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Good practice in energy efficiency for Central and South Eastern Europe

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Publication prepared jointly by the European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy and the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Set up in 2015, the "Central and South-Eastern European Energy Connectivity" (CESEC) initiative aims to accelerate the integration of Central and South-Eastern European gas markets and diversify gas supplies. It brings together nine EU Member States (Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) and eight Energy Community Contracting Parties (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Ukraine). In 2016, a decision was made to broaden the CESEC mandate beyond gas to include other key areas, such as: electricity trading and market coupling; the coordinated planning and development of power grid infrastructures; renewable energy, and energy efficiency.

In the area of energy efficiency, the proposed plan of cooperation between CESEC countries includes sharing information, experience and best practice on:

  • The more effective use of public funds, such as EU funds. This includes those available for the Energy Community Contracting Parties, to trigger additional private financing for energy efficiency and sustainable energy investments, especially in buildings, with a particular view toward implementing the legislation.
  • The use of Project Development Assistance in both the EU Member States and the Energy Community Contracting Parties, and aggregation mechanisms to support the development of investment project pipelines.
  • Benchmarking activities on different energy efficiency market practices in specific fields (for example concerning different renovation concepts or financial instruments for renovation), to identify and promote good practice and foster cooperation actions.

The main objective of this Guide is to present current good practice in order to develop energy efficiency in the CESEC countries. This is particularly important as most of them have tremendous potential to increase energy efficiency. Improvements could be made to buildings where inefficient building stock relies largely on old inefficient fossil fuel boilers for heating, and district heating infrastructures (which are inefficient and lack the required investment for their renovation). This Good Practice Guide is intended to assist policymakers, competent authorities and any other interested party in the CESEC countries in developing and implementing energy efficiency policies and measures at all levels (national, regional and local), thereby paving the way to energy savings in the future.

Among others, the large body of information and evidence for this document was provided by: i) projects co-financed by the EU and managed by the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) within the framework of the IEE and H2020 programmes; ii) the Commission Staff Working Document "Good Practice in Energy Efficiency" (November 2016), which accompanied the Clean Energy for All Europeans Package; iii) the Commission Staff Working Documents "Energy Union Factsheets" accompanying the "Third Report on the State of the Energy Union" (November 2017); and iv) the "Annual Implementation Report of the Energy Community Secretariat" (September 2017).


The Guide is available at:

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