Energy Efficiency

National Energy Efficiency Action Plan

Ireland's fourth National Energy Efficiency Action Plan to 2020 (NEEAP) was launched in April 2017. The fourth Action Plan provides a progress report on delivery of the national energy savings targets implemented under current EU requirements, as well as energy efficiency policy priorities between now and 2020. This report states that just under 12% of the national target of 20% reduction in emissions was achieved by the end of 2016. Projections suggest that Ireland will not achieve our 2020 target and will instead achieve a 16.23% reduction i.e. a 3.77 percentage point shortfall. The key objective of this NEEAP is to maximise progress to the target based on the resources we expect to have available. 

EU Energy Services Directive - Transposition into Irish law

Regulations to transpose the EU Energy Services Directive into Irish law were made by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in early 2009. The Directive places obligations on Member States in relation to energy efficiency and the activities of energy service providers.

Overall renewables target

Ireland's overall renewables target states that 16% of total final energy consumption is to come from renewable energy by 2020. This target will be made up of contributions from renewable energy in electricity (RES-E), renewable energy in transport (RES-T) and renewable energy for heat and cooling (RES-H). 

Ocean Energy Ireland

Ocean Energy Ireland was established to implement the Government’s policy decision to accelerate the development of Ocean Energy (Wave and Tidal) in Ireland. The main focus of the programme is on stimulating the development and deployment of Ocean Energy (OE) devices and systems. As such, the emphasis is on industry-led projects for the following types of activities:

  • Industry-led projects to develop and test wave and tidal energy capture devices and systems;
  • Independent monitoring of projects/technologies;
  • Industry-led R&D aimed at the integration of ocean energy into the electricity market and the national electricity grid (and network);
  • Data monitoring, forecasting, communications and control of OE systems;
  • Specific industry-led research projects which will be carried out by research centres, third level institutions and centres of excellence with a high level of expertise in the relevant area.


At present, imported oil fuels Ireland’s transport sector. The Government has introduced the National Biofuel Obligation Scheme. This scheme obliges road transport fuel suppliers to use a certain percentage of biofuel in oil and diesel so that their yearly sales of biofuel equal 4% of total sales of fuel. This amount will be increased over time.

Grants are available for electric vehicles to encourage the public to use them, details are available on the SEAI website. The ESB currently have over 1,100 charge points across Ireland including fast chargers along inter-urban routes. Irelands overall renewable energy targets state that 10% of energy use in the transport sector must be renewable by 2020.


The Government target for renewable heat by 2020 is 12%. A framework for achieving this target is currently being developed with a focus on biomass and geothermal heating.  In 2017, 6.8% of the energy used in the heat sector was renewable (SEAI, 2019). Funding of €7 million was provided for the initial stage of this Scheme in Budget 2018. The Scheme started in 2018, subject to European Commission State aid approval. To apply for operational support, click here. 

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