Energy efficiency


The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) is designed to remove barriers in the energy market and overcome market failures that impede efficiency in the supply and use of energy. 

How EED works

EED provides for the establishment of indicative national energy efficiency targets and seeks to ensure the achievement of the Union’s 2020 20 per cent headline target on energy efficiency and pave the way for further energy efficiency improvements beyond that date.  

The majority of the Directive’s requirements have to be transposed, or otherwise complied with, by 5 June 2014. 

What is DfE’s role?

The requirements of the Energy Efficiency Directive are wide ranging, and DfE has responsibility for implementation in Northern Ireland of those requirements within its remit.  Other departments and bodies in Northern Ireland that share responsibility for implementation are:

  • Department of Finance (DoF) – for the public sector
  • Department for Communities (DfC) – for the domestic sector
  • Invest NI – for the industrial sector
  • Department for Infrastructure (DfI)
  • Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (UR)

Review of Energy Efficiency Provision

Energy efficiency is a key priority at European level. Article 7 of the 2012 EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) requires Member States to introduce energy efficiency obligation schemes and/or other policy measures to achieve 1.5 per cent year on year energy savings. DfE is the NI Department charged with implementation of the EED and ensuring the Article 7 energy efficiency requirements are met. A recast of the EED was agreed by the Commission in June 2018 and brought in to force in December 2018, and continues to require energy savings up to 2030.

The Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme (NISEP), administered by the Utility Regulator (UR), is currently the only NI policy measure contributing energy savings to the UK under the Directive. In the absence of any new scheme being developed, the Utility Regulator has agreed to further extend the NISEP Scheme to allow time for a full review of NISEP to be completed.

The Department has agreed to assist with this review, given its role in overseeing compliance with the Energy Efficiency Directive. Phase one of the review is well under way with consumer engagement work (focus groups and interviews) and a Call for Evidence complete. A Consultation Document is currently being prepared and will issue in due course.  It is anticipated that the recommendations from the NISEP review will inform any decisions on future energy efficiency support programmes.

Energy Management Strategy and Action Plan to 2030 (for Northern Ireland Central Government)

The Energy Management Strategy and Action Plan for NI Central Government (EMS), aims to support and significantly accelerate actions to maximise exploitation of energy efficiency opportunities in both current and future assets and work towards improved governance, accountability, strategic management and reporting arrangements for sustained longer-term success.

As part of the 2016/17 Asset Management Strategy Action Plan, Strategic Investment Board (SIB)  reviewed energy management opportunities across 3,051 public assets in order to reduce demand and costs, generate revenue and provide this road map for delivery of energy and cost savings.

The EMS has two main objectives:

  • Establishing effective energy management processes that unlock value
  • Lowering net energy consumption by 30 per cent by 2030 across Government (from a 2016/17 baseline year)

Progress against this 30 per cent target will be assessed annually and will be informed by robust consumption data. The Department for the Economy has agreed to be the sponsor Department for the EMS, on behalf of the NICS.


Related to Energy efficiency

Access to information

How to request information from the Department for the Economy including Freedom of Information (FOI) and the use of our Publication Scheme.

Back to top