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Putting energy efficiency first: consuming better, getting cleaner - EC Fact Sheet

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A 30% energy efficiency target, efficient buildings, clarified ecodesign framework and measures, smarter finance to help Europe grow while meeting its climate goals easer.



This fact sheet summarises the new energy efficiency measures included in the Clean Energy package, which was released by the European Commission on 30 November 2016. These measures include upgrading the current Energy Efficiency Directive, measures focussing on the energy efficiency of buildings, improving the energy performance of products and informing consumers, and a smart finance for buildings proposal.


More specifically, the new measures include the following:


  •     Setting the framework for improving energy efficiency in general;
  •     Improving energy efficiency in buildings;
  •     Improving the energy performance of products (Ecodesign) and informing consumers (energy labelling);
  •     Financing for energy efficiency with the smart finance for smart buildings proposal.


As an encompassing element, the Commission proposes a binding EU-wide target of 30% for energy efficiency by 2030, emphasising the EU's commitment to put energy efficiency first.



Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)


The Commission proposes to update the existing Energy Efficiency Directive by:


  •   aligning energy efficiency targets with the EU 2030 climate and energy framework;
  •   extending beyond 2020 the energy saving obligation requiring energy suppliers and distributors to save 1.5% of energy each year from 2021 to 2030 with a view to attracting private investment and supporting the emergence of new market actors; to enable tailor-made policies that take account of national specificities, Member States can also meet this requirement through alternative measures having the same effect, such as energy efficiency support schemes;
  •   improving metering and billing of energy consumption for heating and cooling consumers.


Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD)


The Commission is proposing changes to the EPBD, which is set to be:


  •   Smart, by encouraging the use of ICT and modern technologies, including building automation and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, to ensure buildings operate efficiently;
  •   Simple, by streamlining or deleting provisions that have not delivered the expected output;
  •   Supportive of building renovation, by strengthening the links between achieving higher renovation rates, funding and energy performance certificates as well as by reinforcing provisions on national long-term building renovation strategies, with a view to decarbonising the building stock by mid-century.


Benefits and further actions for the construction sector


The changes proposed by the Commission in the EED and the EPBD aim to speed up the renovation rate of existing buildings with a view to decarbonising the building stock by mid-century. This will have direct impacts on consumers and households alike - through lower energy bills. And, it will contribute significantly to the competitiveness of European industry by creating a building renovation market for SMEs with a value of €80-120 billion in 2030.


On the top of the legislative proposals, the Commission is also proposing a set of facilitating measures to support, already before the legislation enters into force, the objectives of the Energy Union and the modernisation of the construction sector and its workforce. The measures focus on the digitalisation of buildings' characteristics, tackling skills shortages in the construction section, including energy efficiency and digital skills, ensuring better coherence of the internal market functioning and supporting new initiatives to improve the environmental performance of buildings in line with the circular economy.


In addition, the Commission is launching a smart finance for smart buildings initiative to unlock private financing for energy efficiency and renewables in buildings at a greater scale.



To access the fact sheet, please visit the relevant European Commission webpage at the link below.