Progress on energy efficiency in Europe

Indicator Assessment
Prod-ID: IND-352-en
Also known as: ENER 037
Created 21 Nov 2016 Published 06 Dec 2016 Last modified 06 Dec 2016
30 min read
Topics: ,
Between 1990 and 2014, final energy efficiency increased by 28 % in the EU-28 countries at an annual average rate of 1.4 % per year. This was driven by improvements in the industrial sector (+1.8 % per year) and households (+1.7 % per year). Improvement rates were lower in the service sector (+1 % per year) and the transport sector (+0.9 % per year). Half of the efficiency gains achieved through technological innovation in the household sector have been offset by an increasing number of electrical appliances being used and larger homes.

Key messages

Between 1990 and 2014, final energy efficiency increased by 28 % in the EU-28 countries at an annual average rate of 1.4 % per year. This was driven by improvements in the industrial sector (+1.8 % per year) and households (+1.7 % per year). Improvement rates were lower in the service sector (+1 % per year) and the transport sector (+0.9 % per year). Half of the efficiency gains achieved through technological innovation in the household sector have been offset by an increasing number of electrical appliances being used and larger homes.

Is final energy consumption becoming more efficient?

Odyssee energy efficiency index (ODEX)

EU28
Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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Table
Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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Household energy consumption per dwelling by end-use

Chart
Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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Table
Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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Energy consumption for heating in households

Chart
Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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Table
Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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The effect of building codes in the EU

Chart
Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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Table
Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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Energy consumption for cooling in households

Chart
Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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Table
Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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Energy consumption for electrical appliances in households

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Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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Table
Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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Drivers for change in energy consumption per dwelling in households

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Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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Table
Data sources:
  • Odyssee provided by  Earth Observation - Environment (ACRI-ST)
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Primary energy consumption of new residential buildings

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Energy efficiency improvements for final consumers

    • Between 2005 and 2014, energy efficiency for final consumers improved by 28 %, at an annual average rate of 1.4 % per year, as measured according to the ODEX indicator[1] see (Figure 1). All sectors contributed to this improvement, with the largest gains registered in the industry and households sectors. Between 2005 and 2014, energy efficiency also improved at a rate of 1.4 % per year. The energy efficiency progress stagnated after the economic crisis between 2007 and 2009: annual average improvement rates were 0.6 % per year between 2007 and 2010, compared with 1.2 % per year between 2000 and 2008.
    • Energy efficiency in industry increased by 36 % in the EU-28 between 1990 and 2014, at an annual average rate of 1.8 % per year. Greater progress was achieved in the 1990s, with improvement rates of 2.5 % per year between 1990 and 2000. After 2005, there was a net slowdown in energy efficiency improvement in industry,[2] which fell to 1.3 % per year, compared with 2.2 % per year between 1990 and 2005. Improvements in energy efficiency were observed in all branches of industry, most notably in energy intensive branches. The four most energy intensive branches are chemicals, steel, cement and paper. Together, these four branches represented around 54 % of industrial energy consumption in 2014. Since 1990, they reduced their specific energy consumption (i.e. their energy consumption per unit of physical output) as follows: steel (-3.2 % per year), cement (-1.5 % per year), cement (-1.3 % per year) and paper (-0.9 % per year).
    • Energy efficiency in the household sector increased by 33 % between 1990 and 2014, at an average rate of 1.7 % per year. Most of the progress in this sector was due to energy efficiency improvements in space heating (renovation of buildings, more efficient new buildings and heating appliances registered an improvement of 1.9 % per year), and the diffusion of more efficient large electrical appliances (+ 1.7 % per year). Since 2005, energy efficiency has improved by 2.5 % year, compared with an improvement rate of 1.2 % per year between 1990 and 2005). This was mainly because of the implementation of new legislation (the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in 2010 and the Energy Efficiency Directive in 2012) and different national initiatives.
    • In the transport sector, energy efficiency increased by 20 % between 1990 and 2014 in the EU as a whole, at an average annual rate of 0.9 % (the figure was 1.1 % per year from 2005 to 2014 and 0.9 % per year from 1990 to 2005). Most of this progress was because of the increased efficiency of aeroplanes and road transport, which improved by 2.2 % per year and 1.3 % per year, respectively).
    • The energy efficiency of cars, which is measured by calculating the reduction in the average specific fuel consumption of cars in litres per 100 km, improved by 1 % per year after 1990. This was mainly becasue of the diffusion of more efficient new cars, driven by the combined effect of higher fuel prices, substitution of gasoline with diesel and various EU and national measures applied to new cars. In 2015, average emission levels were below 120 g CO2/km[3], which is 8 % below the official target set for 2015[4]. The most efficient new cars in 2015 were bought in the Netherlands (101 g CO2/km), followed by Portugal and Denmark, where new cars emitted on average 106 g CO2/km. The least efficient cars were bought in Estonia and Latvia (on average 137 g CO2/km) and Bulgaria (130 g CO2/km).
    • For trucks and light vehicles, and rail transport, few improvements have been registered since 1990. Trucks and light vehicles registered improvement rates of 0.5 % per year and rail transport, 0.8 % per year.
    • In the service sector, energy efficiency improved by 21 % between 1990 and 2014, at an average annual rate of 1 % per year. The low gains in this sector were mainly a result of the increasing electricity consumption per employee pre-2005 (1.7 % per year), compared with a figure of 0.1 % per year between 2005 and 2014. The increasing trend observed in almost all EU countries can be ascribed to the increased use of air conditioning in southern European countries, the use of information and communications technology and other office equipment in general. During recent years (2013-2014), this trend has slowed or reversed in some countries, because of the diffusion of more efficient equipment. Meanwhile, if only fossil fuel is considered, a slight decrease of the energy consumption per employee (-1.5 % per year on average and -2.1 % per year since 2005) can be observed [5].
       

