Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme in the EED


Article 3 of EED requires that member states set an indicative national energy efficiency target. This target includes savings delivered by all national and EU-level actions, including new action under other provisions in the Energy Efficiency Directive. The savings can be achieved through different measures, which are described under Items of the directive (energy audits, actions in public sector buildings, etc.) Details on how the targets are set could be read about in the introductory articles on EED.


EEOS are a key policy tool: analysis of member state reports shows they are expected to deliver 34% of Article 7 savings—the biggest contribution of any policy instrument. Other savings will come from financing schemes or grants (19%), and taxes (14%), regulation/voluntary agreements (11%), standards and norms (9%) with smaller contributions from training, national energy efficiency funds, energy labels and any other policy measures (Forster et al. 2016). Note that these figures should be viewed with some caution—they are ex-ante estimations and not measured savings, and there are considerable uncertainties around their reliability (Rosenow et al. 2016b).

National Article 7 targets can be met by delivering energy savings from all sectors of the economy and energy end-uses. However, experience to date is that savings have been unevenly distributed between sectors and end-uses: most savings are expected from multi-sector ‘cross cutting’ policies (44%), followed by buildings (42%), industry (8%) and transport (6%) (Forster et al. 2016).

This pattern is influenced by requirements within Article 7, particularly the requirement for ‘additionality’—which means savings have to be added to those which are expected from existing EU efficiency policies. In practice, this means that most savings are likely to come from efficiency improvements to buildings (beyond those mandated in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive) or industrial processes and their management. Efficiency improvements to products, e.g. lightbulbs, boilers, or motors, are largely non-additional as these are delivered via the Ecodesign Directive. Similarly, additional savings from transport are likely to be limited, as the efficiency of new vehicles is also mandated by existing legislation (Regulation (EC) Nos. 443/2009, 333/2014). Article 7 differs from earlier legislation on energy efficiency in its complexity and flexibility (Rosenow et al. 2016b). It is trying to influence the more difficult areas for policy to reach, without a clearly defined route to doing so.

*source: Fawcett, T., Rosenow, J. & Bertoldi, P. Energy efficiency obligation schemes: their future in the EU. Energy Efficiency 12, 57–71 (2019).

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