We live in an age and society where energy is a necessity to maintain and preserve our lifestyle, but it goes beyond the basics of providing comfort and convenience. If you remember the last time you had a power cut in your home, business or town, you will understand the reality of life without energy. That’s when you know that everything you depend on does not work.
Saving energy is very important, especially now. But why? Resources are getting harder to gather and commodities are becoming rarer and expensive, so what does energy saving mean? Well, it means you waste less money, you waste less primary fuels like gas, oil or uranium and lastly, it means producing less pollution.
People believe that there is an abundance of energy but the fact of the matter is, energy is a limited resource. It should be recognized that it’s limited by what we can afford, the basis needed to produce and distribute it and availability of raw materials. So reducing the amount that each individual consumes, can address the issues aforementioned.
This is where the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) comes into play. This Directive was put in to place since the 4th December 2012, to improve energy efficiency in the European Union. The EED established a common framework of measures across Member States to ensure they reach 20% more energy efficiency by the year 2020 and 30% more by the year 2030, and also to continue improving energy efficiency from there on. The EED was designed to remove market blockades and failures, and promote more efficient energy usage in supply and demand side applications. The Directive requires all EU countries to use energy efficiently at all levels, from production to final consumption.
EED Measures and Policy
• distributors of energy must achieve 1.5% energy savings per year through implementation of the energy efficiency measures
• countries within the EU can choose to achieve similar levels of saving energy via other means, whether it be improving the efficiency of cooling or heating systems, ventilation systems or reduction of lighting loads
• the public sector within the EU should acquire efficient building and services
• on a yearly basis, governments within the EU must carry out renovations for energy efficiency of at least 3%, on each floor of the building or structure they occupy
• energy consumers should have better management of consumption. They should have free and easy access to data though individual metering
• national incentives for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should undergo energy audits
• larger enterprises must make audits of energy consumption to help identify ways to reduce it further
• efficiency levels must be monitored in new energy generation capacities
Article 8 of the Directive
Article 8 of the Directive sets out the requirements for the 28 EU member states to promote the availability of energy audits to all final energy users including SMEs and non-SMEs. Article 8 is a table of requirements implemented within the EED to be fully met and enterprises or individuals must comply. If the EU member states do not fulfil the Directives minimum requirements stated in Article 8 of the Directive by December 2019, then fines up to €1 million will be issued. All 28 countries have their own specific audit requirements, often only available in local language, which makes reaching compliance complex.
Help is given to officials in each of the 28 EU member states to implement the Energy Efficiency Directive by providing them with published guidance notes that can be found on the official site.