[1] The ODEX represents a better proxy for assessing energy efficiency trends by sector (industry, transport, households and tertiary) and for the whole economy (all final consumers).

[2] During the economic crisis, factories and industrial equipment did not operate at full capacity.

[3] Source:  “Reported CO2 emissions from new cars continue to fall”, EEA, April 2016 (http://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/reported-co2-emissions-from-new).

[4] Regulation (EC) No 443/2009 imposed a limit of 130 gCO2/km for the new car fleet by 2015, with a target value of 95 gCO2/km in 2021 (147 gCO2/km of CO2 for vans). 

[5] At normal climate conditions.

Is energy consumption in buildings decreasing in the EU?

  •  In 2014, final energy consumption reached 1 061 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in the EU-28. Buildings (households and services) accounted for approximately 38 % of final energy consumption in 2014 (while households accounted for 25 % and services for 13 % (+3% compared to 1990)), transport 33 % (+7 % compared to 1990) followed by industry with 26% (-8 % compared with 1990) and agriculture 3 % (-1 % compared with 1990).
  • The total floor area of buildings represented approximately 25 billion m2 in the EU in 2014. The residential sector represents about 75 % of the total floor area.
  • At the EU level, the average annual specific consumption per m2 for all types of building was around 203 kWh/m2 in 2014. Non-residential buildings are on average 70 % more energy intensive than residential buildings (293 kWh/m2 compared with 175 kWh/m2).

