Overview of energy audit obligations across Europe – Comparing energy audit requirements from 6 EU countries


Consumers and behavioural change
Efficient and resilient energy system
Energy planning and mitigation
Energy savings obligation, monitoring and verification


Energy Saving Measure (ESM) play a central role in reaching the European Green Deal targets of 45% emissions reduced by 2030 and net zero emissions in 2050. The Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) introduced in 2012 an energy audit obligation for all large companies in EU Member States. Yet, although energy audits according to international standards result in explicit ESM recommendations, often only very few ESM are implemented.

AUDIT-TO-MEASURE aims to accelerate the uptake of ESM in manufacturing industries across six European countries: Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and Spain. This factsheet summarises a comparative overview of national energy audit and ESM implementation policies which constitutes the groundwork for the following project activities.

Key findings

  • All six countries have implemented the energy audit obligation for large companies set in Article 8 of the EED. Though target groups differ as most countries have introduced energy intensity thresholdsa. In all countries, companies with ISO 50001 certified energy management systems are exempt.
  • Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have set ESM implementation obligations for very energy-intensive companies with differing selection criteria. Monitoring and enforcement is currently limited and the obligation is only temporary in Germany.
  • Audit process and reporting methodologies draw on EN 16247 in all six countries. Greece, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have provisions allowing clustering and sampling approaches to audit large groups or multi-site companies, but methodologies differ.
  • National audit requirements for the assessment of ESM mostly rely on standard financial metrics, though some countries also expect carbon accounting. Greece expects a life-cycle cost analysis, in Czech Republic recommended ESM must achieve 10% energy or CO2 savings, and in the Netherlands return on investment must factor in the national carbon tax.
  • The EU requires Member States to report on the implementation of the audit obligation. To date however, only Germany and Italy have carried out comprehensive national evaluations. Spain is currently carrying it out its first evaluation.

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