An agreement was reached between the European Parliament, the EU Council and the EU commission on the Energy Efficiency Directive, it has been announced. Under the Danish Presidency, a goal was reached concerning the Directive on June 13, 2012 after tense negotiations, omitting national targets and focusing more on flexibility measures. Although some binding measures were implemented, exemptions and amendments had to be added. The UK, for example, called for further exemptions for countries that already have saving schemes for energy utilities in place (article 6 of the Directive). Other members of the European Parliament (MEPs) suggested measures to implement additional future energy savings.
Although a first EU energy efficiency law has now been passed, observers voiced concerns about the ability of the EU to reach its goal of reducing energy consumption by 20% by 2020 since the binding national targets for member states have been erased from the Directive. Article 4 was amended drastically, for example, the proposed new public building renovation requirements. This article proposed that publicly owned buildings over 250m² would require a 3% renovation of the total floor area each year. Instead, the amended proposal only applies to buildings owned by the member states’ central governments, with a total floor area of more than 500m². This new proposal only includes approximately 10% of buildings. Despite these setbacks for the building sector, a positive measure has been introduced to the Directive’s article 3a: member states have to establish roadmaps to make their buildings sectors altogether more energy efficient by 2050.