Energy efficiency improvements in households

    • Household energy consumption per dwelling (normal climate) reached 1.4 toe per dwelling (or 175 kWh/m2) in 2014. There are large discrepancies between countries in the level of consumption per dwelling, ranging from less than 0.8 toe per dwelling in Malta, Portugal, Bulgaria and Spain to around 2 toe per dwelling in Sweden, Germany, Austria, Croatia or Finland (see Figure 2).
    • Space heating accounted for 68 % of the energy consumption of households in 2014, although this figure decreased from 70 % in 2005 and 72 % in 1990. Electrical appliances and water heating each accounted for 12 % of the energy consumption of households in 2014. The energy consumption of electrical appliances increased by 3 % compared to 1990. In addition, cooking accounts for 5 % and lighting 2 % of household energy consumption. Air conditioning only accounts for 0.4 % of household energy consumption, but 2.9 % of the specific electricity from households [1] (down from 0.7 % in 1990).
    • Space heating energy consumption has decreased by 0.3 % per year since 1990, with a decreasing average annual rate of -1.4 % per year from 2005 to 2014 compared with +0.4 % per year from 1990 to 2005. The total floor area of dwellings increased by 1.4 % per year over the same period, much more than the number of dwellings, which increased by 1 % per year. As a result, the energy consumption of space heating per m2 has decreased by 1.7 % per year since 1990, more rapidly than space heating consumption per dwelling (-1.2 % per year), reaching 118 kWh/m2 in 2014[2] (Figure 3). Significant disparities exist between EU countries, with space heating energy consumption ranging from less than 80 kWh/m2 in southern countries where there are lower heating needs (Spain, Bulgaria, Greece, Luxembourg and Portugal) to more than 170 kWh/m2 in colder countries such as Poland, Latvia or Finland[3].
    • Energy efficiency improvements for space heating occurred as a result of the better thermal performance of buildings, which was in turn encouraged by mandatory efficiency standards for new buildings, an increase in the penetration of condensing boilers and heat pumps, and the thermal retrofitting of existing dwellings. Standards for new buildings have contributed to reducing the average unit consumption of the dwelling stock for the EU as a whole by 0.5 % per year on average between 1990 and 2014, which represents about half of the total savings for household space heating (see Figure 4).
    • At the EU level, the energy consumed by households on air conditioning increased by around 7.6 % per year on average since 1990 and by 2.7 % per year since 2005. More and more dwellings have air conditioning: up from 0.8 % in 1990 to 1.5 % in 2005 and 2.4 % in 2014. Across the EU, the average energy consumed on air conditioning per m2 has been increasing by 1.3 % per year on average since 1990 (see Figure 5). Indeed, over the same period, the percentage of dwellings with air conditioning increased in Italy (from 11 % to 37 %), in Spain (from 5 % in 1990 and 15 % in 2000 to 60 % in 2013) and by almost 80 % in Cyprus and Malta. In the Netherlands, Slovenia and Bulgaria, the diffusion of air conditioning is more recent but equally significant, increasing from around 1-2 % in 2000 to 15 %, 21 % and 31 % of dwellings in 2014, respectively. The percentage coverage of the most efficient cooling systems has increased significantly across Europe, where newly sold A++ and A+++ air conditioners increased from 11 % in 2011 to 27 % in 2014[4]. This increase was driven by the new Energy Label for air conditioning, which has been applied since January 2013[5]. As a result of these more efficient air conditioners, at EU level, the specific consumption per m2 with air conditioning has decreased since 2002.
    • The energy consumption of electrical appliances increased on average by 0.7 % per year between 1990 and 2014. This electricity consumption is driven by the increasing amount of household equipment (multi-equipment, IT equipment etc.), but is offset by technical progress due to the diffusion of more and more efficient equipment. For large appliances, the improvement in energy efficiency results from technical improvements driven by EU Directives on mandatory labelling for all large appliances and lighting, and on minimum energy standards for cold appliances as well as from voluntary agreements with the European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers (CECED). As a result, the share of the most efficient appliances (A+, A++ or more recently A+++) has increased significantly: from 9 % in 2005 to 98 % in 2014 for refrigerators (of which 27 % were A++/A+++ in 2014), and from 18 % to 95 % for washing machines (of which 43 % were A+++ in 2014)[6]. Lighting consumption per dwelling has decreased by 1.2 % per year since 1990, as a result of the deployment of efficient lighting equipment. The number of televisions has almost doubled in the EU over the same period, with around 1.9 televisions per households in 2014. At the same time, the specific consumption of television increased by approximately 0.6 % per year since 1990. Today’s high-definition equipment, such as liquid crystal display (LCD) and plasma flat-screen models, consume less energy but are larger. The relationship between screen size and average active mode power consumption of a television is an obvious one: the larger the screen, the greater the power consumption (Figure 6).
    • Figure 7 presents the decomposition of energy consumption per dwelling for the EU as a whole, which decreased by 1 % per year between 1990 and 2014. This was the result of two opposing factors. On the one hand, the household energy consumption per dwelling increased by 1.2 % per year between 1990 and 2014 because of a greater number of appliances per dwelling and lager homes. On the other hand, energy savings, mainly resulting from energy efficiency improvements in the various end-uses, contributed to a decrease in household energy consumption of  2.1 % per year over the same period.
    • Ambitious requirements for energy performance in buildings have been introduced in EU countries to encourage the renovation of buildings to nearly zero energy building (nZEB) levels. By 2020, all new buildings in the EU should be nZEB according to the EPBD. The required decrease in energy consumption of low energy buildings will range from 30-50 % of what is presently required for new buildings with existing regulations. Figure 8 illustrates the primary energy consumption per m2 for new nZEB buildings. There is not a single, harmonised definition of nZEB across Europe: different nZEB approaches and criteria are used in EU countries, which doesn’t allow a fair comparison across countries. For most countries, new nZEB buildings are expected to consume less than 50 kWhm2 per year (including general energy use for water heating, air conditioning, ventilation and lighting). For some other countries, primary energy consumption is higher: this is the case for Latvia, Cyprus, Romania and Austria.

