Energy Efficiency Directive

Energy Efficiency Directive

EU country plans showing how they intend to meet their energy efficiency targets.

EU countries' national building renovation strategies and measures for improving energy efficiency in public buildings.

Energy efficiency obligation schemes or alternative measures to reduce energy consumption by final consumers.


The 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive establishes a set of binding measures to help the EU reach its 20% energy efficiency target by 2020. Under the Directive, all EU countries are required to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain, from production to final consumption.

On 30 November 2016 the Commission proposed an update to the Energy Efficiency Directive, including a new 30% energy efficiency target for 2030, and measures to update the Directive to make sure the new target is met.

Specific measures and policies

New national measures must ensure major energy savings for consumers and industry alike. For example:

  • energy distributors or retail energy sales companies have to achieve 1.5% energy savings per year through the implementation of energy efficiency measures
  • EU countries can opt to achieve the same level of savings through other means, such as improving the efficiency of heating systems, installing double glazed windows or insulating roofs
  • the public sector in EU countries should purchase energy efficient buildings, products and services
  • every year, governments in EU countries must carry out energy efficient renovations on at least 3% (by floor area) of the buildings they own and occupy
  • energy consumers should be empowered to better manage consumption. This includes easy and free access to data on consumption through individual metering
  • national incentives for SMEs to undergo energy audits
  • large companies will make audits of their energy consumption to help them identify ways to reduce it
  • monitoring efficiency levels in new energy generation capacities.

Guidance notes

To help officials in EU countries implement the Energy Efficiency Directive, the European Commission publishes guidance notes.

Implementing the Energy Efficiency Directive – Commission Guidance [COM(2013) 762]

Library of Guidance Notes (CIRCABC)

More specific good practice guidance for Member States on the implementation of aspects of Articles 9-11 relating to collectively provided thermal energy in multi-apartment buildings has also been developed at the request of the Commission.

National energy efficiency targets

To reach the EU's 20% energy efficiency target by 2020, individual EU countries have set their own indicative national energy efficiency targets. Depending on country preferences, these targets can be based on primary or final energy consumption, primary or final energy savings, or energy intensity.

EU Member State
Absolute level of energy consumption in 2020 [Mtoe] as notified from Member States in 2013, in the NEEAP 2014, Annual Reports or in separate notifications to the European Commission in 2015 and 2016
Primary energy consumption Final energy consumption


31.5 25.1


43.7 32.5


16.9 8.6


11.15 7.0


2.2 1.8


39.6 25.3


17.4 14.4


6.5 2.8


35.9 26.7


219.9 131.4


276.6 194.3


24.7 18.4


24.1 14.4


13.9 11.7


158.0 124.0


5.4 4.5


6.5 4.3


4.5 4.2


0.7 0.5


60.7 52.2


96.4 71.6


22.5 17.4


43.0 30.3


16.4 9.0


7.3 5.1


119.8 80.1


43.4 30.3

United Kingdom

177.6 129.2

Sum of indicative targets EU28

1526 1077

EU28 target 2020

1483 1086

Status: 04/01/2017

Task force on mobilising efforts to reach the EU energy efficiency targets for 2020

In response to growing energy consumption trends over recent years, the Commission set up a dedicated Member State Task Force in 2018 on mobilising efforts to reach the EU energy efficiency targets for 2020. Its first meeting took place in September 2018 and Member States broadly recognised the fact that the EU is not on track for achieving the 2020 target. A second meeting in November took these discussions further forward. The Task Force report summarises the work of the task force and a number of actions that were identified as a result of the consultation process with the Member States and stakeholders.

The Commission will continue monitoring energy consumption trends in the context of the annual Energy Union progress report on energy efficiency. In addition, it will continue monitoring the implementation and transposition of energy efficiency legislation in EU Member States. It will also continue working closely with EU countries and stakeholders to provide the necessary support so that the identified measures can be implemented in view of reaching the 2020 targets. The next meeting is planned in the summer of 2019, after Eurostat estimates on energy consumption for 2018 have been published, with a view to enabling the assessment of progress.