New rules to reduce final energy consumption at EU level by 11.7% in 2030

EU ministers adopted on July 25 new rules to reduce final energy consumption at EU level by 11.7 per cent in 2030, a statement by the Council of the EU said.

Member states will benefit from flexibilities in reaching the target, the statement said.

Member states will collectively ensure a reduction of final energy consumption of at least 11.7 per cent in 2030, compared with the energy consumption forecasts for 2030 made in 2020, the Council of the EU said.

This translates into an upper limit to the EU’s final energy consumption of 763 million tonnes of oil equivalent and of 993 million tonnes of oil equivalent for primary consumption.

The consumption limit for final consumption will be binding for member states collectively, whereas the primary energy consumption target will be indicative.

Final energy consumption represents energy consumed by end-users, while primary energy consumption also includes what is used for the production and supply of energy.

All member states will contribute to achieving the overall EU target, the statement said.

They will set indicative national contributions and trajectories towards reaching the target in their integrated national energy and climate plans (NECPs). Draft updated NECPs were due in June 2023 and final plans will be due in 2024.

The formula for calculating national contributions towards the target will be indicative, with the possibility of deviating from it by 2.5 per cent.

The European Commission will calculate whether all the contributions add up to the 11.7 per cent target and, if not, issue corrections to the national contributions that are lower than what they would have been if using the formula (the so-called gap-filling mechanism).

The formula is based on, among other things, energy intensity, GDP per capita, development of renewables and energy savings potential.

The annual energy savings target for final energy consumption will gradually increase from 2024 to 2030. Member states will ensure new annual savings of 1.49 per cent of final energy consumption on average during this period, gradually reaching 1.9 per cent on 31 December 2030.

Member states can count in the calculation towards the target, energy savings realised through policy measures under the current and the revised energy performance of buildings directive; measures stemming from the EU emissions trading system (for installations and for buildings and transport); and emergency energy measures.

The new rules set a specific obligation for the public sector to achieve an annual energy consumption reduction of 1.9 per cent that can exclude public transport and armed forces.

In addition to this, member states will be required to renovate each year at least three per cent of the total floor area of buildings owned by public bodies.

Now formally adopted, the directive will be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force 20 days later.

(Photo: Petr Kovar/

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