Energy Efficiency Directive

Knowledge Hub

Starting in 2024, the European Union is introducing new reporting obligations for datacentres across Europe. The reporting scheme will require datacentre operators to annually communicate a series of data to the dedicated European database, to foster transparency and the sustainable development of the industry. The data will be published in an aggregated manner at EU and Member States levels, and will be assessed in 2025. Following the assessment, the European Commission may propose further measures to improve the sustainable development of the industry, such as minimum performance standards, or a labelling scheme. 

On top of the reporting obligations, the EED also introduces further measures which will impact datacentre operators, with new provisions on the reuse of waste heat, and provisions on energy management systems.

First reporting deadline

For the first year, operators must report to the European database by 15 September 2024.

Who?

Data centre operators located in the EU, with an installed IT power demand of at least 500 kW.

When?

For the first year, reports on the calendar year 2023 must be communicated to the European database by 15 September 2024. From 2025 onwards, reports covering the preceding calendar year shall be transmitted by 15 May.

How?

Data centre operators shall either report directly to the European database, or to their national platform if their country so requires.

What?

Several data points must be reported, including KPIs on:

  • Energy and sustainability
  • ICT equipment
  • Data traffic

​​Timeline

13 September 2023
Adoption of the Energy Efficiency Directive 

After two years of negotiations, the EED is adopted. Article 12 introduces an annual reporting obligation for datacentres located in the EU, with a power demand of installed IT above 500kW.

14 March 2024
Publication of the delegated regulation

The delegated regulation sets up the reporting scheme, and lists the data points to be collected and associated KPIs. Moreover, the delegated regulation legally sets up the European database which will collect the information, and publish some of it at two levels of aggregation: EU level and country levels.

In progress
Transposition of the EED into national law

The EED must be transposed by Member States into their national legal systems, through the legal instruments of their choice. Upon transposing the EED, Member States may also change certain aspects of the reporting scheme, such as adding new data points, widening the scope of reporting entities, or setting up their own national reporting platform for instance.

Q2 2024
Reporting on ICT equipment capacity

The obligation to report on ICT equipment only concerns equipment installed in data centres after the entry into force of the delegated regulation (expected in Q2 2024 - TBD).

Therefore, it is not mandatory to report on ICT equipment in 2024 (as reports cover the year 2023). In 2025, reporting on ICT equipment will be mandatory, but only for equipment installed after Q2 2024 (TBC).

15 September 2024
First reporting period

Datacentre operators must communicate their first report to the European database by 15 September 2024. This obligation applies even if their country has not properly transposed Art. 12 of the EED by that deadline. 

15 May 2025
Second reporting period

The second report must be communicated to the European database by 15 May 2025.

TBD
Assessment of the reporting scheme

The EED mandates the European Commission to assess the available data submitted by data centres, and, where appropriate, propose further measures to improve energy efficiency. 

TBD
Introduction of further measures

If appropriate, further measures may be introduced. The EED specifically mentions the introduction of minimum performance standards, or a labelling scheme for data centres, while leaving the door open for other options.

2030
Climate neutral and energy-efficient industry

Through its Green Deal initiatives, the European Commission has set a political - not legal - goal for the industry: that data centres become climate-neutral and energy-efficient by 2030.

Frequently Asked Questions

The reporting scheme applies to all datacentres located in the territory of the European Union, with an installed information technology power demand of at least 500 kW. Datacentres used for, or providing services exclusively with the final aim of defence and civil protection are explicitly exempted from the reporting scheme.

Energy Efficiency Directive, Art. 12.1, 12.2

Additionally, when transposing Art. 12 of the EED into national law, Member States may lower the 500kW threshold, but not raise it. It other words, the scope of datacentres may be wider in some countries, depending on national choices. To learn more about your Member State's transposition of the EED, please consult the section on "national transpositions" or get in touch with your national trade association. 

Yes, the reporting scheme also applies to new datacentres, which must report only for the period they have been in operation. 

Delegated Regulation, Art. 3.1 §2 

For the first year, datacentre operators must submit their report by 15 September 2024, covering the calendar year 2023. From 2025 and beyond, the deadline is 15 May, covering the activities of the previous calendar year.

