New directive (EU) 2023/1791 relating to energy efficiency. Main modifications, energy saving obligations and energy efficiency management systems and audits
On September 20, 2023, the New DIRECTIVE (EU) 2023/1791 of the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT and the COUNCIL of September 13, 2023 on energy efficiency was published in the Official Journal of the EU, which modifies Regulation (EU) 2023/955.
The main modifications with respect to the previous directives 2018/2002 and 2012/27/EU stand out:
- Set a legally binding target for the EU to reduce EU final energy consumption by 11.7% by 2030 (relative to the 2020 baseline scenario). This includes for each Member State the requirement to set its indicative national contribution on the basis of objective criteria reflecting national circumstances. If national contributions do not reach the EU target, the Commission applies an ambition gap mechanism.
- Increase annual energy savings from 0.8% (currently) to 1.3% (2024-2025), then to 1.5% (2026-2027) and 1.9% from 2028. therefore an average of 1.49% of new annual savings for the period 2024-2030.
- Force Member States to prioritize vulnerable customers and social housing in the scope of their energy saving measures.
- Introduce an annual energy consumption reduction target of 1.9% for the entire public sector.
- Extend the building renovation obligation of 3% annually to all levels of public administration.
- Introduce a different approach, based on energy consumption, so that companies have an energy management system or carry out an energy audit.
- Introduce a new obligation to monitor the energy performance of data centres, with an EU-wide database collecting and publishing data.
- Promotion of local heating and cooling plans in larger municipalities.
- Progressively increase efficient energy consumption in heat or cold supply, also in urban district heating.
Energy saving obligation
Member States must achieve cumulative end-use savings of energy, at least equivalent to:
a) a new saving each year, from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2020, of 1.5% of annual energy sales to end customers, in volume, as an average of the last three years prior to January 1, 2013. Sales of energy, in volume, used for transportation may be totally or partially excluded from this calculation;
b) a new savings each year, from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2030:
b.1) from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023, 0.8% of annual final energy consumption, as an average of the last three years prior to January 1, 2019,
b.2) from January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2025, 1.3% of annual final energy consumption, as an average of the last three years prior to January 1, 2019,
b.3) from January 1, 2026 to December 31, 2027, 1.5% of annual final energy consumption, as an average of the last three years prior to January 1, 2019,
b.4) from January 1, 2028 to December 31, 2030, 1.9% of annual final energy consumption, as an average of the last three years prior to January 1, 2019.
Energy management systems and audits
If we focus on energy management systems and audits, the new energy directive insists on the duty of Member States to promote the application of energy management systems and energy audits in public administration at both national, regional and local levels. .
Member States shall ensure that companies with an average annual energy consumption of more than 85 TJ over the previous three years, combining all energy carriers, apply an energy management system. The energy management system will be certified by an independent body, in accordance with relevant European or international standards.
They will ensure that companies with an average annual energy consumption greater than 10 TJ during the previous three years, bringing together all energy vectors, that do not apply an energy management system, are subject to an energy audit.
In reference to SMEs, programs must be developed to encourage the preparation of energy audits. These must be mandatory for average energy consumption higher than the limits stipulated in article 11.
- Energy audits by companies with more than 2,700,000 kWh will be mandatory from October 2026.
- Management systems for companies with more than 23,000,000 kWh will be mandatory from October 2027.
To be carried out, energy audits must take into account relevant European or international standards, such as EN ISO 50001 (energy management systems), or EN 16247-1 (energy audits), or, if they include an energy audit, EN ISO 14000 (environmental management systems).
More info: Link to the European directive.