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ENERGY EFFICIENCY ACTION PLAN: REALISING THE POTENTIAL

Updated September 2011

Revised Energy Efficiency Action Plan (EEAP) 2011

On the beginning of 2011 the revision of this plan is expected. A new energy-efficiency action plan will be detailed in other parts of the coming Energy Strategy, revising the existing action plan from 2006.

Read more about the EU New Energy Strategy here.

Energy Efficiency Action Plan (2006)

October 19, 2006 the EU Commission launched a new Energy Efficiency Action Plan - Saving 20% by 2020 with ten proposals for action (COM(2006)545 final). The Action Plan follows after consultation of the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency 2005 and is made to be a cornerstone in EU's policy for energy efficiency.

November 23, 2006 the EU energy ministers welcomed the proposals in the Energy Efficiency Action Plan at their meeting. Unfortunately they did not support binding national targets for increase in energy efficiency. They also did not support the proposal to widen the scope of the directive on energy efficiency in buildings, at least not for the time being.

INFORSE-Europe and a number of other NGOs have commented that larger potentials (than the 20% in the action plan) are feasible and that more, faster, and stronger actions should be used to achieve these potentials.

See INFORSE-Europe press release (pdf file 138kB).

The ten main points in the 2006 Action Plan are:

  1. Appliance and equipment labelling and minimum energy performance standards
    Updated dynamic labelling and minimum energy performance standards for appliances and other energy-using equipment, on the basis of the Labelling and the Eco-design Directives. Special attention will be devoted to standby loss reduction. The Commission will propose 14 priority products to have them approved by the end of 2008. The Commission will revise the Framework Directive 92/75/EC on labelling to reinforce its effectiveness. The existing labelling classifications will be upgraded.
  2. Building performance requirements and very low energy buildings ("passive houses")
    The Commission will propose to amend the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive substantially in 2009. It will also propose EU minimum performance requirements for new and renovated buildings (kWh/m²). For new buildings, the Commission will also by the end of 2008 develop a strategy for very low energy or passive houses towards wide-spread deployment of these houses by 2015. The Commission will set a good example with its own buildings.
  3. Making power generation and distribution more efficient
    The Commission will by 2008 develop minimum binding efficiency requirements for new electricity, heating and cooling capacity lower than 20 MW and consider such requirements for larger production units. It will also develop guidelines on operation of existing plants to raise average generation efficiency for all plants and agree guidelines on good regulatory practices to reduce transmission and distribution losses. A proposal for a new regulatory framework to promote the connection of decentralized generation will be put forward in 2007.
  4. Achieving fuel efficiency of cars
    The Commission, will propose in 2007 legislation to ensure that the 120 g CO2/km target is achieved by 2012, unless the current voluntary agreement fuel efficiency can realize the target without legislation. In parallel it will propose to strengthen EU requirements for labelling of cars.
  5. Facilitating appropriate financing of energy efficiency investments for small and medium enterprises and Energy Service Companies.
    Through specific initiatives in 2007 and 2008 the Commission will call upon the banking sector to offer finance packages specifically aimed at small and medium enterprises and Energy Service Companies to adopt energy efficiency savings identified in energy audits. Access to Community financing, such as Green Investment Funds, co-financed by CIP (Competitiveness & Innovation Framework Programme), will be made available for promoting eco-innovation
  6. Spurring energy efficiency in the new Member States
    The Commission will encourage European Regional Policy to deploy its programmes to stronger promote investments to improve energy efficiency, also in the multi-family and social housing sectors. In addition, the Commission will promote networking amongst Member States and regions to ensure financing of best practices in energy efficiency.
  7. A coherent use of taxation
    The Commission will prepare a Green Paper on indirect taxation (2007) and will review the Energy Tax Directive in 2008 for a more targeted and coherent use of energy taxation, integrating energy efficiency and environmental aspects.
    The Commission will consider in 2007 the costs and benefits of tax credits, as incentives for enterprises, to promote the production of certified energy-efficient equipment, and for consumers to promote the purchase of such equipment. Regarding vehicle taxation the Commission call upon the countries to adopt relate taxation to CO2 performance.
  8. Raising energy efficiency awareness
    Priority areas will include education and training plans and programmes for energy managers in industry and utilities. Included will also be teaching aids for primary, secondary and vocational educational
    curricula. These will be developed through Community programmes, by recommendations to Member States and through co-operation with Member State and Community educational agencies.
  9. Energy efficiency in built-up areas
    A “Covenant of Mayors” will be created by the Commission bringing together in a permanent network the mayors of 20-30 of Europe's largest and most pioneering cities, to cooperate on energy efficiency including in transport.
  10. Foster energy efficiency worldwide
    In order to promote energy efficiency worldwide, the Commission will take the initiative in 2007 to reach a framework agreement with key external trading partner countries and international organisations. The agreement will focus on improving energy efficiency in end-use sectors and in energy transformation and will use a large number of policies and measures.


Most of the proposals disclosed in the Plan have been implemented or are in progress since 2006. E.g. experts committees have been set up to discuss on eco-design (2006), consultations have been launched on VAT rates (2008) and on the energy performance of buildings (2008) and the EU Commission is currently negotiating with Member States and car manufacturers to find an agreement to cut down car emissions.

Read the complete plan and its 75 specific proposals on the EU Commission’s web site.

See also INFORSE's Proposal on Global Cooperation on Energy Efficiency (pdf 75 kB)

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