EU Council adopts new rules to reduce energy consumption by 11.7% by 2030

The Council of the European Union has adopted new rules to reduce the EU’s final energy consumption by at least 11.7% by 2030, granting member states flexibility in reaching this target. Member States will collectively work towards ensuring a reduction in final energy consumption of at least 11.7% by 2030, compared to the energy consumption projections made in 2020, setting an upper limit of 763 million tonnes of oil equivalent for final EU energy consumption and 993 million tonnes of oil equivalent for primary consumption. While the cap on final consumption will be binding on member states as a whole, the target on primary energy consumption will be indicative, encompassing both the energy consumed by end users and the energy used for production and supply.

In accordance with the approved directive, all member states will contribute to the EU’s common goal. They will outline indicative national contributions and target curves in their Integrated National Energy and Climate Plans (INECPs), with draft updated NAPs due in June 2023 and final plans to be submitted by 2024. The formula for calculating national contributions will be indicative, allowing for a 2.5% deviation. The European Commission will assess the contributions and, if needed, make adjustments to national targets falling below the formula’s result. The formula considers factors such as energy intensity, GDP per capita, the renewable energy sector’s development, and energy-saving potential. The annual energy savings target for final energy consumption will progressively increase from 2024 to 2030, requiring Member States to achieve new annual savings of 1.49% on average, ultimately reaching 1.9% by December 2030. Member States can consider various energy-saving measures in their calculations, including those related to buildings, EU Emissions Trading Scheme, and emergency energy measures. Additionally, the rules set a specific obligation for the public sector to achieve an annual 1.9% reduction in energy consumption, with possible exclusions for public transport and the armed forces. Furthermore, Member States are required to renovate at least 3% of public authorities’ total built-up area each year. Once officially adopted, the directive will be published in the EU’s Official Journal and become effective 20 days later.

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