The new Directive 2012/27/UE on energy efficiency -that came into force on 5th December 2012- encourages SMEs to undergo energy audits.

 The new Directive 2012/27/UE on energy efficiency - that came into force on 5th December, 2012 - encourages SMEs to undergo energy audits.

SMEs have no obligation to undergo energy audits at present, however Article 8 of the Directive states that “Member States shall develop programmes to encourage SMEs to undergo energy audits and the subsequent implementation of the recommendations from these audits”. Moreover, “Member States may set up support schemes for SMEs, including if they have concluded voluntary agreements, to cover costs of an energy audit and of the implementation of highly cost-effective recommendations from the energy audits, if the proposed measures are implemented”.

On the other hand, the Directive establishes that enterprises other than SMEs need to undergo energy audit by 5th December, 2015. More specifically, EU member States shall “ensure that enterprises that are not SMEs are subject to an energy audit carried out in an independent and cost-effective manner by qualified and/or accredited experts or implemented and supervised by independent authorities under national legislation by 5 December 2015 and at least every four years from the date of the previous energy audit”.

Enterprises other than SMEs and that are implementing an energy or environmental management system are exempt from these requirements as long as the management system includes an energy audit.

Read more here about this Directive.