Helping businesses navigate towards a more energy-efficient future in Europe
Many of ERM’s clients operating in Europe must respond to Article 8 of the European Union (EU) Energy Efficiency Directive, which established measures to help the EU achieve a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency by 2020.
Each EU country has leeway to address the Directive, but certain elements, including the requirement for large organizations to carry out initial energy efficiency audits by 5 December 2015 and at least every four years thereafter, are set out within Article 8.
The approach to implementing this article of the Directive varies from country to country and has been subject to delays in some and uncertainty in others, creating significant compliance challenges for multinationals operating across the region:
- Some countries already had energy efficiency requirements in place, such as legislation around energy efficiency plans (Netherlands) or tax breaks for certifying to the ISO 50001 energy management system standard (Germany), which were added to and expanded to cover the full scope of Article 8 requirements.
- Others implemented a completely new regulation to meet the requirements, such as the United Kingdom’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).
- Finally, there are some countries that have not yet implemented an Article 8 scheme.
Companies with affected entities in several countries must comply with each country’s individual requirements. “We have seen several approaches taken by our clients,” according to Charles Allison, a Partner supporting company’s across Europe. “Some, for example those companies with a corporate carbon dioxide emissions reduction target in place, are taking a programmatic approach that provides consistency across their European operations and takes them a step towards certification to ISO 50001. Others are taking a country-by-country approach, acting first in jurisdictions where there are clear requirements in place.”
In either case, ERM has helped our clients navigate the precise mechanisms for compliance in multiple jurisdictions and maximize the benefits of implementing the findings of their energy efficiency audits to deliver cost and other reputational benefits to their business over time.