However, this deadline may be different in the country you operate. Indeed, the report must be communicated to the EU database by the deadlines mentioned above, but it may be that in your country, the deadline has been set earlier. To learn more about your Member State's transposition of the EED, please consult the section on "national transpositions", or get in touch with your national trade association. 

The reporting scheme mandates operators to annually report several types of data.

Firstly, operators shall report data on their data centre and its operation. 7 data points belong to this category, including inter alia the data centre name, its location, and its type (enterprise, colocation, co-hosting).

Secondly, 18 key performance indicators (KPIs) for energy and sustainability have been defined. These KPIs include such things as IT power demand, total energy consumption, water input, waste heat reused or total renewable energy consumption to only name a few. 

Thirdly, operators shall report on 2 data points on ICT capacity for their servers and storage equipment.

Finally, 4 data points on data traffic have been included in the reporting scheme. 

Delegated Regulation, Annexes I & II

From the data mentioned above, 4 sustainability indicators will be calculated: Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), Water Usage Effectiveness (WUE), Energy Reuse Factor and Renewable Energy Factor.

Delegated Regulation, Annex III

In addition to the EU-wide data points, it is possible that in the country you operate, additional information is requested. To learn more about your Member State's transposition of the EED, please consult the section on "national transpositions", or get in touch with your national trade association. 

Which ICT equipment is in the scope of the reporting scheme?

Operators must report on ICT capacity for two types of equipment: servers and storage equipment.

The data points on ICT capacity represent a difficulty for colocation data centres, as operators do not own nor have access to the IT equipment of their clients. However, colocation operators are nonetheless required to report on ICT equipment. To address this situation, the scope of equipment concerned is reduced, and colocation-specific exemptions have been introduced.

2024 - First reporting period (all data centres)

The general rule for all reporting data centres is that ICT capacity for servers and storage equipment shall be reported, as a minimum, for all new equipment installed in the datacentre after the entry into force of the Delegated Regulation. It is worth noting that the Delegated Regulation enters into force in 2024, while the first report covers the calendar year 2023. Therefore, data centres may not report on ICT capacity during the first reporting exercise.

Delegated Regulation, Annexes II. 2(a) §2 and II. 2(b) §2

2024 & 2025 - First & second reporting period (colocation specific)

For the first two reporting periods only, if a colocation operator cannot gather sufficient data, it shall estimate and indicate the percentage of the data centre computer room floor area that the information communicated to the European database covers.

Delegated Regulation, Art. 3.3

2026 and beyond (colocation specific)

Finally, some leeway is granted to colocation operators with no temporal limitations: colocation operators may report by extrapolating the value that corresponds to at least 90% of the installed IT power demand of all new equipment installed after 2024.

Delegated Regulation, Annexes II. 2(a) §3 and II. 2(b) §3

To put it all together, all data centres shall report, as a minimum, on ICT equipment installed after 2024. For the first two reporting periods, colocation operators may provide estimates instead. As a general rule, colocation operators do not have to report on all of the newly installed equipment. Instead, they may extrapolate the value corresponding  to at least 90% of the installed IT power demand of all newly installed equipment. 

Finally, beyond the minimum reporting required at EU level, it may be that some Member States introduce stronger requirements, or broaden the scope of equipment concerned. To learn more about your Member State's transposition of the EED, please consult the section on "national transpositions" or get in touch with your national trade association. 

Reporting on ICT capacity and data traffic is especially difficult for colocation data centre operators, as they do not possess this information. 

 For both of these categories, the Delegated Regulation provides that colocation operators may set up an anonymous internal reporting mechanism, to gather data from their customers. This is only included as an option for operators, who are not required to set up such an internal mechanism. Moreover, such a mechanism does not bind the customers, who are not legally required to communicate their data to the operator.

Delegated Regulation, Art. 3.3 §2

 For data traffic indicators in particular, reporting accurate information is even more difficult, as it can involve another third party, such as telecommunication operators. However, as is the case with customers, these third parties have no obligation under this reporting scheme, which only applies to data centre operators. These third parties are not legally required to communicate such information. 

 Considering this, the Delegated Regulation provides that data centre operators may base the monitoring and measurement of these indicators on any adequately reliable sources or combination of sources of data available, including data measured directly by the operator, data reported by data centre customers, or data provided by telecommunication operators and service providers.

