Restructuring and liberalisation on the supply side of the electricity and gas markets have been accelerated by two EU Directives. However, competition in the supply of electricity and gas only addresses half of the market for least-cost energy services. The other half is demand-side energy efficiency, and this has too often been forgotten by policymakers on the EU and national levels. Therefore, the market is not complete before full economic and environmental efficiency has been achieved through including the efficient use of electricity and gas, e.g., through Demand-Side Management (DSM) by energy companies and other actors.
The European Commission has thus proposed to support the development of the market for Energy Services as a priority area in the Energy Efficiency Action Plan and planned to put forward a proposal for an EU Directive on the Promotion by Energy Companies of End-use Efficiency during 2002.
Therefore, the aims of this project coordinated by the Wuppertal Institute were:
(1) To foster a policy dialogue through publications, national workshops in the seven participating countries and a European Conference. The aim was to discuss and to further develop mutual understanding and possibly a consensus on the planned EU Directive and on national policy initiatives to create a supportive framework for the electricity and gas supply industry to implement energy efficiency activities.
(2) To disseminate information about good practice:
(a) in policy to create a supportive framework for energy efficiency services and programmes in liberalised electricity and gas markets, and
(b) in energy efficiency services and programmes themselves.
For dissemination and dialogue, the main target groups for this project were policymakers, the electricity and gas supply industries, regulators, other stakeholders like trade unions, consumer organisations, environmental organisations, the energy efficiency industry, and the relevant media as multipliers.
A workshop was held in five of the seven countries participating in this project in December 2002 or January 2003. The results of the workshops were thus an input for the European Conference.
The European Conference on Policy to Stimulate Energy Efficiency Programmes and Services in Liberalised Electricity and Gas Markets was held in Brussels on 27 and 28 March, 2003. It brought together experiences and expectations from the Member States and particularly served to discuss open questions with regards to the planned EU Directive.
A brochure in the national languages of the 7 participating countries had been published and distributed via printed copies and internet.
As well as background materials with more details than in the brochure and the proceedings of the European Conference.
The results of the projects had been published in a final document summarising the results of the policy dialogue.
The stakeholder dialogue and the information provided by the project prepared the basic elements and principles for the EU Directive on energy end-use efficiency and energy services that the Commission finally proposed in December 2003.