The European Commission published on 22 June 2011 its proposal for an Energy Efficiency Directive.
The Commission proposes the following measures:
Legal obligation to establish energy saving schemes in all Member States: energy distributors or retail energy sales companies will be obliged to save every year 1,5 % of their energy sales, by volume, through the implementation of energy efficiency measures such as improving the efficiency of the heating system, installing double glazed windows or insulating roofs, among final energy customers. Alternatively, Member States have also the possibility to propose other energy savings mechanisms, for example, be funding programmes or voluntary agreements that lead to the same results but are not based on obligation on energy companies.
Public sector to lead by example: public bodies will push for the market uptake of energy efficient products and services through a legal obligation to purchase energy efficient buildings, products and services. They will further have to progressively reduce the energy consumed on their own premises by carrying out every year the required renovation works covering at least 3% of their total floor area.
Major energy savings for consumers:easy and free-of-charge access to data on real-time and historical energy consumption through more accurate individual metering will now empower consumers to better manage their energy consumption. Billing should be based on the actual consumption well reflecting data from the metering.
Industry: Incentives for SMEs to undergo energy audits and disseminate best practices while the large companies will have to make an audit of their energy consumption to help them identify the potential for reduced energy consumption.
Efficiency in energy generation: monitoring of efficiency levels of new energy generation capacities, establishment of national heat and cooling plans as a basis for a sound planning of efficient heating and cooling infrastructures, including recovery of waste heat.
Energy transmission and distribution: achieving efficiency gains by ensuring that national energy regulators take energy efficiency criteria into account in their decisions, in particular when approving network tariffs.
The Directive also foresees that the Commission will make in 2014 an assessment of the progress made towards the EU's 20% energy efficiency objective for 2020 and, if necessary, bring forward a further legislative proposal to set mandatory national energy efficiency targets.
On 28 February 2012, the European Parliament's ITRE Committee voted on the first reading text, initially containing over 2000 amendments, as well as on starting the negotiations with the Council.
The Danish Presidency is planning to reach a compromise until the end of its term in June 2012.