Skip to main content

Monitoring EU energy efficiency first principle and policy implementation

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ODYSSEE-MURE (Monitoring EU energy efficiency first principle and policy implementation)

Reporting period: 2020-12-01 to 2021-11-30

Energy efficiency (EE) is one of the 5 dimensions of the Energy Union Strategy adopted 25 February 2015. Further, EE is required as a major contributor to commitments of the European Union made in the framework of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) held in Paris in December 2015 (Paris Agreement), which aims to keep the increase of the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Further the Energy Efficiency Directive EED emphasises the Energy Efficiency First principle by requiring that "energy efficiency should be treated as an energy source in its own right. The 'energy efficiency first' principle should be taken into account when setting new rules for the supply side and other policy areas".

In this context, Member States require assistance on reporting obligations under the Energy Efficiency Directive and the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). Starting from 2019, Member States have to report in integrated National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP), which cover reporting on energy efficiency, renewables and climate targets and policies. Developing and implementing the NECPs mentioned above requires diverse competences and skills of public authorities, which are not readily available in EU Member States. Lack of analytical capacity and data in energy-related public administrations are key bottlenecks in many countries, especially in the smaller ones.

Enhancing public authorities’ capacity in these fields is therefore a crucial requirement and is a main objective of the ODYSSEE-MURE project
The ODYSSEE-MURE project ( achieved the following main results:

i. ODYSSEE-MURE provides two comprehensive databases covering each EU Member State (EU MS), the EU, as well as UK, Switzerland and Serbia, so as to feed the reporting needs of the EU Member States under the National Energy and Climate Plans NECPs with the most up-to-date information: ODYSSEE is a database on energy consumption and energy efficiency indicators, MURE is a database on energy efficiency measures and their impact evaluation. These tools were renewed and extended by an experienced team comprising national energy efficiency agencies from 27 EU Member States (plus UK, Norway, Switzerland and Serbia), and a strong Technical Coordination (ADEME, ENERDATA, Fraunhofer ISI).

ii. Both databases are accompanied by powerful analytical facilities which help MS to exploit the data in the two databases:
- the decomposition facility (which helps to explain changes in primary and final energy which are important targets under the Energy Efficiency Directive EED),
- the energy saving facility (which shows the distance to targets under the EED and national targets),
- the market diffusion facility (which follows the diffusion of energy efficiency technologies)
- the comparison facility (which benchmarks the energy performance against a selection of other countries by normalising a number of factors)
- the policy mapper (which shows the interaction between energy efficiency policies aiming at the same end-use)
- the successful measure facility (which helps to identify successful energy efficiency measures),
- the European Energy Efficiency Scoreboard (which scores EU Member States according to energy efficiency levels, trends and policies)

iii. ODYSSEE-MURE provides new and innovative training and didactical documents to national, regional and local administrations in EU MS and to the European Commission to raise their capacity and expertise in the field of energy efficiency monitoring and impact evaluation as a basis for future policy making, contributing to the energy efficiency target for 2030. In the project, ODYSSEE-MURE supported Member States through regional and national training events as well as dissemination products such as country/sector profiles, newsletters, policy briefs and webinars.

iv. ODYSSEE-MURE provides support to MS in developing an indicator approach to the Energy Efficiency First Principle. For this purpose, we developed a new facility on the EE1 principle which supports analyzing the role of the EE1 principle. Particular challenges under the EE1 principle are sufficiency trends and energy poverty. Sufficiency trends include also the influence of societal trends which may enhance or reduce energy consumption (such as rebound effects, the shared economy, the digital economy etc.). ODYSSEE-MURE supports further governments with information on specific energy efficiency policies or policy design to combat energy poverty.

v. ODYSSEE-MURE extends the evaluation of the impact of energy efficiency from energy and CO2 savings, as already done in ODYSSEE and MURE, to the multiple other benefits of energy efficiency.
ODYSSEE-MURE is unique in terms of impact beyond the pure project objectives. Particularly worth mentioning is how extensively ODYSSEE-MURE and related work based on the MURE database are particularly well cited in the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Energy Efficiency (Recast) (2021):
• ODYSSEE-MURE and the analysis tools are cited 8 times in the proposal for the EED
• ODYSSEE-MURE is also cited indirectly through the journal article performed by Matthias Reuter in his PhD on decomposition analysis.
• three related projects, notably the work on the Assessment Tool (Fraunhofer, ENERDATA etc), the Art. 7/EED project and the MICAT project on Multiple Benefits of Energy Efficiency, which are strongly based on the MURE database, are also cited extensively in the proposal of the EED.

The project also contribute strongly to the capacity building within EU organizations, among others the EU Commission, the European Environment Agency EEA and EUROSTAT, as well as the EnR club (which gathers European Energy Efficiency Agencies) and ECEEE (European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy). With ECEEE an intensive relationship has emerged, notably through the work in the EU Energy Efficiency Scoreboard and related dissemination activities. Quite a number of the approaches used by those organizations for indicators and policy monitoring have taken up ODYSSEE-MURE methodologies. Members of the project team are notably active in the Concerted Action of the EED (CA-EED) and ODYSSEE-MURE make regular contributions to the exchanges under the CA-EED.

ODYSSEE-MURE is a world-wide unique approach to energy efficiency indicators and policy evaluation that inspired world-wide and regionally operating organizations. In particular the involvement with the International Energy Agency IEA (on energy efficiency indicators and energy efficiency policies) is regular and was continued through-out this project . Also, regular exchange on methodologies and analysis complemented the IEA activities. Cooperation with the UNECLAC in Latin America (BEE project) and RECREE in Mediterranean and Arabic countries (MEETMED project) have led to a large transfer of methods and approaches to these organizations and member countries which will contribute to a world-wide spread of knowledge on analyses and methods for energy efficiency indicators and policies. ODYSSEE-MURE activities will be certainly be included in the newly launched Energy Efficiency Hub Working Groups gathering G20 countries.
The Odyssee-MURE Project on Energy Efficiency Indicators and Policies