In 2017 the final energy consumption in Portugal was 16.6 Mtoe, 5.7% lower than in 2000. The transport sector was the largest consumer, accounting for 44% of final energy consumption in 2017, followed by the industry sector with 28% and the building sector (households and services) with 15%. The industry and building sectors reduced their energy consumption by 23% and 14%, respectively, between 2000 and 2017. In opposite, the transport sector saw its consumption increase by 5%. In this same period, the agriculture, fishing and forestry sector, with a share of just 3%, reduced its final energy consumption by 4%. (ODYSSEE)

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


Energy efficiency of the whole economy (ODEX) improved by 24% over the period 2000 to 2017 by an annual average gain of approximately 1.7%. For the same period and although all sectors have contributed to this improvement, the residential sector reached the higher energy efficiency gain (3.2%/year), followed by transport with 2.1%/year, showing a positive progress in energy efficiency. The industry and service sectors followed a similar trend as the global ODEX, with an annual improvement of 1.8% and 1.4%, respectively over the period 2000 to 2017. (ODYSSEE)

Figure 2: Technical Energy Efficiency Index


In its the second National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP), Portugal intends to reduce primary energy consumption to 22.5 Mtoe in 2020. The NEEAP encompasses specific sectors: transport, residential, tertiary, industry, public administration, agriculture and behaviours, in programmes, taxes, incentives and financing. In Public Administration, in addition to the Energy Efficiency Program in Public Administration (ECO.AP), other goals were set up, such as the purchase of more efficient vehicles and public street lighting. In industry, the Management System of Intensive Consumption of Energy is applied to all companies and facilities with a consumption over 500 toe/year, imposing binding energy audits. Concerning buildings, a more ambitious requirements to either thermal envelope or technical systems (heating/cooling/DWH/lighting/elevators) were settled, aiming to achieve nearly zero energy buildings. In transport, programs aimed to encouraging the renewal of road vehicles plus its efficient use were implemented; urban mobility through incentives for public transport use and energy efficiency in transport system through the Management Regulations of Energy Consumption. The estimated intermediate targets for 2016 were achieved with the reduction of consumption of 1.5 Mtoe (54% of the 2020 goals). The preliminary version of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) 2021-2030 was submitted in 28th December 2019. 

Table 1: Sample of cross-cutting measures

MeasuresNEEAP measuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Energy Efficiency in Public Administration (ECO.AP)yesPromotion of Energy Performance Contracting, aiming to achieve a level of energy efficiency of around 30% by 2020 in the Public Administration.n.a.Link
Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF)yesConstitutes a financial instrument capable of financing the programs and measures provided in the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) in all its lines of action, that are fundamental for Portugal to achieve the goals set out related to efficient energy end-use and energy services.MediumLink
Source: MURE


In the residential sector, cooking has the largest share of energy consumption, 40% in 2017, with a consumption per dwelling that has fallen by 16% since 2000; it followed by space heating with 21%, electrical appliances with 20% and water heating with 18%. Space cooling has a limited contribution in the household energy consumption (1%). Between 2000 and 2017 electrical appliances increased their consumption by 1.2%/year, while space heating reduced by 1.2%/year, cooking by 1.0%/year and water heating by 1.3%/ year. Due to a better performance of the stock of equipment and inhabitant behaviour for cooking and heating, the energy consumption in the residential sector diminished by around 0.7%/ year. (ODYSSEE)

Figure 3: Energy consumption of space heating per m2


Figure 4: Energy consumption per dwelling by end-use (except space heating)


The final energy consumption in the residential sector was 12% lower in 2017 compared to 2000. This is mainly explained by energy savings (0.5 Mtoe) which contribute negatively and, on the other end, factors like more dwellings (0.19 Mtoe) and larger homes (0.02 Mtoe) contributed positively. The stock of permanently occupied dwellings increased by21% over the period and the average area of dwellings grew by around 13% in the last 15 years. The energy savings might also include behaviour changes during the period of the economic crisis (post 2010). (ODYSSEE)

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


In the service sector the total energy consumption grew by 6% between 2000 and 2017, in line with the growth of employees which was about +2%/year. 

