15 oct 2012

Energy efficiency: billions of euros in savings

The Directive on energy efficiency, which was adopted by the European Parliament on Tuesday will introduce an obligation to implement measures ensuring the efficient use of energy, including the modernization of public administration buildings, improved energy management by its distributors and suppliers, and mandatory energy audits for large enterprises. Reducing the energy consumption by 20% would save 50 billion euros per year. The value of energy imports by the EU is 400 billion a year.

The obligation to modernize government institutions.

The Directive requires the Member States to renew each year a 3% of the total heated or cooled spaces in buildings owned by government institutions or occupied by these.

The 3% ratio will be calculated based on the total floor area of buildings, with a total useful floor area of over 500 m2 (and from 9 July 2015 - over 250 m2).

The Member States will nevertheless be able to use other measures, including thorough renovations and means of influencing changes in user behavior that will help to achieve comparable savings in energy.

Savings of energy companies

Energy distributors and trading companies will be obliged to record savings each year - from 2014 to the end of 2020 - at the level of 1.5% of the annual volume of sales of electricity to end users (averaged at the latest three-year period prior to 1 January 2013). The sales volume of energy consumed in transport may be partially or fully excluded from this calculation. The Member States decide on how the calculated value of the new savings will be spread over time.

Energy audits

All large enterprises will be required to conduct energy audits once every four years. Energy audits will be carried out by qualified and accredited experts and supervised by independent authorities under national legislation.

Small and medium-sized companies will not have to conduct audits, although the Member States should develop incentive programs for them to undergo such audits and then to implement the resulting recommendations.

Financing

The Directive provides for regulations to allow the creation of programmes of financing the activities aimed at increasing energy efficiency.

What next?

The Directive will enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal of the EU and the member states will have 18 months to implement its provisions. The obligation of conducting energy audits will be introduced from the third year of application of the directive regulations.

Source: www.europapl.europa.eu