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Recommendation and guidelines on Energy Efficiency First: from principles to practice

While “energy efficiency first” is not new as a concept, there has been a need to make the principle more operational

EEF event

While energy efficiency first is not new as a concept, there has been a need to make the principle more operational and to support its practical implementation, and this across different sectors, ranging from the energy supply and distribution to the end-use sectors.

The European Commission is organising an event to present the energy efficiency first recommendation and guideline to a wide range of stakeholders, public authorities, industry and financial institutions soon after their adoption (planned for September 2021). It will be opened by the Commissioner for Energy,  Kadri Simson. The speakers that follow, representing various stakeholders from the energy system, the main energy end-use sectors and from the finance community, will illustrate what energy efficiency first means, specifically for their sector, and how its application could look like. At the event, the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG) will also launch its working group on energy efficiency first. The aim of this working group is to further explore and to facilitate the application of the principle in the finance sector.

The event will be conducted in English.


2021 09 27 EE1st agenda
(223.05 KB - PDF)

For social media: #EnergyEfficiencyFirst


Energy efficiency first has been a guiding principle in European climate and energy policies for many years. It considers energy efficiency as a source of energy in its own right and as a “first fuel” in planning processes and investment decisions. It has been an essential element of the energy union and the Clean energy for all Europeans package. It is defined in the Governance Regulation, which inter alia requires EU countries to consider it in their National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs). In the European Green Deal package, adopted in July 2021, the Commission proposed to incorporate the principle as a legal provision in the Energy Efficiency Directive.


  • energy policy | energy efficiency | energy union
  • -
  • Online only


  1. 28 Sep 2021,
    02:00 PM - 05:00 PM CEST

    14:00 – 14:10 Opening by Commissioner for energy, Kadri Simson
    14:10 – 14:30 The new provisions of the Energy Efficiency Directive on the energy efficiency first principle, recommendations and guidelines
    14:30 – 15:15 Panel session1, energy efficiency first guidelines for the energy sector (electricity markets, energy supply, energy transmission and distribution)
    15:15 – 15:30 Break
    15:30 – 16:10 Panel session 2, energy efficiency first guidelines for energy end-use sectors (buildings, water, ICT, transport)
    16:10 - 16:20 Launch of the EEFIG WG on the energy efficiency first principle in the financial sector  
    16:20 – 16:50 Panel session 3 – energy efficiency first in sustainable finance
    16:50 – 17:00 Closing

Practical information

Online only
Directorate-General for Energy