Energy efficiency improvements in the services sector

  • Space heating accounted for approximately 45 % of energy consumption in the services sector in 2014, even if this share is down from (54 % in 2005. Water heating and cooking remain rather stable accounting for 5 % each of energy consumption in the services sector in 2014. Air conditioning only accounted for 5 % of energy consumption in the services sector in 2014, compared with 3 % in 1990.
  • Energy consumption per employee (normal climate) decreased by 0.3 % per year since 1990 at the EU level, although the rate increased to 0.7 % per year between 2005 and 2014. For electricity, the consumption per employee increased  by 1.7 % year in almost all EU countries between 1990 and 2005. After 2005, this growth has been rather low at 0.1 % per year. Most countries use between 5 000 and 7 000 kWh per employee (4 947 kWh per employee at the EU level). France, Sweden, Luxembourg, Finland and Norway use by far the largest amount of electricity per employee (around 30 % for France and Sweden up to 50 % for Luxembourg and Finland).

[1] Specific consumption per m² is more relevant to assess energy efficiency from a technical point of view than specific consumption per dwelling, as the effect of a change in the size of dwellings is removed. If reducing the size of dwellings was considered as a measure to improve energy efficiency in the household sector, the indicator per dwelling would be more apt. However, there is no real example of energy efficiency policies trying to limit the sizes of dwellings.

[2] At normal climate.

[3] According to ODYSSEEE-definitions, the floor area corresponds to the average dwelling size. However, in some countries there is a considerable amount of heated common areas in multi-family buildings. When this consumption is included in the heating consumption of the household sector, it overestimates the indicator (e.g. by 17 % in Finland).

[4] Source: GFK from topten.eu, “Room air conditioners: recommendations for policy design”

[5] The new Energy Label for air conditioners with classes up to A+++ was introduced in January 2013 (Regulation No 626/2011). New models of air conditioner are very efficient with benchmark values as follows: SEER = 10.1, SCOP=5.9. The first label was introduced in 2002 (Directive 2002/31/EC).

[6] Source: GFK from topten.eu

Indicator specification and metadata

Indicator definition

The ODEX index (Figure 1) measures energy efficiency progress by the main sectors (industry, transport and households), as well as 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; the sub-sectors are the 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 different units to be combined for a given sector, for instance, for households kWh per appliance, koe/m2, tep per dwelling etc.
  • The weight used to get a 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 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 (Figure 2).

