In January 2015, the Luxembourg government introduced a programme that requires electricity and gas providers to encourage and help consumers to save energy. The obligation scheme is an innovative measure to promote increased energy efficiency.
The electricity and gas suppliers, known as 'obligated parties', offer services designed to support and advise consumers on the implementation of energy efficiency measures. This allows consumers to benefit from a new range of high-quality, personalised services that are geared towards their needs and provided by service providers with extensive experience in the energy sector.
Why are these types of regulations necessary?
The introduction of this obligation scheme originates from the determination to meet the energy efficiency objectives set out in national energy policy more effectively.
This measure allows obligated parties the opportunity to expand their business models in terms of energy services to their customers. Based on the experience of other European Union member states that have already introduced such a mechanism, it has been shown that this approach, built on solid regulation, allows for the consistent promotion of energy efficiency measures.
Who is targeted by the offer of the obligated parties?
In principle, all energy consumers - households, businesses and the public sector - are concerned.
Which energy carriers are targeted by the obligation mechanism?
In general, the energy savings that can be accounted for by the obligated parties can be achieved in all energy carriers, including in particular fuels, heating oil, natural gas and electricity.
Who are the obligated parties?
The obliged parties are the electricity and natural gas suppliers operating in Luxembourg.
A complete list of these suppliers can be consulted on the website of the Institut Luxembourgeois de la Régulation (ILR).
To introduce the energy efficiency measures, the obligated parties are free to either act independently or utilise third-party contractors.
How are consumers affected by this new mechanism?
To claim credit for energy efficiency measures, obliged parties must demonstrate that they have played an incentivising role in their implementation. They are therefore required to support the consumer who carries out the measure in question by making a direct contribution. For example, this incentive could be in the form of advice, technical support or a financial contribution. These incentives must be provided before the consumer places an order for the measure concerned.
Which energy efficiency measures are permitted?
Obligated parties have a certain amount of discretion when it comes to their choice of energy efficiency measures. To guide their services, they can implement energy savings either through standardised measures or specific measures. Standardised measures define different situations and set fixed energy-saving targets for the following categories of measures:
- Thermal envelope of buildings (walls, windows, roofs, slabs)
- Heat production
- Mechanical ventilation
- Home appliances
- Office equipment
- Industrial technologies (motors, pumps, ventilation, compressed air, boilers, refrigeration)
- Energy management
- Transport (replacement of cars).
Any energy efficiency measures not included in the catalogue of measures should be considered as specific measures, which cannot be accounted for by the obliged parties if certain calculation principles are applied and if no standardised measure is applicable.