Policy Overview

The Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU (EED) establishes binding measures and targets in order to increase energy efficiency across the EU. Its review under the Green Deal, proposed in June 2020, aims to increase the target (currently 32.5%) to align with the EU’s new economy-wide 2030 emissions reduction target of 55%. The reform will review mandatory national level mechanisms, such as the energy savings obligation, and update measures to tackle energy efficiency in road transportation. It will also update provisions for heating and cooling relating to private and public housing and renovation.

Policy Making Mixed Progress

Despite intense negative lobbying on the EED from the heavy industry sectors, the EU Commission’s proposed policy reform retained several ambitious elements, such as the increase of the annual Energy Savings Obligation. The EU Council proposal for the EED revision significantly lowered the ambition of the Commission’s proposal.

InfluenceMap Query

Energy and Resource Efficiency

Policy Status

Under consideration: proceeding to trilogues after votes in EU Parliament and Council.

  • European Parliament: Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee
  • Rapporteur: Niels Fuglsang (Socialists & Democrats)
  • European Council: Energy ministers and the Working Party on Energy

Evidence Profile


European Commission

European Council

Lobbying Overview

Overview of Corporate and Industry Lobbying

The aggregated evidence of corporate and industry lobbying on the update of the EED shows intense, negative engagement from heavy industry sectors such as steel and chemicals.

Long-term Lobbying Trends

Heavy industry sectors have opposed reforms to the EED, including advocating against a “cap” on energy consumption dictated by the mandatory energy savings obligation. This including associations such as International Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers (IFIEC) and VNO NCW, and energy-intensive company BASF.

The chemical industry, including Cefic, suggested that industry's energy consumption will grow due to new low-carbon technologies and electrification needed to decarbonize industry, and FuelsEurope suggested that, consequently, an energy efficiency standard and a binding target are counterproductive.

Some key gas and utilities sector players did not support the phase out of fossil fuels in heating systems, including the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) and PGE.

EU industry did not seem to support binding national targets but advocated for indicative targets instead, including a significant number of actors in the utilities sector such as Eurelectric and Enel.

The majority of the utilities sector has been vocal in its strong support for reviewing the EED, despite more limited support for binding national targets. In 2020-21, SolarPower Europe advocated for revising the 2030 target to align with the increased 2030 GHG target, and Eurelectric supported synergies between the various EU initiatives tackling energy efficiency.

Lobbying on the proposal since EU Commission adoption in July 2021

Heavy industry, utilities, and cross sector associations did not support the increase of the annual energy savings obligation to 1.5%, including actors such as IFIEC, BusinessEurope and Enel.

Actors across the EU economy opposed the proposal to exclude energy saved from the use of direct fossil fuel combustion from the Energy Savings Obligation from 2024, Naturgy calling the reform “unacceptable” and Eurogas suggesting that it would remove the option for Member States to use “low-hanging fruits” to meet 2030 climate targets. In June 2022 several industry associations, including Eurogas and Gas Distributors for Sustainability, advocated to the EU Council to include energy savings from “all efficient technologies” in sectors such as residential heating in the Energy Savings Obligation, instead of restricting the inclusion to industrial sectors. Heavy industry associations, such as IFIEC and Eurofer, advocated to include energy savings from high efficiency cogeneration in the Energy Savings Obligation “no matter what their energy source.”

EU heavy industry and energy sectors did not support binding targets at EU or national level, FuelsEurope and Business Europe advocating instead for an energy intensity target.

Heavy industry associations did not support strong criteria for high efficiency cogeneration (CHP) included in the Commission’s proposal. This included IFIEC, the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) and Eurofer, which stated in March 2022 that overly rigid criteria for CHP “could hinder the decarbonisation efforts and lead to unintended consequences.”

The utilities sector was supportive of a stronger reform of the EED, advocating for a higher overall 2030 energy efficiency target, and the European Roundtable for Industry called for an overall increase in ambition. Several actors such as Cefic, Snam and CLG voiced support for the reforms to energy efficiency legislation for buildings, CLG specifically supporting the mandatory 3% annual renovation rate for public buildings.

Lobbying Impacts on Policy Ambition

By considering the potential scenarios in the EU Commission's original Impact Assessment Report for EED reform, and comparing this to the final proposal, a gauge of the impact of industry lobbying can be taken. In this case, intense engagement from actors across the EU economy appears to correlate to the adoption of several weaker positions by the EU Commission and Council.

