The 2012 energy efficiency directive establishes a set of binding measures to help the EU reach its 20 per cent 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.

What is the energy efficiency directive

The Energy Efficiency Directive (was adopted on 25 October 2012, repealing the Energy Services Directive (2006/32/EC) as well as the Cogeneration Directive (2004/8/EC) and was to be transposed by all member states by the beginning of June 2014.

The Directive includes a wide range of measures intended to promote energy efficiency across member states.

Article 5 of the Directive was transposed by a UK wide Statutory Instrument called the Energy Efficiency (Eligible Buildings) Regulations 2013.

The main components of the Regulations are:

A UK energy savings target of 163.6 gigawatt hours to be achieved in eligible buildings owned and occupied by central government (Regulation 3).

The UK is taking the “alternative approach” afforded under Article 5(6) of the Directive. Northern Ireland will contribute to this energy savings target.

A duty on the competent authorities to encourage public bodies to adopt energy efficiency plans (Regulation 4). All Northern Ireland departments are classed as competent authorities.

An energy efficiency plan is defined as a written plan which sets out specific objectives and actions for achieving a more efficient use of energy that may include:

  • carrying out an energy audit
  • implementing an energy management system
  •  implementing energy efficiency improvements
  •  using energy service providers and energy performance contracting

The energy management in public sector building manual provides an overview of some of the key changes and practical steps that can be taken to improve energy efficiency in public sector buildings.

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