EU Energy Efficiency Directive enters into force.
After its acceptance by the European Parliament and the EU Council and publication in the EU Official Journal, the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) entered into force on 4 December 2012. The Directive replaces the previous EU Directives on energy services and combined heat and power generation. It combines a variety of measures intended to reduce the primary energy consumption of the EU states by 20 percent by 2020.
The Directive focuses on energy efficiency commitments. Accordingly, the EU Member States must ensure that the average annual final energy sales from 2010 to 2012 are to be reduced by 1.5 percent annually between 2014 and 2020. To fulfil this goal, countries can choose whether to require power supply companies to reach this final energy reduction goal, or use instruments such as promotion programmes or energy taxes.
The EU Member States are also obliged to report on the measures to improve the energy efficiency and the predicted and achieved energy reductions by April 2014, and every three years thereafter, in National Energy Efficiency Action Plans (NEEAP). From April 2013 on, the Member States must also inform the EU Commission in annual reports on the progress in fulfilling the national energy efficiency goals.