On the 11th of September at the European Commission plenary was accepted a new Directive on energy efficiency. In the new texts are provided obligatory energy efficiency measures for public buildings, including their renewal, schemes for energy saving from energy companies and energy audits for all big enterprises.
Reducing energy consumption by 20% can lead to savings in the EU up to € 50 billion annually, according to the official news release of the EC.
The Directive will impose requirements to Member States to renovate 3% annually of “heated and air conditioned buildings”, which are owned or used by the government (all administrative departments, whose activity covers the whole territory of the Member State.
The new provisions apply to buildings with total area of 500sq. m. and from July 2015 also for buildings with an area of over 250sq.m. However, the EU countries will be able to use alternative ways to achieve equivalent energy savings.
The new Directive also provides schemes for saving of companies, supplying energy. Companies’ coverеd by the Directive will have to achieve “cumulative savings of final energy consumption”. For this purpose, for each year from 2014 to 2020, the companies must achieve savings, at least equivalent to 1.5% of annual energy sales to end users.
Energy used in the transport sector, can be excluded, when alternative ways are created to achieve equivalent energy savings.
For all major companies will be required to undergo an energy audit. Such audits should begin within 3 years after the directive entered into force, then the companies will be audited every 4 years. Small and medium-sized enterprises are not covered by the current directive.
Also, the directive contains special provisions relating to funding measures for energy efficiency. The Member States will have to support the creation of similar instruments or to use the existing ones.
The Directive on Energy Efficiency will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official EU newspaper, and then the Member States will have 18 months to transport it into the national law.