Environmental Law Service

Climate Law Database

Supplementary provisions of the CCA - Energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources

What is meant by energy efficiency?

Energy efficiency is a broad field that can roughly be divided into four main areas:

  • energy efficiency of buildings
  • energy services (power generation and distribution)
  • energy efficiency of products
  • promotion of energy efficiency trough financing, economic incentives and trough the changing of consumer behavior

EU documents and legislation on Energy Efficiency

A number of legal as well as policy documents deal with the issue of energy efficiency at the European level. The most important policy documents are the following:

  • Commission Green Paper, 22 June 2005, “Energy Efficiency – or Doing More With Less” ([COM(2005) 265 final)
  • Communication from the Commission of 19 October 2006: Action Plan for Energy Efficiency: Realising the Potential ([COM(2006) 545)
  • Communication from the Commission of 13 November 2008 – Energy efficiency: Delivering the 20% target ([COM(2008) 772)

With the Green Paper of 2005 the Commission wished to achieve a re-launch of EU action in energy saving. According to the paper, the EU could save at least 20% of its energy consumption in a cost-effective way. A push in this direction could create as many as 1 million high quality jobs in the energy saving sector and could lead to an annual net saving of 60 billion Euros. An effective energy efficiency policy could therefore make an important contribution to EU competitiveness and employment. Obviously, improved energy efficiency will also have a positive effect on the environment and will be of central importance as regards compliance with the EU’s GHG emission reduction obligations resulting from the Kyoto Protocol. As the third area of concern, the Green Paper mentions security of energy supply. Judging from present trends, by 2030 the EU will be 90% dependent on import of oil and 80% dependent regarding gas. Energy efficiency is seen as an important lever to first cap EU energy demand and to then gradually reduce it. This is also acknowledged within the Action Plan on Energy Efficiency1 presented in 2006.

  • Directive 2006/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2006 on energy end-use efficiency and energy services and repealing Council Directive 93/76/EEC
  • Directive 2009/33/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles

Other legislation (planned and in force) concern the labeling and energy efficiency such as tyres, fluorescent lighting and hot-water boilers.