in programmes such as SAVE are important initiatives.

Category 2: Measures to strengthen and expand existing measures

It is necessary to strengthen and expand measures in four priority areas:

Transport

The proposed measures involve both non-mandatory measures (voluntary agreements) and legislation. The Commission has already set ambitious targets for this key sector, such as reducing the average CO2 emissions of new vehicles by one third by 2005/2010 compared with 1995 with the aid of voluntary agreements. Voluntary agreements have already been negotiated with the automobile industry. It is necessary to monitor and evaluate these agreements and to provide incentives to apply them in full.

Household appliances, commercial and other equipment

This covers equipment such as large domestic electrical appliances and lighting. The proposed measures principally concern labelling systems and minimum standards for energy efficiency.
It is necessary to reinforce and expand the existing Community labelling system which, although useful, has been relatively badly applied in certain cases (e.g. the labelling system for domestic appliances). In December 2006, the Community concluded a new agreement with the United States on energy efficiency on office equipment (the Energy Star label and programme). There must also be close synergy with the EU ” Eco-Label ” system.

As for agreements concerning minimum efficiency standards, voluntary agreements between the Member States and manufacturers on minimum efficiency standards for appliances have become an alternative to legislation. The Commission itself has concluded two agreements of this type (one on energy consumption by televisions and video recorders in standby mode and one on washing machines). The agreements will be extended to other appliances such as water heaters and dishwashers. There is no labelling system for the commercial and industrial sector. The Commission therefore believes that mandatory minimum efficiency standards are necessary if acceptable voluntary agreements are not concluded. The Commission is also going to propose a framework directive on concluding such agreements that will lay down minimum standards in certain areas, where necessary.

Industry (including electricity and gas companies)

There are plans to

  • conclude long-term agreements in industry;
  • increase combined production of heat and power (CHP);
  • increase the role of energy efficiency in the energy services offered by distributing companies and SMEs.

In the first case, it is necessary to remove technical barriers. This can be achieved via agreements or protocols on minimum energy efficiency, which lay down guidelines for energy-efficient processes and production methods. Such agreements have already been concluded in certain sectors and the scheme should now be extended to the chemical industry, steel industry, etc. The Commission will prepare a communication on harmonising these agreements at Community level.
CHP has a double role in contributing to energy efficiency and reducing environmental impact. An existing measure in particular is to be strengthened, namely Directive 88/609/EEC on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from large combustion plants, which implies greater use of CHP.

Concerning the third objective, it will be necessary to conclude voluntary agreements through which utilities and service companies commit themselves to promoting energy efficiency, while also complying with the normal cost efficiency criteria. Use of rational planning techniques is desirable (the Commission has made a proposal on this subject).

Buildings

Buildings represent approximately 40% of energy consumption and the potential energy saving is more than 20%. The Action Plan proposes amending one of the key directives in this area, i.e. Directive 93/76/EEC on the energy certification of buildings, which seeks to limit carbon-dioxide emissions and includes insulation measures and heating requirements (Directive repealed by Directive 2006/32/EC).

In May 2001, the Commission made a proposal for a complementary directive on the energy performance of buildings. The Directives on boilers (92/42/EEC) and on construction products (89/106/EEC) also figure among the main actions in the sector and, in September 2000, a Directive on energy efficiency for lighting was adopted. The dissemination of good practices, the extension of labelling and the training and qualification of fitters are also planned. Moreover, among the many initiatives in this sector, the Community also finances a “Green Light Programme” concerning lighting in commercial buildings.

Horizontal Measures

The Action Plan sets out a number of “horizontal” initiatives designed to improve energy efficiency, i.e. initiatives which affect several or all of the sectors concerned. These are:

  • decentralisation of energy management at local and regional levels;
  • strengthening third-party financing (private undertakings, for example);
  • better dissemination of information and training via a renewed Community information campaign and specialised training;
  • better monitoring and evaluation methods through greater harmonisation of national monitoring programmes and definition of indicators.

Category 3: New Policies and Measures

New policies should be put in place in order to meet the targets. Some of them have already been implemented on a small scale in the Member States.

Promotion of energy efficiency in public procurement

Public procurement (public institutions, authorities, public enterprises, etc.) can promote the improvement of energy efficiency and thus stimulate demand for energy-efficient technologies. It thereby sets a good example in integrating energy-efficiency measures into public-sector policies/activities. The Commission has launched a study of Member States’ public programmes to provide recommendations for launching pilot projects. In this context, the institutions of the European Union have launched initiatives regarding their own energy management.

