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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 4 October 2012

Commissioner Oettinger welcomes final adoption of Energy Efficiency Directive

Günther Oettinger said: "I strongly welcome the positive Council vote today on the Energy Efficiency Directive. The most important phase of the process – the implementation – will start soon. I call upon Member States and stakeholders for extra efforts to bring its provisions into life. The Commission also remains dedicated and committed to continue its support to the process.''

Today the Council (EPSCO) endorsed the political agreement on the Energy Efficiency Directive, following the European Parliament's overwhelmingly positive vote of 11 September (632 in favour, 19 abstentions, 25 against).

The Energy Efficiency Directive brings forward legally binding measures to step up Member States' efforts to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain – from the transformation of energy and its distribution to its final consumption. It also requires Member States to set indicative national targets for 2020. It is expected that the Energy Efficiency Directive will make a significant contribution towards putting the Union on track towards its 20% energy efficiency target for 2020.

Next steps?

The Presidents and Secretaries-General of the European Parliament and of the Council are expected to sign the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on energy efficiency in October. The Directive will enter into force 20 days after publication in the Official Journal of the EU then foreseen in November.

Following entry into force, Member States will have a year and a half (i.e. until May/June 2014) to bring most of the Directive's provisions into national law and start the really important phase of implementation. Some of its provisions must be implemented earlier whilst for other measures Member States are given additional time.  For example, Member States have to report their national indicative targets by 30 April 2013 and report on the implementation of one of the key articles (i.e. Article 7 on energy efficiency obligation schemes or alternative policy measures) only one year after the entry into force. At the same time, they have to prepare by the end of 2015 an assessment of potential for district heating and cogeneration.

The Commission is committed to support Member States in their work to transpose and implement this Directive.

In addition, as required by the Directive, in the first semester of 2014, the Commission will review the progress towards the 20 % energy efficiency target, report on it and assess whether further measures are needed.

Contacts :

Nicole Bockstaller (+32 2 295 25 89)

Marlene Holzner (+32 2 296 01 96)

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