In 2015, Austria's final energy consumption amounted to 27.3 Mtoe – a 14% increase compared to 2000. The main drivers for the increase are a rise in final energy consumption in the transport sector (+29%) and in the industry sector (+21%)  over this period. Final consumption also rose in the agricultural sector (+4%) and the services sector (+2%). However, final consumption of households, which is adjusted for climatic corrections, recorded a 3% lower consumption in 2015 than in 2000.
In 2015, the transport sector had the highest share of final energy consumption with 33%, followed by industry (30%), households (24%), services (11%) and agriculture (2%).

Figure 1: Final energy consumption by sector (normal climate)


The Austrian energy efficiency index for the whole economy (ODEX) improved by 18% between 2000 and 2015, which is the same level as for the European Union. The average improvement rate was 1.3% per year. Most of the efficiency improvements were achieved in the residential sector, for which  efficiency increased by 31%, compared to 27% for the European Union. The least efficiency progress was recorded in the transport sector, where energy efficiency recorded 10%, which is 3% less than the EU. Efficiency in industry in Austria rose by 15%, which is 5% less than the EU as a whole.

Figure 2: Technical Energy Efficiency Index


In Austria, the European Energy Efficiency Directive Act is implemented by the Austrian Energy Efficiency Act. Within this act, Austria is increasing its energy efficiency efforts aiming to a final energy consumption of 1050 PJ by 2020. Furthermore, till 2020 cumulative energy savings of 310 PJ have to be achieved.These targets have to be reached by an obligation scheme for energy distributors (with a sales volume > 25 GWh to final energy consumers) contributing with energy efficiency measures up to (cumulative) 159 PJ and by so-called strategic measures by public authorities with up to (cumulative) 151 PJ till 2020. Strategic measures include energy taxes, corporate environmental protection subsidy schemes, refurbishment activities/vouchers, housing and energy subsidies. The Energy Efficiency Act implemented, among others, an energy efficiency obligation system for energy suppliers, mandatory energy management systems or regular energy audits for large companies and renovation of federal buildings.Within the reporting procedures of the EU, Austria reported cumulated total energy efficiency measures of 167 PJ for the years 2014 and 2015. Austria notified in its reports that energy efficiency measures up to 218 PJ will be achieved till 2020. At this stage, these savings seem to be achievable.

Table 1: Sample of cross-cutting measures

MeasuresNEEAP measuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Obligation to provide evidence of energy efficiency measures for energy suppliersyesEach energy supplier in Austria, provided that it has exceeded the minimum sales limit of 25 GWh in the previous year, has to prove energy efficiency measures that meet 0.6 % of its previous energy sales to end customers. The measures have to be implemented by the energy supplier itself, their own customers or other end-use energy consumers.Final energy savings amounted to 7 PJ in 2015. The cumulative contribution shall amount to 59,752 PJ between 2014 – 2020.Link
klimaaktiv – the Austrian climate protection initiativeyesklimaaktiv is the Austrian climate protection initiative launched by the Federal Ministry of Sustainibility and Tourism, embedded in the Austrian federal climate strategy. Thus, at federal level, klimaaktiv is one of the most important information and awareness-raising programmes.High impactLink
Source: MURE


Unit consumption for space heating (climate corrected) amounted to 12 koe/m2 for Austria in 2015. This value is 28% lower compared to the year 2000, mainly due to better insulation. However, this effect is weakened by more dwellings, larger surface areas and higher room temperatures . The efficiency progress was recorded in the period from 2000 to 2006, whereas unit consumption was more or less stable in the years after. Compared to the EU as a whole, consumption for space heating per m2 was 22% higher in Austria in 2015.

Energy consumption of electric appliances amounted to 0.26 toe/dwelling in 2015 and increased by 11% since 2000. In this context, the effect of the growing saturation rate of major household appliances exceeds the effects of more efficient appliances by far. Consumption of water heating (0.21 toe/dw in 2015) decreased by 15% and consumption for cooking decreased by 35% on a lower level (0.03 toe/dw). Energy consumption for air cooling is still very low in Austria (0.002 toe/dw) compared to other end uses, however it increased by 280% since 2000.

Figure 3: Energy consumption of space heating per m2 (normal climate)


Figure 4: Energy consumption by end-use per dwelling


Residential energy consumption in 2015 was 6.1 Mtoe, which is a slight reduction (-1.5%) compared to 2000. The main driver is energy savings (due to improved thermal insulation standards and heating systems), reducing total consumption by 40%. However, this reduction is compensated by an increasing number of number of occupied dwellings, more appliances and an increasing floor area of dwellings.

Figure 5: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in households


Energy and electricity consumption per employee (normal climate) decreased regularly since 2000 (-1.2%/year for total, -1%/year for electricity).

Figure 6: Energy and electricity consumption per employee (normal climate)


The building refurbishment programme, first implemented in 2009 and ongoing, aims at the thermal refurbishment of residential and commercial buildings that were built more than 20 years ago. Budget for granting subsidies is made available for measures such as insulation, refurbishment or replacement of windows and outer doors, and replacement of heating systems. A maximum of 30% of the investment cost can be covered by the subsidy; however, a maximum cap is defined for each measure. In the Austrian federal states, the enhancement of thermal quality of residential buildings and the expansion of efficient heating systems are supported by the funds earmarked for residential building subsidies. The level of subsidy is dependent on the achieved thermal quality and the efficiency of the heating system. In addition to requirements relating to final energy, new construction subsidies are subject to increased requirements on primary energy demand and CO2 emissions. The nature of the support differs among the federal states and is provided in the form of loans, grants and/or subsidies. The renovation offensive of the Austrian government ("Sanierungsscheck") is the most important incentive system for households and businesses for the reduction of energy consumption. The subsidy is a unique and non-repayable grant.