This effect is calculated as follows:

∆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

Units

The ODEX index (Figure 1) is represented in percentage change compared with 1990 levels. Improvements in the energy performance of buildings as a result of tightening building codes are also represented in percentage change compared with 1990 levels (Figure 2). The effects of the main drivers influencing progress in energy efficiency are represented in percentage change compared with 1990 levels (Figure 3). Energy consumption per square metre for households (climate corrected) is represented as percentage change compared with a baseline year (1990, 2000). Energy consumption for space heating per square metre for households (climate corrected) is expressed in kWh/m2 (Figure 4). The energy consumption for space heating is expressed in kWh/m2 (Figure 5). Energy consumption for space cooling is represented both in kWh/m2 of average floor area, as well as kWh/m2 of air conditioned space (Figure 6).


Policy context and targets

Context description

Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)

The EED was approved by the European Parliament on 11 September 2012: it includes a set of new measures to meet the EU’s 2020 energy efficiency target to reduce the EU primary energy consumption by 20 %. Related documents are available at: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/efficiency/eed/eed_en.htm. The legal definition and quantification of the EU energy efficiency target is the ''Union's 2020 energy consumption of no more than 1 474 Mtoe primary energy or no more than 1 078 Mtoe of final energy''. With the accession of Croatia, the target was revised to "1 483 Mtoe primary energy or no more than 1 086 Mtoe of final energy''. Following Article 3 of the EED, each Member State had to submit a report to the Commission including an indicative national energy efficiency target for 2020 (http://ec.europa.eu/energy/efficiency/eed/reporting_en.htm).

National Energy efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP)

NEEAPs are intended to set energy savings targets and propose concrete measures and actions that would contribute to meeting the targets. They are submitted every three years: the third NEEAPs were submitted in April 2014.

Regulation on emissions for new cars (2009/443) and new light commercial vehicles (2011/510)

Mandatory CO2 standards for new passenger cars were introduced in 2009. The 2009 regulation set a 2015 target of 130 g/km for the fleet average of all manufacturers combined.

Individual manufacturers were allowed a higher CO2 emission value depending on the average vehicle weight of their fleet. The heavier the average weight of the cars sold by a manufacturer, the higher the CO2 level allowed. A similar CO2 standard for new light-commercial vehicles was introduced in 2011. It set a target of 175 g/km for 2017. In July 2012, the European Commission put forward two regulatory proposals to set mandatory CO2 standards for new cars and vans in 2020. Target values of 95 g/km of CO2 for the new car fleet and 147 g/km of CO2 for vans for 2020 have been set.

Energy Performance of Buildings Directive: recast version in 2010 (2010/31/EU) EPBD, 2002/91/EC

The Directive on Energy Performance in Buildings (EPBD) is the main legislative instrument affecting energy use and efficiency in the building sector in the EU. The Directive tackles both new build and existing housing stock. Originally approved in 2002, this Directive is now being replaced by a recast Directive that was approved on 19 May 2010.

Energy Labelling Directive: recast version in 2010 (2010/30/EC) Directive 92/75/EEC

The Energy Labelling Directive 2010/30/EU is a framework Directive that 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.

Ecodesign Directive: recast version in 2009 (2009/125/EC)/(2005/32/EC)

The Ecodesign Directive sets a framework for performance criteria for energy-using and energy-related products, which manufacturers must meet in order to legally bring their product to the market. Minimum requirements have to be fulfilled by appliances to get the European Commission label and to be introduced in the European market.

The first Directive was adopted in 2005. Its scope was expanded in 2009 to all energy-related products. From September 2015, the Ecodesign Directive will concern heating equipment and the production of hot water, defining new levels of performance and features to meet new energy labels.

Energy Services Directive: (ESD) 2006/32/EC

This directive sets out targets for annual energy savings of 1 % per year for each Member State between 2008 and 2012. For the same period, strong incentives were given by the Directive for Member States to ensure that suppliers of energy offer a certain level of energy service.

A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 (COM(2011) 112 final)

The Roadmap presents actions in line with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95 % by 2050.

Energy 2020, A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy COM(2010) 639 final

The Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions sets out as first priority, four types of action to achieve an energy-efficient Europe:

  • Action 1: Tapping into the biggest energy-saving potential — buildings and transport.
  • Action 2: Reinforcing industrial competitiveness by making industry more efficient.
  • Action 3: Reinforcing efficiency in energy supply.
  • Action 4: Making the most of National Energy Efficiency Action Plans.

