How to evaluate energy savings?

The Directive 2006/32/EC on energy end-use efficiency and energy services (ESD) became effective on May 17, 2006. It aims at enhancing the cost-effective improvement of energy end-use efficiency in the Member States. The Directive has set an overall indicative target of nine percent for energy savings to be realised in EU Member States in the period of 2008-2016. Furthermore, the ESD has the following objectives:
  • to quantify the energy savings resulting from energy services and other energy efficiency improvement (EEI) measures
  • to identify and disseminate best practice and
  • to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the measures and the energy savings.

The EMEEES consortium with its 21 project partners supported the European Commission by developing concrete harmonised methods for the measurement and verification of achieved energy savings. The evaluation tools have been designed to meet the specific requirements of the ESD. They  include methods for the evaluation of single EEI programmes and energy services, as well as tools for monitoring the overall impact of all measures implemented in a Member State.

Further guidance is provided through principles for ensuring consistency between bottom-up and top-down methods and recommendations, for which types of energy efficiency technologies and/or energy efficiency improvement measures the use of bottom-up and top-down methods is appropriate based on the project’s findings. Reporting checklists for bottom-up and top-down evaluations aim to facilitate the reporting.

Set of evaluation methods

The set of methods developed enables the Member States to report EEI activities and their impacts in a common way and with a harmonised accounting system. Consequently, the methods designed allow Member States to prove to the Commission the fulfilment of their indicative cumulative annual energy savings target of 9 percent by 2016.

The ESD makes a distinction between two main approaches to assess energy savings: "top-down" and "bottom-up" calculations. These evaluation schemes, as well as their possible synthesis, shall be further explained in the submenu within this section.

Energy efficiency improvement measures – Analytical clarification

One of the most important, but previously not very clear issues is the general definition of the term ‘energy efficiency improvement measures’. Within the EMEEES project, it has been agreed upon that for analytical clarification a distinction is useful between
  • (EEI) facilitating measures (=> a cause) that stimulate end-use EEI actions and are delivered to final consumers or other market actors
    (examples: EEI programme, EEI policy instrument, energy service and other measures, e.g., incentive programme, building codes, energy performance contracting, voluntary agreement)
  • end-use (EEI) action(s) taken by final consumers or other market actors (=> can be an impact of a facilitating measure)
    (technical, organisational, or behavioural action that actually improves energy efficiency at the end-use level, e.g., thermal insulation, energy management, purchase of efficient car instead of ‚gas-guzzler‘, eco-driving)