Cooperative technology procurement

This involves coordinating the needs and requirements of public-sector calls for tender for energy-efficient technologies, in order to be able to benefit fully from all the available technologies. The introduction of competitive tendering in some Member States should facilitate this task.

Energy audits in industry and the tertiary sector

Energy audits already carried out in certain Member States (sometimes in conjunction with incentives) have supplied useful information which is often difficult to obtain and have identified energy-saving opportunities. The Commission is considering presenting a Community initiative on energy audits in the Member States.

Best Practice

Following a feasibility study on this subject, a best-practices scheme has been launched under the auspices of the SAVE programme. This scheme aims to supply decision-makers and end-users with independent information and advice on energy efficiency and to familiarise them with new techniques and technology.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 19 October 2006, entitled: “Action Plan for energy efficiency: realising the potential” [COM(2006) 545 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission has proposed a new Action Plan aimed at achieving energy savings of 20% by 2020. This Action Plan covers the period 2007-12 and is a follow-up to the Action Plan adopted in 2000; the initiatives taken under the latter Plan have either been implemented already or are being implemented at the present time.

Directive 2006/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on energy end-use efficiency and energy services and repealing Council Directive 93/76/EEC [Official Journal L 114 of 27.4.2006].

Directive 2005/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2005 establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products and amending Council Directive 92/42/EEC and Directives 96/57/EC and 2000/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal L 191 of 22.7.2005].


Another Normative about Action Plan for Energy Efficiency

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic

Environment > Tackling climate change

Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (2007-12)

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 19 October 2006 entitled: Action Plan for Energy Efficiency: Realising the Potential [COM(2006) 545 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The purpose of this Action Plan is to mobilise the general public, policy-makers and market actors, and to transform the internal energy market in a way that provides EU citizens with the most energy-efficient infrastructure (including buildings), products (including appliances and cars), and energy systems in the world.

The objective of the Action Plan is to control and reduce energy demand and to take targeted action on consumption and supply in order to save 20 % of annual consumption of primary energy by 2020 (compared to the energy consumption forecasts for 2020). This objective corresponds to achieving approximately a 1.5 % saving per year up to 2020.

In order to achieve substantial and sustainable energy savings, energy-efficient techniques, products and services must be developed and consumption habits must be changed so that less energy is used to maintain the same quality of life. The Plan sets out a number of short and medium-term measures to achieve this objective.

The Action Plan runs for a six-year period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2012. The Commission considers this timeframe to be sufficient to adopt and transpose most of the measures it proposes. A mid-term review will be carried out in 2009.

POTENTIAL ENERGY SAVINGS

The Commission considers the biggest energy savings are to be made in the following sectors: residential and commercial buildings (tertiary), with savings potentials estimated at 27 % and 30 % respectively, the manufacturing industry, with the potential for a 25 % reduction, and transport, with the potential for a 26 % reduction in energy consumption.

These sectoral reductions of energy consumption correspond to overall savings estimated at 390 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) each year or €100 billion per year up to 2020. They would also help reduce CO2 emissions by 780 million tonnes per year.

These potential savings come in addition to an estimated 1.8 % (or 470 Mtoe) reduction in annual consumption which would partly stem from other measures already adopted and normal replacements of material.

Achieving the 20 % reduction objective will help reduce the EU’s impact on climate change and dependence on fossil fuel imports. The Action Plan will also boost industrial competitiveness, increase exports of new technologies and will have positive benefits in terms of employment. The savings made will, moreover, offset the investments put into innovative technologies.

MEASURES PROPOSED BY THE ACTION PLAN

The Commission included in the Action Plan all measures presenting the best cost-efficiency ratio, i.e. those with the lowest environmental cost over the life cycle, which do not overrun the budget given for investments in the energy sector. Some are priority measures, and should therefore be adopted without delay, whilst others are to be implemented throughout the six-year period set for the Action Plan.

Improving energy performance

Effective action on energy-consuming equipment and appliances requires steps on two fronts: standards for the energy yield of appliances and an appropriate, consumer-focused system to label and evaluate energy performance.

To this end, the Action Plan provides for the adoption of Eco-Design minimum standards to improve the energy yield of 14 groups of products (including boilers, televisions and light fittings) and to extend it to other products in the long-term. In addition, the Commission hopes to strengthen the rules on labelling, in particular by regularly updating classifications and extending these rules to other equipment.

On the basis of Directive 2006/32/EC on end-use energy efficiency and energy services, the Commission plans to draft guidelines, a code of conduct and a certification procedure applicable to all sectors.

