Measures introduced by the Energy Efficiency Directive

The Energy Efficiency Directive brings forward legally binding measures to step up Member States' efforts to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain - from the transformation of energy and its distribution to its final consumption. The Energy Efficiency Directive envisages to ensure that the European Union's target of primary energy savings by 2020 is achieved and aims to pave the way for further energy efficiency improvements beyond that date.

Summarizing, the following measures are introduced by the Energy Efficiency Directive:

  • Member States must set indicative national energy efficiency targets for 2020;
  • Energy utilities must as of 1 January 2014 achieve a cumulative end-use energy savings target, which target is set at 1,5 % of the annual energy sales to final customers;
  • Consumers will be required to manage their energy consumption more efficiently as a result of better information provided on their meters and bills. High quality energy audits will be made available to all final customers;
  • The industry must carry out cost-benefit analyses to assess the potential of using efficient heating and cooling systems, in particular those using high-efficiency cogeneration;
  • Central governments may only acquire energy-efficient buildings, services and products. In addition, as from 1 January 2014, they must renovate 3% of their buildings on a yearly basis in order to drastically reduce their energy consumption;
  • National energy regulatory authorities must pay due regard to energy efficiency in carrying out their regulatory tasks;
  • New certification schemes must guarantee a high level of technical knowledge and competence at the providers of energy services, energy audits, energy managers and installers of energy-related building elements;
  • Member States must promote the energy services market and access for small and medium-sized enterprises to this market.

Timeframe

Member states must implement most of the Energy Efficiency Directive's provisions into national law by 5 June 2014. However, some of the provisions will have to be implemented earlier, in the course of 2013.

It is not yet clear how the Dutch legislator will implement the Energy Efficiency Directive. However, the explicit policy is that the Energy Efficiency Directive will be implemented strictly, i.e. without any additional, more stringent measures. Additional policy and adjustment of Dutch legislation will be necessary to meet the requirements of the Energy Efficiency Directive. As the Energy Efficiency Directive must be implemented by 5 June 2014, the implementation bill must be drafted as soon as possible. Early 2013 agreement on the national policy is required. NautaDutilh will issue further newsletters on this topic in due course.