EU Commission Proposal

  • Energy Efficiency Targets: The EED reform would increase the EU-level target to 36% for final and 39% for primary energy consumption, up from 32%. Binding national-level targets which were proposed by the EU Commission in the impact assessment were not included in the proposal although a delivery mechanism was incorporated to ensure that Member States were making sufficient progress on the EU-level target.

  • Energy savings obligation: The national level energy savings obligation was proposed to increase from a mandatory target of 0.8% annually to 1.5% from 2024, which is close to the highest proposed ambition in the EED impact assessment of (1.6%). Measures that promote direct fossil fuel combustion would no longer be eligible to contribute to the energy savings obligation.

  • Heating and cooling provisions: Provisions concerning heating and cooling and transportation were updated, although some proposals, such as a phase out date for fossil fuels in heating, were not included after intense oppositional lobbying from industry.

  • Public sector measures: The EED revision proposed to strengthen renovation measures in the public sector and mandate an annual energy demand reduction of 1.7% in the public sector.

EU Parliament Committee Proposal

The EU Parliament Committee’s proposed reform of the Energy Efficiency Directive, voted on in July 2022, strengthened some elements of the EU Commission’s proposal, but weakened the Energy Savings Obligation.

  • EU Level Energy Efficiency Target: The proposal increased the ambition of the Commission’s proposed 2030 targets, raising them to 40% in final energy consumption and 42.5% in primary energy consumption.

  • National level targets: The Committee proposed binding national targets at Member State level, a significant increase in ambition compared to the EU Commission’s proposal.

  • Energy Savings Obligation: Energy savings from fossil fuels would be permitted to contribute to the Energy Savings Obligation, a watering down of the EU Commission and Council’s proposals.

EU Council Proposal

The EU Council’s proposed reform of the Energy Efficiency Directive significantly weakened the ambition of the EU Commission’s proposal.

  • EU Level Energy Efficiency Target: The EU Commission’s proposed energy efficiency targets are to be maintained at 36% for final energy consumption and 39% for primary energy consumption, but only the final energy consumption target would be binding.

  • Energy Savings Obligation: The EU Council proposal gradually increases the energy savings obligation from 1.1% in 2024 to 1.5% from 2028-30. It also proposed to allow energy savings from fossil fuel combustion to count towards the energy savings obligation in the industrial sector in “duly justified cases.”

InfluenceMap Query

Energy and Resource Efficiency

Policy Status

Under consideration: proceeding to trilogues after votes in EU Parliament and Council.

  • European Parliament: Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee
  • Rapporteur: Niels Fuglsang (Socialists & Democrats)
  • European Council: Energy ministers and the Working Party on Energy

Evidence Profile


European Commission

European Council

Live Lobbying Alerts

Eurogas and GD4S advocated on EU Energy Efficiency Directive with mixed positions

30 June 2022

In a 22nd June joint letter to the EU Council, industry associations including Eurogas and Gas Distributors for Sustainability (GD4S) called for the EU Energy Efficiency Directive revision to extend the energy savings obligation to include renewable and decarbonized gases in the residential heating sector.

ERT supports EU renewable energy and energy efficiency regulations

18 May 2022

In a 12th May statement, the European Round Table for Industry (ERT) communicated high-level support for the EU's Renewable Energy Directive and other renewable energy incentives, including power purchase agreements. In the same statement, ERT supported an acceleration of energy efficiency initiatives, and for a number of measures to strengthen the proposed Energy Efficiency Directive.

Eurofer supports weakening RED and EED

27 May 2022

In a position paper published on 19th May, Eurofer advocated to weaken the reform of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) by supporting the inclusion of recycled carbon fuels and advocating for more flexible additionality criteria. The association also did not support proposed GHG emission standards for cogeneration in the Energy Efficiency Directive reform.

Entities Engaged on Policy

The table below lists the entities found to be most engaged with the policy. InfluenceMap tracks over 350 companies and 150 industry associations globally. Each entity name links to its full InfluenceMap profile, where the evidence of its engagement can be found.

Influencemap Performance BandOrganizationEngagement Intensity
C-General Electric31IndustrialsNorth America
CVolkswagen Group54AutomobilesEurope
D-BusinessEurope53All SectorsEurope
C-European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic)58ChemicalsEurope
CEuropean Round Table for Industry (ERT)20All SectorsEurope
D+European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA)40AutomobilesEurope
D-International Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers (IFIEC)35All SectorsEurope