 

Adoption of the 'energy-climate'' package on December 2008 (also called the ''20-20-20 plan")

This package sets legally binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 20 % below 1990 levels and to increase the share of renewable energy to 20 %, both by 2020 (10 % in transport). It will also help achieve the EU's objective of improving energy efficiency by 20 % within the same time frame.

The climate and energy package consists of four legislative texts:

-        A Directive revising the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which covers some 40 % of EU greenhouse gas emissions;

-        An "effort-sharing" Decision setting binding national targets for emissions from sectors not covered by the EU ETS;

-        A Directive setting binding national targets for increasing the share of renewable energy in the energy mix; and

-        A Directive creating a legal framework for the safe and environmentally sound use of carbon capture and storage technologies.

Energy efficiency: delivering the 20 % target - COM(2008) 772 final

European leaders committed themselves to reducing 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.

Targets

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 a 20 % reduction in primary energy consumption. Member States are requested to set indicative targets. It is up to the Member states whether they base their targets on primary energy 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

Methodology

Methodology for indicator calculation

Technical information

  • Data sources:
    • Energy consumption by sector from Eurostat energy balances (July 2015)
    • Detailed energy consumption and their drivers from the Odyssee database, Enerdata, September 2015 update; the Odyssee database covers detailed energy consumption by sector, by fuel and by end-uses for the EU as a whole, and Norway. 
  • Description of data/indicator definition:
    • Energy efficiency index (Figure 1). 

The ODEX indicator, or energy efficiency index, is calculated for each end-use sector (industry, transport, residential and tertiary) and for the whole economy (all end-use sectors).

For each sector, the index is calculated as a weighted average of sub-sectoral indices of energy efficiency progress; sub-sectors are 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 (for instance tons of steel, tonne-km for transport of goods, m² for offices, etc.). They provide the best “proxy” of energy efficiency progress from a policy evaluation viewpoint. All these sub-sectoral indices are then aggregated and weighted by their respective share in the final energy consumption of the sector to a single energy efficiency index or ODEX that measures energy efficiency progress.

A decrease in the specific energy consumption indicators indicates that energy efficiency has been improving, if not it results in negative energy efficiency improvements, maybe due to inefficient use of equipment, as is often observed for instance during an economic recession. Therefore, it is necessary to separate technical efficiency from observed efficiency. This is done for the ODEX (see dedicated sheet) by calculating a technical energy efficiency index (in this case we only consider decreases in specific consumption (if not the index remains constant). A value of the energy efficiency index equal to 90 means a 10 % energy efficiency gain.

For industry, the evaluation is carried out at the level of 14 branches:

  • 8 main branches: chemicals, food, textile and leather, machinery, transport equipment, wood, construction, mining;
  • 3 energy intensive branches: steel, cement and pulp and paper
  • 3 residual branches: other primary metals (i.e. primary metals minus steel), other non-metallic minerals (i.e. non-metallic minerals minus cement, other branches).


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.

For the transport sector, the evaluation is carried out at the level of seven modes or vehicle types: cars, trucks and light vehicles, motorcycles, buses, air transport, rail and water transport. 

For cars, energy efficiency is measured by the specific consumption, expressed in litres/100km.

For the transport of goods (trucks and light vehicles), the unit consumption per tonne-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 per passenger for air transport,
  • goe per passenger km for passenger rail,
  • goe per transport km for transport of goods by rail and water,
  • toe per vehicle for motorcycles and buses.

 

For households, the evaluation is carried out at the level of three end-uses (heating, water heating, cooking) and five 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)[1]
  • Water heating: unit consumption per dwelling with water heating;
  • Cooking: unit consumption per dwelling;
  • Large electrical appliances: specific electricity consumption, in kWh per year per appliance.

 

For tertiary, the energy efficiency index is calculated by branches (e.g. six branches, including offices, education, health, wholesale and retail, hotels and restaurants, and other services) based on the energy consumption per employee. For some countries and the EU as a whole (due to lack of data or robust data by branches), the index is calculated using aggregate indicators, i.e. fuel and electricity consumption per employee.

