Energy audits to become compulsory for large companies

Strasbourg, 14 June – A provisional deal on the Energy Efficiency Directive has been reached between MEPs, member states and the Commission, putting the EU on a course to cut energy use by at least 15% from 1990 levels by 2020. As part of the deal, energy audits will become mandatory for large companies, as requested by the Parliament and the Commission.

The directive will further contain an obligation for energy suppliers to produce an annual energy saving of 1.5% among end-users. Demand rules allowing energy users to adjust their energy use to supply also remain.

The Parliament was successful in keeping the requirements for national building renovation roadmaps, but member states insisted on restricting a 3% renovation target for public sector buildings.

The predicted 15% energy saving falls short of the earlier voluntary agreement made by European leaders to cut usage by 20% by 2020. However, the Commission believes that the remaining 5% cuts can be found through tougher emissions standards for cars and vans, and through new ecodesign measures.

Requirements for energy companies to provide information to consumers through smart-metres and more detailed bills were lost in the compromise, as was the installation of combined heat and power (CHP) as the default option for new installations.

Despite this, the deal has been regarded as a success by the Danish presidency and MEPs, including the Greens. “This deal will give a boost to Europe’s economy and help achieve our energy security and climate goals,” said Green party rapporteur Claude Turmes.

However, many NGOs were critical, including Friends of the Earth, the European Environmental Bureau and the Worldwide Fund for Nature.

Although the deal has been agreed upon, the Parliament will formally vote to pass the Directive in July.

Please click for opinions from Commissioner Oettinger, the LiberalsSocialists and the ECR.

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