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Brussels refers Spain to Court for heat and hot water metering in multi-apartment buildings

  • Brussels refers Spain to Court for heat and hot water metering in multi-apartment buildings

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European Commission
The European Commission is the EU's executive arm. It takes decisions on the Union's political and strategic direction.

The European Commission decided to refer Spain to the Court of Justice of the EU for not ensuring that the requirements on individual metering in multi-apartment and multi-purpose buildings laid down in the Energy Efficiency Directive (Directive 2012/27/EU) are complied with.

The Directive requires the installation of individual meters for heating, cooling and domestic hot water for all multi-apartment and multi-purpose buildings where occupants are supplied with these services from a collective installation (such as a common boiler). This applies - where technically feasible and cost efficient - for all existing buildings. However, the Spanish national transposition measures impose this requirement only with regard to new buildings (built after 2007). In buildings where heat meters are not a technically feasible or cost-effective solution for space heating, so-called heat cost allocators mounted on each radiator must instead be used. This requirement has also not been correctly transposed by Spain. The respective EU rules had to be implemented into national law by 5 June 2014.


The 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive (Directive 2012/27/EU) establishes a set of binding measures to help the EU reach its 20% energy efficiency target by 2020. Under the Directive, all EU countries are required to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain, from production to final consumption. The metering and billing requirements for heating, cooling and hot water aim at providing consumers with incentives to effectively regulate their energy use and with the possibility to reduce their energy bill. These rules allow Member States to adapt the requirements depending on technical feasibility and cost-effectiveness to ensure that it is only required where it can result in a net benefit for the building as a whole.

In October 2017, the Commission opened the EU infringement proceedings against Spain by sending a letter of formal notice, followed by a reasoned opinion in March 2018.

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