Help Print this page 
Title and reference
Energy efficiency for the 2020 goal

Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.
Multilingual display
Text

Energy efficiency for the 2020 goal

European Union leaders agreed in March 2007 to reduce the EU’s projected energy consumption by 20 % by 2020. That is the equivalent of closing 400 power stations. In October 2014 they agreed a higher energy savings* target of 27 %, or greater, by 2030.

ACT

Communication from the Commission: Energy efficiency: delivering the 20 % target (COM(2008) 772 final of 13 November 2008).

SUMMARY

European Union leaders agreed in March 2007 to reduce the EU’s projected energy consumption by 20 % by 2020. That is the equivalent of closing 400 power stations. In October 2014 they agreed a higher energy savings* target of 27 %, or greater, by 2030.

WHAT DOES THE COMMUNICATION DO?

It analyses the progress the EU has already made in moving towards greater energy efficiency* and identifies the drivers and barriers that exist. It also sets out details of the energy efficiency package that the Commission plans to present.

KEY POINTS

The package contains the following measures.

Existing legislation on energy efficiency in buildings will be extended to cover more premises. The Commission believes 30 % less energy use in the sector is feasible.

Labelling legislation requiring details of a product’s energy use will apply not just to existing household appliances, but also to commercial and industrial energy-using and related products, such as windows and motors used in buildings.

New energy labelling legislation will be tabled to encourage the use of fuel-efficient tyres. These require less force to turn the steering wheel and so consume less fuel.

Existing measures on the combined generation of electricity and heat (cogeneration) will be strengthened.

Subsequently, in 2011, the Commission proposed an energy efficiency plan to ensure the 20 % reduction target is met and to help move towards a resource-efficient and low-carbon economy by 2050.

In 2012 the EU adopted a new energy efficiency directive. This laid down rules for the more efficient supply and use of energy and laid down indicative national energy efficiency targets.

BACKGROUND

Using energy more efficiently has many benefits. It can help households and businesses lower their fuel bills, reduce Europe’s reliance on external suppliers of oil and gas, combat climate change and make the EU’s economy more sustainable and competitive.

For more information, see the European Commission’s ‘Energy and environment’ website.

KEY TERMS

Energy efficiency: using less energy to provide the same service. Examples: energy efficient fridges, washing machines.

Energy saving: reducing or going without a service to save energy; Example: turning off a light.

RELATED ACTS

Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency, amending Directives 2009/125/EC and 2010/30/EU and repealing Directives 2004/8/EC and 2006/32/EC (Official Journal L 315, 14.11.2012, pp. 1-56).

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Energy efficiency plan 2011 (COM(2011) 109 final of 8.3.2011).

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council: Energy efficiency and its contribution to energy security and the 2030 framework for climate and energy policy (COM(2014) 520 final of 23.7.2014).

Last updated: 09.04.2015

Top