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Energy efficiency directive receives European Parliament backing

3 October 2012

The European Parliament is supporting the European Commission’s ambitious energy efficiency directive, which sets member states the target of improving energy efficiency by 20 percent across the board by 2020. The law comes as part of an energy package negotiated in 2007, which includes a target of a 20 percent increase in renewable energies and a 20 percent decline in CO2 emissions. The directive also has serious implications for public procurement.

Under the directive energy companies are requested to reduce their energy sales to industrial and household clients by at least 1.5 percent each year and each EU member state is obliged to draw up a roadmap to make the entire buildings sector more energy efficient by 2050 (commercial, public and private households included). Member states must present their overall national efficiency programmes to the Commission by April 2013 for evaluation.

Member states did not agree on a binding target, but instead agreed on an indicative target of 20 percent energy savings and to binding measures. As the target is not binding, the increase in energy efficiency is expected to land at 15 percent. To compensate for the shortfall, car fuel efficiency regulation and standards for products such as boilers will be revised under the Ecodesign directive.

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