Progress on energy efficiency in Europe
Published (reviewed and quality assured)
Justification for indicator selection
Energy efficiency and energy consumption are intrinsically linked. Increased energy efficiency can lead to significant reductions in energy consumption provided that measures are in place to discourage the occurrence of rebound effects. Reducing energy consumption as a result of energy efficiency progress and behavioural changes can lead to significant reductions in environmental pressures associated with energy production and consumption. This indicator is a compilation of the former
ENER 22 Energy efficiency and energy consumption in households;
ENER 23 Energy efficiency and energy consumption in transport;
ENER 24 Energy intensity in the service sector
ENER 25 Energy efficiency and energy consumption in industry
- No rationale references available
The ODEX index (Fig.1) measures the energy efficiency progress by main sector (industry, transport, households) and for the whole economy (all final consumers). For each sector, the index is calculated as a weighted average of sub-sectoral indices of energy efficiency progress; sub-sectors being industrial or service sector branches or end-uses for households or transport modes.
- The sub-sectoral indices are calculated from variations of unit energy consumption indicators, measured in physical units and selected so as to provide the best “proxy” of energy efficiency progress, from a policy evaluation viewpoint. The fact that indices are used enables to combine different units for a given sector, for instance for households kWh/appliance, koe/m2, tep/dwelling…
- The weight used to get the weighted aggregate is the share of each sub- sector in the total energy consumption of the sub –sectors considered in the calculation.
A value of ODEX equal to 90 means a 10% energy efficiency gain.
The variation of the specific consumption of space heating per dwelling linked to building standards is modelled as the change brought about by the introduction of new dwellings with a better insulation than the whole stock since a base year (e.g. 1990), assuming that the unit consumption of new dwellings is equal to the theoretical value implied by thermal regulations (Fig.2).
This effect is calculated as follow:
∆UCnewt = (UCnewt * nbrlpnt + ∆UCnewt-1 * (nbrlprt – nbrlpnt)) / nbrlprt
with: ∆UCnewt=0 = ∆UCnewt=1990 = UCt=1990
nbrlprt: stock of dwellings at year t
nbrlpnt: the volume of construction at year t
UCt: unit consumption per dwelling for space heating at year t
The ODEX index (Fig.1) is represented in percentage change compared to 1990 levels. The improvements of the energy performance of buildings as a result of tightening building codes are represented also in percentage change compared to 1990 levels (Fig.2). The effects of the main drivers influencing the energy efficiency progress is represented in percentage change compared to 1990 levels (Fig.3). Energy consumption for households per square meter (climate corrected) is represented as percentage change compared to a baseline year (1990, 2000). Energy consumption for households for space heating per square meter (climate corrected) is expressed in kWh/sqm (Fig.4). The energy consumption for space heating is expressed in kWh/sqm (Fig.5). Energy consumption for space cooling is represented both in kWh/sqm of average floor area as well as kWh/sqm of air conditioned space (Fig.6).
Policy context and targets
The trend in final energy consumption provides a broad indication of progress in reducing final energy consumption and associated environmental impacts by the different end-use sectors (transport, industry, services and households).
The type and magnitude of energy-related pressures on the environment (e.g. GHG emissions, air pollution, etc) depends both on the sources of energy as well as on the total amount of energy consumed. One way of reducing energy-related pressures on the environment is to use less energy. This may result from reducing the demand for energy services (e.g. heat demand, passenger or freight transport) or by using energy in a more efficient way thereby using less energy per unit of activity or a combination of these. See also ENER 16 and ENER 21.
The Europe 2020 growth growth strategy aims to address shortcoming of the European economic model while creating coditions for smarter, more sustainable and inclusive growth. One of the headline targets include the objective of increasing the share of renewable energy in final energy consumption to 20% by 2020.
The Directive 2012/27/eu on energy efficiency establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the European Union in order to achieve the headline target of 20% reduction in gross inland energy consumption. Member States are requested to set indicative targets. It is up to the Member states whether they base their targets on gross inland consumption, final energy consumption, primary or final energy savings or energy intensity. This directive has a direct impact on the renewables target since it aims to reduce the final energy consumption, thus making the renewables target easier to reach.
A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 (COM(2011) 112 final). Presents a roadmap for action in line with a 80-95% greenhouse gas emissions reduction by 2050.
On 15 December 2011, the European Commission adopted the Communication "Energy Roadmap 2050". The EU is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 in the context of necessary reductions by developed countries as a group. In the Energy Roadmap 2050 the Commission explores the challenges posed by delivering the EU's decarbonisation objective while at the same time ensuring security of energy supply and competitiveness.
