Transforming Energy Efficiency: How streamSAVE Empowered Europe’s Energy Policies


Energy efficiency is a key pillar of the EU’s energy union strategy, which strives to provide a secure, sustainable and affordable energy supply for all EU residents and businesses. The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) laid the foundation for this ambition, establishing clear targets for energy efficiency by 2030.

At the forefront of this movement was the streamSAVE project – a Horizon 2020 initiative coordinated by EnergyVille/VITO. This project – which ran from September 2020 to August 2023 – focused on streamlining energy savings calculations and empowering European member states to achieve the ambitious EED targets.

This article explains the core of streamSAVE’s mission and adresses streamSAVE’s positive impact on energy efficiency policies across 13 European member states. It further describes EnergyVille/VITO’s significant contribution to the project, and highlights the recent joint final event with DEESME. Finally, enduring energy efficiency challenges are discussed.

This article came about thanks to expert input from our EnergyVille / VITO researchers Nele RendersKelsey van MarisGuillermo Borragán and Erika Meynaerts

streamsave logo

streamSAVE's core mission

streamSAVE’s core mission was to develop standardized calculation methodologies for ten technical priority actions, encompassing a broad spectrum of energy-saving measures, including heat recovery and electric vehicles. By providing these methodologies in a transparent and streamlined manner, streamSAVE facilitated their integration into policy measures across multiple member states.

Knowledge Exchange and Dialogue: A Comprehensive Approach

However, the streamSAVE project went beyond mere calculations and placed strong emphasis on fostering knowledge exchange and dialogue among a diverse set of stakeholders, including public authorities, technology experts and market actors. These efforts were organised at three different levels, ensuring a comprehensive approach to improving energy efficiency:

  1. Knowledge Facility: This component empowered member states to align their energy savings estimates with actual realised energy savings, thus contributing to increased energy efficiency across Europe.
  2. Knowledge Exchange Facility: Dialogues provided spaces for experts and policy officers from member states to share experiences and discuss savings calculations for each Priority Action.
  3. Capacity Support Facility: By offering one-on-one technical support to Member States, streamSAVE ensured the sustainability and replicability of its results throughout various European member states.

Enhancing 30 Energy Efficiency Policies in 13 Member States

streamSAVE – with its consortium of 12 partners from 10 countries – significantly impacted 30 energy efficiency policies in 13 member states. Among these member states were the 10 partner countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia, Lithuania and Greece.

For instance, Belgium witnessed substantial improvements in its energy efficiency policies, largely attributed to EnergyVille/VITO’s support. The development of a tailor-made streamSAVE methodology for electric vehicles in Belgium thus resulted in enhanced public procurement legislation.

As streamSAVE neared completion, it expanded its expertise and one-on-one support to three additional “replication countries” – Cyprus, Slovakia and Italy. In these countries, streamSAVE introduced its calculation methods and worked closely with local stakeholders and authorities to effectively apply these methods within each country’s unique context.

Access to Streamlined Savings Methodologies

Furthermore, the streamlined savings methodologies – developed by the streamSAVE consortium – were made accessible for adaptation to national contexts through calculation templates available in the project’s Training Module.

As the project wrapped up, streamSAVE continued its commitment to extending its expertise and providing one-on-one support to ensure the successful implementation of the calculation methods in the partner and replication countries.

Fostering a Community for Energy Efficiency

streamSAVE’s unique focus was on building a community among individuals involved in the field of energy efficiency policy. As is clear from Figure 1, this objective was successfully achieved. The project effectively managed to engage 200 stakeholders from both partner and replication countries, and registered 350 distinct participants in its dialogue meetings and workshops.

Impact van Streamsave in cijfers

Figure 1: streamSAVE’s impact in numbers 


These initiatives provided policymakers with valuable opportunities for enhanced collaboration and more effective communication. The result of these efforts was a remarkable improvement in energy efficiency policies across the European member states involved.

Elevating Energy Efficiency: EnergyVille/VITO’s Expertise

EnergyVille/VITO’s expertise spanned various fields within the now completed streamSAVE project, including energy efficiency legislation, policies and measures, as well as capacity support. Their proficiency played a pivotal role within the project, involving the translation of EU legislation into manageable information and assessing the impact of streamSAVE’s priority actions.

In addition to this core mission, EnergyVille/VITO developed two crucial methodologies:

  1. Building Automation and Control Systems (BACS): EnergyVille/VITO developed a methodology to calculate the energy savings achieved through the upgrade of building automation and control systems, including heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water, lighting and electricity production within buildings. This methodology assists in estimating the reduction in energy consumption resulting from such upgrades, contributing to more energy-efficient building operations.
  2. Energy Poverty: Within the broader context of the streamSAVE project, EnergyVille/VITO addressed the need for member states to calculate energy savings in energy-poor households. EnergyVille/VITO’s methodology considered the unique circumstances of these households, accounting for differences in energy consumption when compared to average households. By adjusting calculations accordingly and taking into consideration the prebound effect, this methodology gained recognition for its significant role in addressing energy poverty and led to an expanded involvement by EnergyVille/VITO in this crucial area.

Celebrating Achievements at the streamSAVE & DEESME Final Event

To celebrate the insights and experiences gained through the implementation of energy efficiency policies, streamSAVE held its joint final event on June 6th, 2023 in Brussels, together with the DEESME project. The event brought together key stakeholders, policymakers and innovators – covering a wide range of topics including target setting, savings obligations and audit obligations.

Discussions focused on key aspects of the 2023 EED recast, such as accurate estimation of energy savings using deemed savings, improving energy audits in SMEs, and measuring and verifying energy savings resulting from energy efficiency actions. The event underscored the importance of collective action in achieving greater energy savings and highlighted the remarkable achievements made thus far.

Challenges and the Road Ahead

Despite the project’s success, there is still room for improvement in refining data collection processes – particularly in sectors where new data sources become available, such as digitalisation and input from smart meters.

These improvements can contribute to more accurate and frequent estimations of energy savings, ultimately improving the quality of reporting.

streamSAVE’s Impact in a Nutshell

In conclusion, the streamSAVE project has had a substantial impact on enhancing as many as 30 energy efficiency policies across European member states. Its core mission of developing streamlined calculation methodologies for energy-saving measures – coupled with an emphasis on capacity support and dialogue – has fostered a sense of community among stakeholders.

The remarkable achievements celebrated at the joint final event with DEESME showcased the collaborative efforts and innovations driving progress in energy efficiency. EnergyVille/VITO’s expertise – particularly in building automation and control systems (BACS) and addressing energy poverty – has played a pivotal role in the project’s success.

Looking ahead, there are still challenges to refine data collection processes and to expand the project’s reach to more member states. As the EU intensifies its focus on energy efficiency, EnergyVille/VITO remains dedicated to pioneering a sustainable energy future.


Want to know more?

For further information on streamSAVE and its remarkable journey, feel free to visit the official project website and/or LinkedIn page, dive into the project’s final report, or contact our streamSAVE project coordinator Nele Renders.

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