How is the baseline for the savings calculated?

EU energy efficiency target (Art. 1)

The EU 2030 headline target on energy efficiency is defined as at least 32.5% compared to the projected Union’s energy consumption in 2030 based on the PRIMES 2007 Reference Scenario.[1] A “headline” target implies that it should be achieved collectively across the EU but not that it has to be linearly applied across sectors or Member States.

Indicative national energy efficiency targets (Art. 3)

Member States determine the baseline of their indicative national energy efficiency targets based on own methodologies. These vary from different base year (e.g. against 1990 or 2008) to projections on primary or final energy consumption in 2030 carried out at national level. Member States inform the European Commission on their absolute target level for primary and final energy consumption in 2030.

Binding national end-use energy savings target (Art. 7)

The calculation of the binding national end-use energy savings target is quite complex and has been amended compared to the requirements applied for the period 2014-2020.

To calculate the required amount of energy savings, the annual averaged energy sales to final customers or the final energy consumption over the most recent three-year period prior to 1 January 2019 is applied. The EED mandates Member States to define a cumulative end-use energy savings target of 0.8% per year for the period 2021-2030. The Directive allows exemptions[2] that can reduce this target by a maximum of 35%[3]. As an example, Member States may exclude the energy used in transport from the calculation baseline (this option was applied by all Member States in the period 2014-2020 except by Sweden). An exclusion from the baseline is also possible for the final energy consumed by EU ETS-affected industries and for 30% of the verifiable amount of renewable energy generated on or in buildings for self-consumption as a result of policy measures promoting new installations of renewable energy technologies. Member States are obliged to state in the integrated national energy and climate plans (NECPs) how the annual savings and the calculation baseline were established, and which options were applied to which extent. On the impact of these exclusions and exemptions on the target however, the text of the Directive is ambiguous and contradictory and open to interpretations[4].

Important to know: excluding a sector from the baseline, does not exclude the sector from being eligible to realise energy savings. Final energy savings realised in the transport sector, e.g. via the roll-out of electric vehicles, can count towards the achievement of the national energy savings target of Art. 7. In addition, Member States can count towards the amount of required energy savings several types of savings, e.g. those savings resulting from policy measures newly introduced from 2018 to 2020 which still deliver savings from 2021 onwards.


[1] E3MLab (2008). 2030 European Energy and Transport Trends. Trends to 2030- update 2007 (PRIMES 2007). Online available:

[2] All these exemptions are set out in Art. 7 (4 b-g).

[3] For the period 2014-2020 the energy savings target is still 1.5% with exemptions resulting in a reduction of this target by a maximum of 25%.

[4] For the period 2021-2030, art. 7 (5) says that exemptions of Art. 7 (2) and options of Art. 7 (4) can’t reduce the national end-use energy savings target.