To substantially reduce heat loss in buildings, the Action Plan plans to extend the scope of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive to cover small buildings, to develop minimum performance standards applicable to new and renovated buildings and to promote so-called “passive” houses.

Improving energy transformation

The energy transformation sector uses around one third of all primary energy, yet the average energy yield for transformation facilities is around 40 %. There is great potential for improving this, which would substantially help to reduce energy loss. Energy distribution and transport are also sources of energy losses where action could potentially be taken.

The Commission will develop minimum binding energy efficiency requirements for electricity generation facilities, heating and cooling for facilities operating with less than 20 megawatts of power, and possibly for more powerful facilities too.

It also plans to develop, in cooperation with industry professionals, guidelines for good practices designed both for existing facilities and for energy suppliers and distributors. The promotion of cogeneration will also be stepped up and connections with decentralised generation centres will be encouraged.

Limiting the costs linked to transport

With almost 20 % of total primary energy consumption and the fastest growth in consumption, the transport sector represents both a major environmental risk (greenhouse gas emissions) and one of the main factors of dependency on fossil fuels. To solve these problems, it is vital to take action on car use and on promoting cleaner alternative transport.

The Commission plans to set a binding target to reduce polluting car emissions to achieve the threshold of 120g of CO2/km by 2012. It also intends to address the issue of car components, such as air conditioning and tyres, in particular by issuing a European standard for rolling resistance and by promoting tyre pressure monitoring. Moreover, strengthening the rules on vehicle labelling will help to promote the most energy-efficient vehicles, as will proper awareness-raising campaigns and public authorities purchasing clean vehicles.

Urban transport will be the subject of a Green Paper, aimed at pooling experience to encourage the use of alternatives to car transport, such as public transport, non-motorised transport and teleworking.

Reducing the energy consumption of other forms of transport – rail, air and water-based – will also be studied. Accordingly, the Action Plan includes an initiative to extend the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme to the air transport sector, to improve air traffic control (SESAR), to implement the third rail package, and to connect ships to the electricity network when in harbour.

Financing, incentives and fares

The Action Plan includes several types of measures to facilitate investments designed to boost energy efficiency.

The Commission also calls on the banking sector to offer financing opportunities tailored to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and enterprises providing energy efficiency solutions (businesses providing energy services). In addition, the private banking sector, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and other international financial institutions will facilitate the establishment of public-private partnerships.

The Commission also plans to remove, where possible, the national legal barriers to shared savings, third-party financing, energy performance contracting and recourse to businesses providing energy services.

Using the Structural and Cohesion Funds will also help provide support to regions in need, especially in the new Member States, including support for habitats.

Taxation is also a powerful tool for providing incentives. Here the Commission notes that it would draft a Green Paper on indirect taxation, revise the Energy Tax Directive, and encourage the taxation of private cars according to their pollution levels. It also highlights the potential for using tax credits as incentives for both companies and households.

Changing behaviour

Consumers’ purchasing decisions will determine the success of the results. The Commission plans a number of educational measures to raise public awareness of the importance of energy efficiency, including education and training programmes on energy and climate change issues. It also proposes to organise a competition to reward the most energy-efficient school.

In addition, the Commission considers that public authorities should set an example. The Commission itself plans to obtain EMAS certification for all buildings it owns, and then to extend the initiative to all EU institutions.

It also plans to adopt guidelines on tenders and to set up networks for cities to exchange good practices concerning energy efficiency in urban areas.

Adapting and developing international partnerships

The Commission considers that European development and trade policies, agreements, treaties and other international instruments represent other ways to promote the spread and use of high energy yield technologies and techniques at global level.

It will launch an international conference with a view to adopting an international framework agreement on energy efficiency which will involve the EU’s main trading partners and key international organisations.

Background

In its Green Paper on the European Energy Strategy, the Commission underlines the need to strengthen its energy efficiency policy. In addition, the target for a 20 % reduction in energy consumption set in this Action Plan is part of the measures requested by the European Council in March 2006 to ensure the environmental feasibility of European Energy Policy.

The policies and measures contained in this Action Plan are based on the consultations launched by the 2005 Green Paper on Energy Efficiency.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 13 May 2008 – “Addressing the challenge of energy efficiency through information and communication technologies” [COM (2008) 241 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This communication places information and communication technologies (ITCs) at the heart of a combined European climate and energy policy. ITCs are effectively a means of improving energy efficiency in different sectors of the economy. To begin with the focus is on the most promising domains, such as the power grid, energy efficient buildings, smart lighting and ITCs, before the consultation and partnership process is launched, which will identify other areas for action. This communication also encourages research and innovation, cooperation, regional and national initiatives, as well as the dissemination of good practice in the field of ITCs.

