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Energy: ENEA prioritises energy efficiency measures

ENEA is among the eight European partners[1] committed over the next three years to promoting Energy Efficiency First, the guiding principle which identifies energy efficiency as a top priority in national and territorial policies. This new approach, recently introduced by EU Directive 2023/1791, makes energy efficiency the first option/solution in which the public and private sector must invest to maximize energy-saving opportunities in buildings, transport and industry, even before considering new energy sources or infrastructures. The activities, part of the project ENEFIRST PLUS coordinated by the Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy (IEECP) based in the Netherlands, will include the implementation of four pilot cases in Italy and other three European countries (Greece, Poland and Croatia).

Specifically, the "energy efficiency first principle", made legally binding, established that Member States shall take concrete actions to create a portal and communities of practice, that is clusters of stakeholders sharing good practices and actions to gain knowledge on the energy efficiency tools and opportunities available.

ENEA will coordinate the Italian pilot case which evaluates, both at a qualitative level and in terms of cost-benefit analysis, the alignment of the Action Plans for Sustainable Energy and Climate - SECAP[2] adopted by local authorities in compliance with the principles of Energy Efficiency First (EE1st). “ENEA will select some of the municipal administrations among those which joined the Covenant of Mayors[3] and support them in the evaluation of their Plan, helping them use the EE1st principles to define new actions to be adopted” said Maurizio Matera, researcher at the ENEA Integrated Services for Territorial Development Division. “In fact, energy efficiency should always be considered as the first option to reduce energy consumption and mitigate both local and national environmental, social and economic problems related to energy use” said the researcher.

ENEA will organize round tables for public and private institutions, companies and regulatory bodies to share experiences and successful initiatives to provide input to political decision makers so that they can correctly adapt national energy strategies to the principles of efficiency.

ENEA will analyse all pilot cases developed by the project partners, with the aim of extending the results to the 27 member states of the European Union.

For more information please contact:

Maurizio Matera, ENEA Territorial Analysis and Planning Laboratory - Energy Efficiency Department,


[1] Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy (Nl), Regulatory Assistance Project (Be), Fraunhofer Gesellschaft Zur Forderung Der Ang (De), Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (El), Energetski Institut Hrvoje Pozar (Hr), Euractiv Media Network B.V. (Nl), Krajowa Agencja Poszanowania Energii Spolka Ak (Pl).

[2] The SECAP - Action Plan for Sustainable Energy and Climate is a programmatic document for local authorities to plan their actions to achieve the objectives set by the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy: reducing emissions of CO2 of at least 40% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050; increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable sources; prepare the territory for climate changes.

[3] The Covenant of Mayors is an initiative introduced by the European Commission to involve and support mayors in achieving EU's climate and energy objectives.