  • Energy consumption of households by end-use (Figure 2-5).

The energy consumption of households can be disaggregated to cover different end-uses: space heating, water heating, cooking, cooling, lighting and electrical appliances.

Household energy consumption for space heating per dwelling relates the energy consumption of the household sector for space heating to the number of permanently occupied dwellings. Household energy consumption for space heating per square metre is obtained by dividing the unit consumption per dwelling.

Household energy consumption for cooling per square metre is obtained by dividing the energy consumption per dwelling for space cooling by cooled floor area (cooled floor area is calculated by multiplying the average floor area by the number of permanent dwellings and the share of dwellings with air conditioning).

Household energy consumption of electrical appliances per dwelling is calculated by dividing the electricity consumption for all appliances by the number of permanently occupied dwellings. The electrical appliances considered here are all those with specific (captive) uses of electricity. Space heating systems, water heaters or cooking appliances are not included.

Total floor area represents the average floor area of a dwelling multiplied by the number of dwellings. It is expressed in m2.

  • Drivers for change in the energy consumption per dwelling in households (Figure 6).

The energy consumption per dwelling can be explained by four factors:

  • Equipment ownership effect, due to the increased number of appliances per dwelling (central heating effect, increasing number of electrical appliances, diffusion of efficient lamps etc.);
  • Size effect, due to larger dwellings;
  • Efficiency progress, as measured by ODEX (see definition above);
  • Other effects (mainly change in heating behaviour).
  • Geographical coverage:
     EU-28 countries plus Norway.
  • Methodology and frequency of data collection:
    Data collected twice a year in the framework of the ODYSSEE MURE project (http://www.odyssee-mure.eu/)

Qualitative information

  • Strengths and weaknesses (at data level)
    Last Odyssee update: September 2015
  • Reliability, accuracy, robustness, uncertainty (at data level):
    Accuracy: 2
  • Overall scoring – (1 = no major problems, 3 = major reservations):

Relevance: 1
Accuracy: 2
Indicators used in the ODYSSEE database are comparable over time and space. Raw data collected have the same clear definition, as do indicators.

Methodology for gap filling

To calculate the ODEX (Figure 1), data submitted to the ODYSSEE project by countries on a voluntary basis are used. Not all countries submit the necessary data. Therefore, for the EU-28, data extrapolations based as far as possible on Eurostat supporting data (e.g. growth rates, shares of various energy forms in final energy consumption, etc) are used. In this way some consistency between the top-down calculations and the bottom-up calculations made for specific countries is ensured (also country data make use of Eurostat where possible).

To calculate the effect of new building codes (Figure 2), the theoretical unit consumption of new dwellings for the EU as a whole is based on an extrapolation from 11 representative countries (Italy, France, Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia). The theoretical consumption for new dwellings by country is weighted according to annual construction to be able to produce results at EU level.

Methodology references

Uncertainties

Methodology uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sets uncertainty

The ODYSSEE database contains energy consumption and its drivers, which are provided by energy agencies or their representatives in all EU countries and Norway. Quality control checks are performed to ensure the good quality of the database and to improve the transparency, consistency, comparability, completeness and accuracy of data retrieved from the ODYSSEE database. Examples of general quality control checks include checking for transcription errors in data inputs, checking of source reliability, checking the inner consistency of data (e.g. the sum of energy consumption by residential end-uses is coherent with total residential consumption), consistency with other sources (e.g Eurostat), checking that indicators are calculated correctly (through graphical representation over years to check discrepancy or outliers between countries).

Rationale uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sources

Generic metadata

Topics:

information.png Tags:
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DPSIR: Response
Typology: Efficiency indicator (Type C - Are we improving?)
Indicator codes
  • ENER 037
Temporal coverage:
,

Contacts and ownership

EEA Contact Info

Anca-Diana Barbu

EEA Management Plan

2016 1.3.2 (note: EEA internal system)

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled once per year
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100