The Energy Community Secretariat and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have issued today joint Policy Guidelines to help countries in the region design and implement an Energy Efficiency Obligation Scheme in line with Article 7 of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive.
Article 7 plays a central role in the package of policy measures being delivered by the EU as well as the Energy Community to achieve a 20% improvement in energy efficiency by 2020. The importance of this article, which sets quantified energy savings targets for Contracting Parties, has been further highlighted in the process of updating the Energy Efficiency Directive and setting a legislative pathway to 2030.
Commenting on the Policy Guidelines, Janez Kopač, Director of the Energy Community Secretariat, said: “Today’s Policy Guidelines are another step in our cooperation with EBRD, building on the joint implementation of the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme (REEP) – an EU co-financed activity - over the last five years. Aligning efforts to bring forward energy efficiency measures through policy dialogue and investments is proving to be very successful in the Western Balkans. The new Policy Guidelines are a practical instrument for use by all Contracting Parties that are looking to implement more cost-effective measures to improve the energy efficiency of their economy.”
Nigel Jollands, Associate Director in the Energy Efficiency and Climate Change department of the EBRD, said: "We have seen first-hand how important an enabling legal framework is for stimulating investments in energy efficiency. These Policy Guidelines were specifically prepared with the Energy Community countries’ particular circumstances in mind, and reflect the tailored and targeted approach that REEP is providing to the Western Balkans."
Article 7 requires EU Member States to achieve cumulative energy savings between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2020, equivalent to new yearly savings of 1.5% of a reference quantity of energy sales. This requirement has been transposed into the Energy Community acquis with the revised basis for the target of cumulative savings with the new yearly savings equivalent to 0.7% of the reference quantity over the period from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2020.
The Policy Guidelines are already being reflected in the policy work of the EBRD and the Energy Community Secretariat – most notably in Serbia, Montenegro and former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where REEP is providing assistance to authorities to select the most appropriate measures for implementing the requirements of Article 7. Additional assistance is planned to help Energy Community Contracting Parties to fully transpose the Energy Efficiency Directive, either through REEP or through bilateral EBRD support.