The 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) establishes a set of measures to help the EU reach its 20% energy efficiency target by 2020. Under the Directive, all EU countries are required to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain from its production to its final consumption. This would mean that European households and industries would need to become much more energy efficient. To achieve that, several measures will need to be taken at Member State level. EU countries were required to transpose the Directive's provisions into their national laws by 5 June 2014.
However, it has been calculated that this Directive, when fully transposed in the different Member States, would reach only 17% efficiency. Other sources claim that efficiency would be even less, as the target is non-binding. This is the major difference between the EED and the RES & GHG reduction targets.
The role of heat-pump solutions
We remain convinced that it is feasible to reach the targets of the proposed Directive if all efficient technologies are considered. Concretely, this means that rather than solely focusing on large-scale applications, efficient small-scale heating and cooling solutions should also specifically be included. Examples of these solutions are heat pumps. These innovative and energy efficient technologies can help reach the targets set out in the proposed Directive, such as in Article 6 §9, which gives the Member States the option to take other national policy measures to achieve the 20% energy savings among final customers.
Increasing efficiency in heating and cooling provides benefits, independent of the size of the installation. We are convinced that in order to achieve the measures, set out in this Directive, small-scale efficient heating and cooling technologies (capacities of up to 400kW thermal output, e.g. heat pumps, recognised as a renewable energy technology according to Directive 2009/28/EC) can play a large role, e.g. in rural districts, where the primary energy required to distribute thermal energy must be kept at a minimum. Member States can include them in their National Renewable Energy Action Plans1 and National Plans2 for achieving the aimed targets.