How fuel suppliers fulfill their EEOS and what are the challenges they face?

Case study – ENSMOV project

Several Member States have opted in their Energy Efficiency Obligation schemes (EEOs) to include fuel suppliers with the mandate to achieve savings in their final consumers. For the fuel suppliers under EEOs that can operate in the transport, primarily, and the building sectors, there are certain challenges, making this obligation sometimes more complex than in other supply sectors.

To start with, fuel suppliers in the transport sector do not have direct access to their end-users as they use intermediaries (as gas stations). The amount of supplied energy can be related to the possible energy-saving measures in the transport/fuel-related sector, so it can be hard to achieve results through direct measures in the transport sector.  Furthermore, there are relatively few standardized operations in transport that can be used to fulfill the energy-saving obligation. Fuel suppliers’ options in terms of technical and behavioral measures towards the end-users are limited and often difficult to implement (especially the technical ones, as they relate to individual vehicle inspections or tire pressure controls of fleet management for professional vehicles). There are thus also issues of competitiveness with other suppliers (electricity and gas) who have a contractual relationship with their end-users. For some of those measures, there are also problems with feasibility and data protection.

Thus far the fuel suppliers have carried out predominantly behavioral measures in some EEO schemes (while in others they have generated savings in the building sector or the transport sector through technical measures when there are available complementary financing measures), while for the new EEOs in 2021-2030, fuel suppliers are examining the available options to better prepare themselves. In some countries transport fuels present half of the obligation, but a small number of certificates in the existence of certificate market, therefore the suppliers are obliged to implement measures in the building sector through intermediaries.

The changes in prices due to the technical measures are in most situations transferred to the final consumer, so in the end, the fuel is more expensive, but with not enough measures in the transport sector to be in line with that price.

What are the possible solutions?

The EEOs have a high influence on the market, and thus the savings should be set in line with the potential based on the results from the previous period with a realistic cost of non-compliance. The energy-saving measures in households could be funded via national funds in combination with EEOS, from other resources also. Decarbonization pathways should be set in the transport sector, letting low carbon transport/mobility solutions as the most important measures for fuel suppliers in the next period.

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