Parliament receives U-communication on Commission proposal for a new directive on energy efficiency
On 23 September 2021, the Government submitted a Union communication to Parliament on the EU’s proposal for a new directive on energy efficiency (EED). The European Commission issued its proposal in July as part of the broader package of measures called Fit for 55.
The reform of the Energy Efficiency Directive is based on the European Green Deal and the aim to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.
The current target to reduce energy consumption by 32.5% in the EU will be tightened significantly to 36–39% and the target will become binding. Based on the Commission’s formula for Member States, Finland would need to limit final energy consumption to 255 TWh by 2030. The targets for Member States are not binding, but if progress at the EU level is insufficient, the Member States whose energy consumption is above the Commission's limit must take adequate additional measures within one year to close the gap.
The binding energy savings obligation agreed for each Member State for 2021–2030 will be doubled. From the beginning of 2024, Finland must achieve and report to the Commission 4.5 terawatt hours of new annual energy savings. The current binding annual savings obligation is 2.4 terawatt hours.
The proposal sets an annual binding target to reduce final energy consumption in the public sector by 1.7%. In addition, the directive would require that 3% of the building stock owned and used by the public sector will be renovated to so-called nearly zero-energy buildings. In Finland, the repair obligation would apply to approximately 56 million square metres. In practice, the obligation would apply to all public sector buildings that do not meet the zero energy requirements for new construction in 2024, including historical and protected buildings, churches and buildings of the Defence Forces.
In addition to stricter targets on energy consumption and energy savings, the key proposals relate to increasing the share of renewable energy and waste heat in district heating networks, the use of the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle and the eradication of energy poverty. The proposal includes extensive and detailed requirements for the monitoring, supervision and reporting on the fulfilment of the obligations included in it.
Union communications are prepared on those matters to be decided by the EU which, due to their content, would fall within the competence of Parliament if Finland was not a member of the EU. A communication describes the essential content of the EU’s proposal and the Government’s position on the matter.
Pia Kotro, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7229 and pia.kotro(at)gov.fi
Juhani Tirkkonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 2140