On 10 November 2010, the European Commission has adopted the Communication "Energy 2020 - A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy". The Communication defines the energy priorities for the next ten years and sets the actions to be taken in order to tackle the challenges of saving energy, achieving a market with competitive prizes and secure supplies, boosting technological leadership, and effectively negotiate with our international partners.
The Directive 2012/27/eu on energy efficiency establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the European Union in order to achieve the headline target of 20% reduction in gross inland energy consumption. Member States are requested to set indicative targets. It is up to the Member states whether they base their targets on gross inland consumption, final energy consumption, primary or final energy savings or energy intensity.
Directive on emissions on new light commercial vehicles (2011/510)
sets emission performance standards for new light commercial vehicles as part of the Union's integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles.
Energy Performance of Buildings Directive: recast version in 2010 (2010/31/EU) EPBD, 2002/91/EC is the main legislative instrument affecting energy use and efficiency in the building sector in the EU. The Directive tackles both new build and the existing housing stock.
Energy Labelling Directive: recast version in 2010 (2010/30/EC) Directive 92/75/EEC is a framework Directive which facilitates the labelling of products so that the power consumption of one make and model can be compared to another allowing consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.
Directive on emissions of new cars (2009/443) sets emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the Community's integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles. One way to achieve these performance standards is to increase the engine efficiency.
Energy Efficiency Plan 2011, [COM(2011) 109 final] Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Proposes additional measures to achieve the 20 % primary energy saving target by 2020.
The Directive 2012/27/eu on energy efficiency establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the European Union in order to achieve the headline target of 20% reduction in gross inland energy consumption. Member States are requested to set indicative targets. It is up to the Member states whether they base their targets on gross inland consumption, final energy consumption, primary or final energy savings or energy intensity. However this indicator does not monitor progress at EU level on the energy efficiency target (different methodologies may be applied for this purpose particularly if the emphasis is on energy savings) but it does provide an indication of progress to date in achieving energy efficiency (in this context energy efficiency means mainly improvements in technological performance).
Related policy documents
Regulation (ec) no 443/2009 of the European parliament and of the Council setting emission performance standards for new passenger cars as part of the community's integrated approach to reduce CO2 emissions from light-duty vehicles.
COM (2011) 112 - A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050
With its "Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050" the European Commission is looking beyond these 2020 objectives and setting out a plan to meet the long-term target of reducing domestic emissions by 80 to 95% by mid-century as agreed by European Heads of State and governments. It shows how the sectors responsible for Europe's emissions - power generation, industry, transport, buildings and construction, as well as agriculture - can make the transition to a low-carbon economy over the coming decades.
Action Plan for Energy Efficiency
COM(2010) 639 final: Energy 2020 – A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy
A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy
COM(2011) 109 final: Energy Efficiency Plan 2011
Energy Efficiency Plan 2011
COM(2011) 370 final Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on energy efficiency and repealing Directives
Decision No 1230/2003/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2003 adopting a multiannual programme for action in the field of energy: "Intelligent Energy — Europe" (2003 — 2006) (Text with EEA relevance)
The directive is relatefd to energy end-use efficiency and energy services and repeals Council Directive 93/76/EEC
Energy labelling directive Directive 2010/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products
DIRECTIVE 2010/31/EU - Energy performance of buildings directive
DIRECTIVE 2010/31/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings(recast)
Energy efficiency: delivering the 20% target - COM 2008 772 final
European leaders committed themselves to reduce primary energy consumption by 20% compared to projections for 2020. Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way of reducing energy consumption while maintaining an equivalent level of economic activity. Improving energy efficiency also addresses the key energy challenges of climate change, energy security and competitiveness.
REGULATION (EU) No 510/2011
REGULATION (EU) No 510/2011 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL setting emission performance standards for new light commercial vehicles as part of the Union's integrated approach to reduce CO 2 emissions from light-duty vehicles
The EU climate and energy package
The climate and energy package is a set of binding legislation which aims to ensure the European Union meets its ambitious climate and energy targets for 2020. These targets, known as the "20-20-20" targets, set three key objectives for 2020: A 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels; Raising the share of EU energy consumption produced from renewable resources to 20%; A 20% improvement in the EU's energy efficiency.
Key policy question
Is the final energy consumption becoming more efficient?
Methodology for indicator calculation
Odyssee database covers EU-27 plus Norway and Croatia.
