Energy Efficiency Directive

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Energy efficient heating is essential to reach EU climate and energy goals. Why? Because heating represents about 40% of the energy consumed in Europe. The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) can support this switch to efficient heating solutions.

First, the EED should send a strong signal by requiring Member States to achieve ambitious energy efficiency targets. Complementary measures are also needed in the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) to push the renovation of existing buildings, including old and inefficient heating appliances.

What’s more, the default Primary Energy Factor of electricity set in the EED should keep fostering a culture of energy efficiency in Europe. This is only possible if:

  • it is based on accurate data on the efficiency of electricity production in Europe today, not on predictions;
  • it considers all the electricity in the system without excluding the efficiency of electricity production from renewable energy – i.e. using a ‘total primary energy’ approach;
  • it is not applied directly to Ecodesign and Energy Labelling, but further investigation is made to assess its impact – for example, assess if some electricity products previously banned from the EU market due to their low efficiency can come back in the market.

In addition, the energy savings obligation should remain ambitious. To calculate them, national and regional policies that accelerate the uptake of more efficient products should get full credit for the energy saved during the product average lifetime. This will promote the early replacement of old and inefficient heaters, which represent over 60% of the 120 million heaters installed in Europe.

And the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle should apply to all, including renewable heating technologies. This is best defined in the implementing Regulations of the Ecodesign Directive 2009/125/EC, which set minimum energy efficiency requirements – and even minimum emission requirements for some products, such as solid fuel boilers.