Several studies have shown that energy and carbon taxes play an important role in many EU Member States for meeting their energy savings obligation under Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive for the period from 2014 to 2020. Often, countries introduced those taxes decades ago and have not updated them since. The Regulatory Assistance Project, together with Stefan Scheuer Consulting, assessed the use of taxation in all 28 Member States and, specifically, the use of taxation during the four first years of the energy savings obligation period (2014-2017). The study also modelled what would happen if all countries freely credited all energy taxes as energy savings. The study concluded that this would render the energy savings obligations obsolete.

However, the revised Directive contains important safeguards, which are identified in this study. Legislators have added new requirements to ensure that tax measures are delivering new and additional energy savings. Applied correctly, this will reinforce the contribution of the Directive to meeting the EU’s 2020 and 2030 energy savings targets — and make it possible to deliver on more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals.