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The European Union's Energy Services Directive

The UK is a signatory to the European Energy End-Use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive (2006/32/EC), also known as the Energy Services Directive.  The Directive aims to improve energy end-use efficiency in all sectors, including the transport sector.  Article 6 of the Directive requires the Government to place an obligation on energy suppliers, including transport fuel suppliers, to provide and promote fuel efficiency improvement measures and/or fuel efficiency audits to their customers.

The Directive allows the Government to adopt either a mandatory or voluntary approach.  The Department for Transport (DfT) has adopted a voluntary Energy Efficiency Agreement with road transport fuel suppliers.  This requires the signatures of all transport fuel retailers in order to meet the requirements of the Directive.  If this cannot be achieved, the Government would have no option but to introduce and enforce a mandatory approach to meet the Directive requirements.  This is something we wish to avoid.

The Energy Efficiency Agreement applies to anyone who sells road transport fuel (e.g. petrol, diesel, LPG, E85, B30, B50, CNG, etc), to the end-user (the person who uses the fuel).  The seller includes anyone who runs a petrol station, sells fuel from a pump at their shop or garage, or who sells fuel through other sites such as bunkering sites, or sells direct to businesses.

In signing the agreement, fuel retailers agree to make sure that for at least 4 weeks every year they will provide and promote access to at least one fuel efficiency measure and/or fuel efficiency audits to their customers.  This can be done either direct or through a third party.  The measures / audits do not have to be provided free of charge.  Fuel retailers also agree to provide a secure report on their activity under the Agreement once a year.

In the UK, many fuel retailers already provide a range of energy efficiency measures (such as the provision of tyre pressure gauges and the sale of efficient fuels and lubricants).  By simply promoting these energy efficiency measures (and a range of Government promotional material to this end is available free of charge – see section 3), most retailers can effectively sign up to this agreement, and we urge them to do so.

Further information on potential measures to encourage improved energy efficiency can also be found in the Guidance on the Agreement (section 3). 

If you wish to contact the Department of Transport directly about this agreement please send an email to the following address:

The Energy Efficiency Agreement (48 kb)

This document details the Energy Efficiency Agreement with Transport Fuel Retailers.

08 September 2009
Last update:
26 February 2010

Guidance on the Energy Efficiency Agreement

The European Commission’s Energy Services Directive requires the UK Government to place an obligation on energy suppliers, including road transport fuel suppliers, to provide and promote fuel efficiency improvement measures and/or fuel efficiency audits to their customers.

08 September 2009

Useful links and contacts (25 kb)

List of the Trade Associations have been involved in the negotiation of the Agreement and may be able to provide advice to their members.

08 September 2009
Last update:
02 November 2009

Sign up to the Energy Efficiency Agreement

Complete the online registration form.

08 September 2009

For related documents, pages and internet links, see the column on the right.