The European Commission has asked Austria, Croatia, Ireland, Latvia and Romania to ensure the full transposition of the Energy Efficiency Directive.

Under this Directive Member States must achieve energy savings over the period from 1 January 2014 till 31 December 2020. They have to do this by using Energy Efficiency Obligations Schemes and/or other targeted policy measures to drive energy efficiency improvements in households, industry and transport sectors. Under the Energy Efficiency Obligations Schemes, companies have to take measures to ensure energy savings at final customer level, for example by giving advice on installing better insulation or offering grants for replacing old energy-wasting windows.

The Directive had to be transposed into national law by 5 June 2014. Today the Commission sent reasoned opinions to these five Member States asking them to fully transpose the Directive into national law. If the Member States do not comply with this obligation within two months, the Commission may decide to refer them to the Court of Justice of the EU and ask for financial penalties. In the course of the second semester of 2014, the Commission launched infringement procedures for non-transposition of the Energy Efficiency Directive against 27 EU Member States (all except Malta).

In November 2014 the Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Bulgaria and Hungary. In February 2015 reasoned opinions were sent to Greece and Portugal. In March 2015, the Commission decided to refer Hungary to court with financial penalties, as not a single transposition measure was adopted. The Commission continues to monitor the implementation of the Directive and will address any shortcomings in the coming infringement cycles.

More information about the Energy Efficiency Directive is available on the website of DG Energy.

(For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen – Tel.: +32 229 56186)