 Delegated Regulation, Annex II. 3

 Finally, although there is no obligation in EU law for colocation customers or telecommunications operators to communicate data to data centre operators, it may be that this obligation originates elsewhere. In particular, the obligation may be legal, if your Member States addresses this discrepancy upon transposing the EED, or it may be contractual. To learn more about your Member State's transposition of the EED, please consult the section on "national transpositions", or get in touch with your national trade association.  

For all monitoring, data centre operators shall keep a record of the measurement points and measurement devices used, for a period of at least ten years.

Delegated Regulation, Annex II

No individual information reported shall be made public. Individual information shall be kept confidential by the European Commission and the Member States. Such information will further be considered confidential information affecting the commercial interests of the datacentre, meaning that institutions shall refuse to communicate it should it be subject to an applications for public access to documents.

Delegated Regulation, Art. 5.5

Some information will be aggregated and made publicly available on the European database. Annex IV of the Delegated Regulation provides for which information will be displayed, and the two levels of aggregation: Member State level and EU level.

In total, 9 data points will be made public at several levels of aggregation. 

For the four data points defined as "sustainability indicators" in Annex III - namely PUE, WUE, ERF, REF - the information publicly available will be more granular, as it shall differentiate between datacentre types (enterprise, co-hosting, colocation) and datacentre size category.

Delegated Regulation, Annex IV

The Delegated Regulation provides that annual reports may be communicated in two ways:

  • Operators may directly report on the European database
  • Operators may report on their national reporting platform, if their Member State has set up a national reporting scheme. The communication of information to the European database may then be indirect, via the national reporting scheme.

Delegated Regulation, Art. 3.1

To learn more about your Member State's transposition of the EED, please consult the section on "national transpositions", or get in touch with your national trade association. 

Energy Efficiency Directive (EED)

The Directive introduces the annual reporting obligation in EU law, by requiring Member States to ensure data centre operators make some information public. It further sets outs the minimum reporting requirements which should be part of the reporting scheme. These reporting requirements and the reporting scheme itself are to be defined by the Commission through secondary legislation (delegated acts). 

In other words, the EED is the starting point of the reporting scheme. It empowers the European Commission to set up the reporting scheme, which must respect minimum requirements specified in the text. It further entrusts Member States to transpose its provisions into their national frameworks. 

Finally, the EED empowers the European Commission, in the medium term, to evaluate the reports submitted by data centres, and propose additional measures to improve the sustainability of the industry, including minimum performance standards or a labelling scheme.

Delegated Regulation

The Delegated Regulation sets up the reporting scheme and provides additional information on the European database for datacentres. Its articles provide for the overall functioning of the reporting scheme and the European database. Its annexes list all the data points that need to be reported, complete for the measurement methodologies, as well as the sustainability indicators which will be calculated. It also details which information will be made public, and the levels of aggregation.

Finally, it is also noteworthy that the Delegated Regulation directly requires operators to report their data. This wording entails that the obligation to report applies regardless of the status of the national transpositions of the EED. Indeed, only the Directive needs to be transposed by Member States, while the Delegated Regulation directly applies across the EU.

National transpositions

Member States are expected to transpose the EED into their national framework. The Delegated Regulation on the other hand directly applies and is not subject to transposition measures.

In practical terms, this means that all of obligations in the Delegated Regulation, as well as all of the data points and measurement methodologies need to be reported and complied with by all data centre operators within the scope of the reporting scheme across the European Union. 

On top of this European-wide framework, Member States may add additional data points to report or may broaden the scope of entities required to report. In other words, they may set up a national reporting scheme, which includes the EU-wide framework, and goes beyond the EU requirements on some aspects. To do so, they may set up a national reporting platform, and may also decide on earlier reporting deadlines.

While transposing the EED, Member States may also fill in the gaps left by the European legislation, such as the difficulties for colocation operators to report information they do not have access to. Finally, Member States may also introduce provisions on compliance with the reporting obligations and the corresponding penalties, which have not been addressed by EU legislation. 

Documents

Disclaimer:  Information provided by the "EED knowledge hub" reflects the EUDCA's interpretation of the EU regulatory framework, based on legal documents, meetings with policy makers, and information communicated through our network of stakeholders and NTAs. It does not constitute legal advice on how to comply with the reporting obligations stemming from EU and national legislations.

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