What exactly would change?
- Public bodies would need to buy energy-efficient buildings, products and services, and refurbish 3% of their buildings each year to drastically reduce their energy consumption.
- Energy utilities would have to encourage end users to cut their energy consumption through efficiency improvements such as the replacement of old boilers or insulation of their homes.
- Industry would be expected to become more aware of energy-saving possibilities, with large companies required to undertake energy audits every 3 years.
- Consumers would be better able to manage their energy consumption thanks to better information provided on their meters and bills.
- Energy transformation would be monitored for efficiency, with the EU proposing measures to improve performance if necessary, and promoting cogeneration of heat and electricity.
- National energy regulatory authorities would have to take energy efficiency into account when deciding how and at what costs energy is distributed to end users.
- Certification schemes would be introduced for providers of energy services to ensure a high level of technical competence.
Who would benefit and how?
- Consumers would benefit from having better information available to control their energy consumption and influence their energy bills.
- The environment would benefit from reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
- Public bodies could reduce their spending for energy consumption by using more efficient buildings, products and services.
- The EU economy would benefit from a more secure energy supply and economic growth through the creation of new jobs, particularly in building renovation.
What happens next?
- Once the proposal is adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, EU countries will have to transpose the rules into national law within one year.
- Progress made in achieving EU's 20% energy saving target in 2020 will be reviewed in 2014. If it is insufficient, mandatory national energy efficiency targets will be proposed.