The European Union is nearing the end of a process of drawing up the legislation that will finalise the Energy Efficiency Directive.
The directive is one of three pieces of legislation emanating from an EU summit of March 2007, whereby member states agreed on a 20 per cent energy efficiency target by 2020, together with a 20 per cent renewable energy target and a 20 per cent CO2 reduction target.
Member states are required to implement a set of binding, flexible measures and set a national energy efficiency target - which would have to be 20 per cent energy savings for the EU as a whole by 2020, reports EurActiv.
The new directive includes measures on energy audits and energy management for large firms, cost-benefit analysis for the deployment of combined heat and power generation (CHP) and public procurement.
"The most important phase of the process - the implementation - will start soon. I call upon member states and stakeholders for extra efforts to bring its provisions into life. The Commission also remains dedicated and committed to continue its support to the process,'' Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said, on announcing the positive vote.
The next step for member states is to present their national indicative targets by April 2013. If the Commission does not find the targets satisfactory - reaching the overall 20 per cent by 2020 energy efficiency goal - then member states will be required to re-assess their plans and send another proposal to the Commission or risk penalties.
However, for the implementation of other measures, member states are given additional time. They do not have to report on the implementation of one of the key articles - such as the one on energy efficiency obligation schemes or alternative policy measures - until one year after the entry into force of the directive. But, at the same time, they have to prepare by the end of 2015 an assessment of potential for district heating and cogeneration.
In the first semester of 2014, the Commission will review the progress towards the 20 per cent energy efficiency target, report on it and assess whether further measures are needed.
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