Policy Briefs

The following briefs are available:

More and more European countries are turning to energy efficiency auctions as a way of delivering cost-effective energy savings. Germany, Portugal and Switzerland already have auctions or tender programmes in place. In 2021 Denmark launched its first energy efficiency auction, while Greece, Italy, Turkey and the United Kingdom are among the countries considering this mechanism.

This ENSMOV policy brief draws upon the ENSMOV workshop on energy efficiency auctions, assessing the design features that affect energy savings, cost-effectiveness and strategic fit within energy efficiency policy frameworks. The brief considers the relative merits of energy efficiency auctions and energy efficiency obligation schemes in the broader context of the energy transition. On the one hand, meeting more ambitious climate change targets requires policy measures that can deliver significant quantities of energy savings. On the other, as energy efficiency measures become more expensive and complex year-on-year and Member States aim to implement the Energy Efficiency First principle, understanding the cost-effectiveness of energy efficiency actions will become increasingly important.

As we near the end of the ENSMOV project, the European Parliament, Council of the EU and the European Commission are entering into trilogue negotiations for a revised EED. This policy brief compares the positions of the three EU institutions and describes what Member States could already do to prepare for the implementation of the new provisions.. Whichever way the negotiations end up, expect increased ambition, a greater focus on tackling energy poverty and limits on the ability to claim savings from fossil fuel combustion technologies. Published: September 2022.

The energy savings obligation (ESO) in the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) requires EU Member States to achieve energy savings through national policy measures. The ESO is Article 7 of the current EED and Article 8 of the proposed recast Directive, published in July 2021.

The ESO is the most significant energy efficiency measure in the European policy package, contributing around 50% of the overall EED energy efficiency target.
The EU Commission’s proposed recast of the EED introduces a requirement for a share of the energy savings to be achieved among energy poor households.

This policy brief, written by H2020 projects Social Watt and ENSMOV, provides an overview of the new requirement and explains how the shares are calculated for each Member State. It then focuses on the policy measure that contributes the most to the aggregate achievement of the ESO target, the Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes (EEOSs), which contribute 35% of savings (EU Commission, 2020). The briefing shares lessons from countries where EEOSs are used to alleviate energy poverty. The target audience is national public authorities, energy and social policy experts and advocates.

SocialWatt and ENSMOV have come together to write a joint briefing to share the learning from both projects and make recommendations to improve the consideration of energy poverty through Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive.

Article 7 of the EED specifically requires European member states to take into account the need to alleviate energy poverty in their design of Article 7 measures, but this requirement is not universally adopted. The briefing recommends that the provision on energy poverty in Article 7 should be fully implemented and, further, that the distributional equity – or who pays for and who benefits – from the measures delivered under Article 7 should be assessed, and measures put in place to address distributional inequities. More broadly, the climate and social goals within EED Article 7 and the wider European package must be better aligned.

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