Directive 2006/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2006 on energy end-use efficiency and energy services and repealing Council Directive 93/76/EEC [Official Journal L 114 of 27 April 2006].

The EU adopted a framework on energy end-use efficiency and energy services. This framework includes an indicative goal for energy savings applicable to Member States, obligations for national public authorities regarding energy savings and energy efficient procurement and measures to promote energy efficiency and energy services.

Energy performance of buildings

Energy performance of buildings

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Energy performance of buildings

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Energy > Energy efficiency

Energy performance of buildings

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings.

Summary

This Directive aims to promote the energy performance of buildings * and building units.

Methodology for calculating the energy performance of buildings

Member States shall adopt, either at national or regional level, a methodology for calculating the energy performance of buildings which takes into account certain elements, specifically:

  • the thermal characteristics of a building (thermal capacity, insulation, etc.);
  • heating insulation and hot water supply;
  • the air-conditioning installation;
  • the built-in lighting installation;
  • indoor climatic conditions.

The positive influence of other aspects such as local solar exposure, natural lighting, electricity produced by cogeneration and district or block heating or cooling systems are also taken into account.

Setting minimum requirements

Member States shall put in place, in compliance with the aforementioned calculation methodology, minimum requirements for energy performance in order to achieve cost-optimal levels. The level of these requirements is reviewed every 5 years.

When setting requirements, Member States may differentiate between new and existing buildings and between different categories of buildings.

New buildings shall comply with these requirements and undergo a feasibility study before construction starts, looking at the installation of renewable energy supply systems, heat pumps, district or block heating or cooling systems and cogeneration systems.

When undergoing major renovation, existing buildings shall have their energy performance upgraded so that they also satisfy the minimum requirements.

The following may be exempt from the application of the minimum requirements:

  • officially protected buildings (for example, historic buildings);
  • buildings used as places of worship;
  • temporary buildings;
  • residential buildings intended for a limited annual time of use;
  • stand-alone buildings with a total useful floor area of less than 50 m2.

When new, replaced or upgraded technical building systems such as heating systems, hot water systems, air-conditioning systems and large ventilation systems are installed, they shall also comply with the energy performance requirements.

Building elements that form part of the building envelope and have a significant impact on the energy performance of that envelope (for example, window frames) shall also meet the minimum energy performance requirements when they are replaced or retrofitted, with a view to achieving cost-optimal levels.

This Directive strongly encourages the introduction of intelligent energy consumption metering systems whenever a building is constructed or undergoes renovation, pursuant to the Directive concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity.

Objective: Nearly zero-energy buildings

By 31 December 2020, all new buildings shall be nearly zero-energy consumption buildings. New buildings occupied and owned by public authorities shall comply with the same criteria by 31 December 2018.

The Commission encourages increasing the numbers of this type of building by putting in place national plans, which include:

  • the Member State’s application in practice of the definition of nearly zero-energy buildings;
  • the intermediate targets for improving the energy performance of new buildings by 2015;
  • information on the policies and financial measures adopted to encourage improving the energy performance of buildings.

Financial incentives and market barriers

Member States shall draw up a list of the existing and potential instruments used to promote improvements in the energy performance of buildings. This list is to be updated every three years.

Energy performance certificates

Member States shall implement a system for the energy performance certification of buildings. It shall include information on the energy performance of a building and recommendations for cost improvements.

When a building or building unit is offered for sale or for rent, the energy performance indicator of the energy performance certificate shall be included in advertisements in commercial media.

When buildings or building units are constructed, sold or rented out, the certificate is to be shown to the new tenant or prospective buyer and handed over to the buyer or new tenant.

With regard to buildings where a total floor area of over 500 m² is occupied by a public authority and buildings with a total floor area of over 500 m² which are frequently visited by the public, the energy performance certificate shall be displayed in a prominent place and be clearly visible (this threshold shall be lowered to 250 m² on 9 July 2015).

Member States are responsible for putting in place a system of regular inspections of heating and air-conditioning systems in buildings.

This Directive repeals Directive 2002/91/EC.

Key terms of the Act
  • Energy performance of a building: the calculated or measured amount of energy needed to meet the energy demand associated with a typical use of the building, which includes energy used for heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water and lighting.

Reference

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2010/31/EU

8.7.2010

9.7.2012

OJ L 153 of 18.6.2010