Public procurement provisions in the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)1: is the Council proposal acceptable and how can it be improved?

The purpose of the document was to assess the Council’s proposal for Article 5 and Annex III regulating energy efficiency in public procurement presented for discussion in the trilogue meeting at the end of May.

The Council proposal not only failed to make it an obligation that public bodies must make energy efficient purchases (public bodies would only be encouraged to take energy efficiency requirements into account) but also introduced additional criteria for public bodies to take into account when considering whether to make energy efficient public procurement purchases. In practice, the application of these criteria could result in public bodies being prevented from making highly energy efficient purchases.

This memo demonstrates the value of including clear and ambitious provisions on highly energy efficient public purchases in the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) arguing that these provisions should be strong enough to ensure that public procurement contributes to the achievement of the 20% energy savings target. Unfortunately, the Council proposal for the EED public procurement provisions was very weak. Article 5 and Annex III would not ensure an exemplary role for the public sector. The voluntary character of these provisions as well as additional conditions attached to a requirement of high energy efficiency performance purchases made it doubtful that public procurement purchases would indeed ensure this high energy efficiency performance. Moreover, the Council proposal for the EED was not an improvement in comparison to the relevant provisions of the Energy Savings Directive.

To improve the text to a minimum acceptable, it was recommended that the EED requires that Member States shall ensure that public bodies purchase only products, services and buildings with high energy efficiency performance. Ideally, no additional criteria to be ’taken into account‘ should be imposed. However, if necessary, ‘cost effectiveness’ could be included if linked to lifecycle analysis. Otherwise, this condition could be easily misinterpreted to take into account only initial purchase price instead of the overall cost during the whole life-cycle. Because life-cycle analysis takes into account the amount of energy consumed and therefore paid for, and the lifetime of a product, it therefore gives a more complete picture of costs for the public body and often shows that energy efficient products are the better investment.

Size 193 KB
Published May 29, 2012
Found in EnergyEnergy EfficiencyRule of law