Table 2: Sample of policies and measures implemented in the building sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Minimum thermal standards for buildingsThe federal building law and/or of the building regulations of the federal states contain instruments determining binding quality criteria for buildings.According to the NEEAP 2014, annual savings of 175 TJ are expected between 2014 until 2020.Link
Residential building subsidy Private households get subsidies for the insulation of outer walls, ceilings, replacement of windows and doors and change of a conventional heating system to renewable systems. Final energy savings amounted to 1,9 PJ in 2014 and to 1,76 PJ in 2015. The cumulative contribution shall amount to 24 PJ between 2014 – 2020.Link
Source: MURE


All means of transport have shown an upward trend since 2000. With 85% of transport consumption, road transport records the highest share in 2015. Cars and trucks have 57% and 24% respectively, while air transport has 11% and rail transport 3% of total consumption only.

Figure 7: Split of the transport energy consumption by mode


With 75%, cars recorded by far the highest share of motorised passenger transport (measured in passenger kilometres) in 2015 (-1% compared to 2000). The share of rail transport stood at 16% (+12%) while bus transport has a share of 10% (-10%).

Figure 8: Share of transport in passenger traffic


For goods transport (measured in tonne-kilometres), road transport for heavy goods vehicles had the highest share in 2015 with 70%, followed by rail transport with 28% and water transport (mainly on the river Danube) with just 2,5%. Compared to the year 2000, road and rail recorded a similar share (+2%) whereas water transport recorded a decrease by 43%.

Figure 9: Share of modes in freight traffic


Total transport energy consumption was 8.4 Mtoe in 2015, which is 32% higher than in 2000. Figure 10 displays a decomposition analysis for the transport sector. The largest part of the variation between 2000 and 2015  can be explained by the influence of a increase in passenger traffic including air and traffic of goods (activity effect), followed by ‘other effects’, i.e behavioral effects and "negative savings" in freight transport due to low capacity utilisation and technical energy savings (i.e. change in the efficiency of cars, trucks, airplanes etc). Modal shift for land transport, i.e. change in the share of each transport mode in the total land traffic, had almost no effect on the variation.

Figure 10: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in transport


The General Transport plan for Austria, published in 2012, defines the targets and strategies of the Austrian policy on transport up to 2025. It aims at creating a more social, safer, environmentally friendlier and more efficient transport system through the implementation of measures in the field of modern infrastructure, public transport, safety, planning and integration, technologies and innovation, removal of barriers, environmental protection and resource efficiency as well as international integration. The plan provides for the reduction of CO2 emissions by 19% in this sector until 2025 compared to 2010. The energy consumption in the transport sector shall be reduced from 240 PJ to 210 PJ in 2025.

Table 3: Policies and measures into force in the transport sector

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Standard Fuel Consumption Tax (NoVA)Standard Fuel Consumption Tax (NoVA), calculated on the basis of CO2 emissions.Reduction potential of 0.35 million t CO2/aLink
Mobility management consulting and funding programmes – klimaaktiv mobilAction Programme for Mobility Management targeting, among others, companies and public services, cities, municipalities and regions, schools, and tourism operators.Total annual savings: 640,000 tonnes of CO2Link
Source: MURE


Energy consumption of the industry sector accounted for 8.1 Mtoe  for Austria in 2015, a 21% increase compared to 2000 (6.7 Mtoe). Almost 40%f of the energy consumption of the manufacturing sector in Austria can be attributed to two branches: paper and steel industry.  With a share of 20%, paper industry recorded the highest share of industry consumption in 2015, followed by steel industry (18%). Compared to 2000,  the share of paper increased by 12% while the share of steel decreased by 10%. Among the branches displayed in Figure 11, non ferrous industry records the highest increase (+59%).

Figure 11: Final energy consumption by branch


Figure 12 displays the index of unit consumption of energy‐intensive products (measured in toe/t) for the two dominant branches paper and steel industry. Both indicators fluctuated in the period under review, however paper industry recorded a similar value in 2015 than in in 2000 (-1.4%).  Energy consumption per tonne steel was 32.2% lower in 2015 than in 2000, however, most of the efficiency progress was recorded in recent years (since 2012).

Figure 12: Unit consumption of energy‐intensive products (toe/t)


For the period 2000 to 2015, industrial energy consumption is influenced mainly by changes in industrial activity (measured with the value added), while there are few structural changes recorded, i.e. the fact that individual branches with different energy intensities are not growing at the same rate. Energy savings (calculated from changes in energy consumption per unit of production at branch level) are significant too, followed by other effects (mainly "negative" savings due to inefficient operations in industry).

Figure 13: Main drivers of the energy consumption variation in industry


The Environmental Support Programme ("Umweltfoerderung im Inland, UFI") is one of the most important subsidies for companies with the emphasis on climate protection, energy saving, renewable energies and prevention of air pollution. Certain obligations of energy consuming companies to carry out an external energy audit or to implement an (energy) management system is based on the size of each company. Large energy suppliers are required to set specific energy efficiency measures to end customers.

Table 4: Policies and measures into force in industry

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Domestic environmental support (UFI) and regional programmesSubsidies programme for companies with the emphasis on climate protection, energy saving, renewable energies and prevention of air pollution .Final energy savings amounted to 1,431 PJ in 2014 and to 2,521 PJ in 2015. The cumulative contribution shall amount to 25 PJ between 2014 – 2020.Link
Source: MURE