Methodology and frequency of data collection
Data collected annually in the framework of the ODYSSEE MURE project
Methodology of data manipulation
The trends observed for some sectors or end-uses, especially for space heating are very irregular, which results in strong fluctuations in the ODEX, that are difficult to understand as energy efficiency progress should normally change smoothly (incremental technical change). Such fluctuations can be linked to various factors: imperfect climatic corrections, especially with warm winters, behavioural factors, influence of business cycles, imperfection of statistics, especially for the last year. To reduce the fluctuations, ODEX is calculated as a 3 years moving average. The value used for year t is the average of t-1, t and t+1.
Some sub-sectors are not accounted for in ODEX, such as mining, construction, other manufacturing industries, small electrical appliances, lighting, services. The reason is that energy efficiency progress is difficult to capture with the existing indicators (e.g. electricity consumption per dwelling or employee), that are usually increasing because of more appliances and the diffusion of air conditioning in services. The implicit assumption in the mode of calculation of the ODEX is that all these sub-sectors have the same energy efficiency gains as the sector average.
Calculation of the ODEX index for industry
For industry, the evaluation is carried out at the level of 10 branches:
- 4 main branches: chemicals, food, textile & leather and equipment goods;
- 3 energy intensive branches: steel, cement and pulp & paper
- 3 residual branches: other primary metals (i.e. primary metals minus steel), other non-metallic minerals (i.e. non-metallic mineral minus cement) and other pulp, paper and printing (i.e. mainly printing ).
The unit consumption is expressed in terms of energy used per ton produced for energy intensive products (steel, cement and paper) and in terms of energy used related to the production index for the other branches. Unit energy consumption captures the energy efficiency development better than traditional energy intensities (per unit of value added). For some branches the trends shown include also some non-technical changes, especially in the chemical industry the shift to light chemicals, due to the fact that this sector is not sufficiently disaggregated.
Calculation of the ODEX index for transport
For the transport sector, the evaluation is carried out at the level of 8 modes or vehicle types: cars, trucks, light vehicles, motorcycles, buses, total air transport, rail, and water transport. The overall energy efficiency index aggregates the trends for each transport mode in a single indicator for the whole sector. For cars, the energy efficiency is measured by the specific consumption, expressed in litre/100km. For the transport of goods (trucks and light vehicles), the unit consumption per ton-km is used, as the main activity is to move goods. For other modes of transport various indicators of unit consumption are used, taking for each mode the most relevant indicator given the statistics available:
- toe/passenger for air transport,
- goe/pass-km for passenger rail,
- goe/t-km for transport of goods by rail and water,
- toe per vehicle for motorcycles and buses.
Calculation of the ODEX index for the household sector
For households, the evaluation is carried out at the level of 3 end-uses (heating, water heating, cooking) and 5 large appliances (refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers and TVs). For each end-use, the following indicators are considered to measure efficiency progress:
- Heating: unit consumption per m2 at normal climate (toe/m2)
- Water heating: unit consumption per dwelling with water heating
- Cooking: unit consumption per dwelling
- Large electrical appliances: specific electricity consumption, in kWh/year/appliance
Energy consumption per m2 for space heating or cooling: final energy consumption for space heating (or cooling) / (number of dwelling * dwelling size)
Odyssee last update : August 2012
Methodology for gap filling
To calculate the ODEX (Fig.1), data submitted to the ODYSSEE project by countries on voluntary basis is used. Not all countries submit the necessary data. Therefore, for the EU-27, data extrapolations are being used based as much as possible on Eurostat supporting data (e.g. growth rates, shares of various energy forms in final energy consumption, etc). In this way some consistency between this top-down calculation and the bottom up made for specific countries is ensured (also country data makes use of Eurostat to the extent possible).
To calculate the effect of new building codes (Fig.2), the theorical unit consumption of new dwellings for EU as a whole is based on an extrapolation from 11 representative countries (Italy, France, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany and Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia); the theorical consumption for new dwelling by country is weighted by the annual construction to be able to produce results at EU level.
- Newly created MethodologyReference Odyssee Energy Efficiency Index more information about the methodology available at http://www.odyssee-indicators.org
EEA data references
- No datasets have been specified here.
External data references
Data sources in latest figures
No uncertainty has been specified
Data sets uncertainty
No uncertainty has been specified
No uncertainty has been specified
Short term work
Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.
Long term work
Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.
Responsibility and ownership
EEA Contact InfoAnca-Diana Barbu
Frequency of updates
Typology: Efficiency indicator (Type C - Are we improving?)
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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