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


The first legal instrument on building codes for residential sector that laid down minimum energy requirements entered in force in 1991, while for the tertiary sector the first legal instrument aiming to establish rules for the HVAC systems dimensioning in buildings was implemented in 1998. Since then, the referred legislation was updated twice: firstly in 2006, pursuing the adoption of the European Directive nº 2002/91/CE (EPBD), and secondly in 2013, to adapt to the recast of the EPBD directive (Directive nº 2010/31/UE). Over the last years new buildings are increasing their energy performance aiming to reach nearly zero energy goals. The renovation of existing buildings presents an important challenge in energy efficiency potential. Several incentives and financing schemes have been implemented (e.g. Energy Efficiency Fund) financing insulation, windows, renewable systems and efficient equipment’s acquisition. In 2017 the financial instrument for the rehabilitation and urban revitalization, IFRRU 2020, was launched and aims to support investments in urban rehabilitation, which covers the entire national territory and allows the implementation of energy efficiency solutions. The draft NECP 2021-2030 foresees lines of action within the strategic objective of prioritizing energy efficiency. 

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

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Residencial buildings codes Imposes minimum energy requirements to both new and renovated residential buildings.HighLink
Services buildings codesImposes minimum energy requirements to both new and renovated non-residential buildings.HighLink
Source: MURE


In 2017, the transport sector accounted for about 44% of the final energy consumption (7.3 Mtoe).Road transport was responsible for about 80% of this consumption, air transport for about 20% and railway and maritime transport for about 1% together (ODYSSEE). Considering the energy consumption by type of vehicle, cars are accountable for 60% of the total energy consumption, light vehicles and trucks for 24% and 12% (respectively), and buses and motorcycles for 3% and 1% (respectively) (ODYSSEE). 

Figure 7: Split of the transport energy consumption by mode


Road public transport provided an offer of 27.1 billion seat-km, to which corresponded 514.8 million passengers (+0.3%), accounting to 7.4 billion passenger-km (-2.6%). The utilization rate stood at 27.4% (-0.7 p.p.). National transport, with a total of 18.8 million services and 513.6 million passengers, increased slightly (+0.1% and +0.3%, respectively). International road transport by national companies decreased slightly (-0.1%) to 1.2 million passengers (INE). In 2017, the number of passengers transported by railway (141.9 million) increased by 6% (compared to 2.7% in 2016 and 1.7% in 2015). Similarly, the increase in the volume of transport (which totalled 4.4 billion passenger-km) rose by 5.9% (after +4.8% in 2016 and +2.7% in 2015) (INE). 

Figure 8: Share of transport modes in passenger traffic


In terms of tonnes-km (-1.8%), national transport (10.6 billion tkm) increased slightly (+1.4%) after a reduction in 2016 (-5.7%), while international transport declined by 3.1% to 23.5 billion tkm (INE). 

Figure 9: Share of modes in freight traffic


Over the last 17 years the transport sector energy demand increased by 0.4 Mtoe, despite the technical energy savings, which contributed to decrease consumption by 2.7Mtoe, and the main factor that accounted to this was the activity effect, i.e. the increase in traffic in (+2.5 Mtoe), along with other non-specified effects (+0.5 Mtoe) (ODYSSEE). Overall, the fuel consumption in road transport grew by 1.2% in 2017, slightly less than in 2016 (+1.8%), reaching 5.8 Mtoe (DGEG). 

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


The main measures to improve energy efficiency in the transport sector are included under NEEAP 2, which are still ongoing until NEEAP 3 is approved. Green Taxation that focus on a review of the private vehicle tax regime as well as the incentives to encourage public transportation use in detriment of individual transportation, particularly in urban areas (development of public transportation infrastructures, associated with better offer and services) and the application of the Regulation for Energy Management in the Transport Sector are some of the more successful NEEAP measures. The transport sector detains the major contribution of the final energy consumption in Portugal, making them a high priority area to address in the NEEAP. The draft NECP 2021-2030 foresees lines of action within the strategic objective of prioritizing energy efficiency. 

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

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
National Action Plan for Energy EfficiencySets several guidelines for energy efficiency which are organized to promote private transport energy efficiency, the use of public transport and energy efficiency within passengers and freight transport operatorsHighLink
Source: MURE


In 2017, the Industry sector accounted for about 28% of the final energy consumption (4.6 Mtoe, 1.06 Mtoe less than in 2000). The paper sector was responsible for 32% of this consumption and non-metallic mineral for about 26% (DGEG, ODYSSEE).

Figure 11: Final energy consumption by branch

Source: ODYSSEE, steel including blast furnaces

The unit consumption for steel production was 0.081 toe/t in 2017, stabilizing (in average) from 2015. The unit consumption of the paper industry decreased by 2% since 2015 to 0.263 toe/t in 2017. Since the economic recession in 2009 the unit consumption of cement reversed its previous declining trend and increased reaching in 2017 a a level 42% superior than in 2000 (0.145 toe/t in 2017) (ODYSSEE).  

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


Over the last 17 years two main factors have contributed to the decrease of the final energy consumption in the industry sector: technical energy savings (by 1.5 Mtoe) and the reduction in industrial activity (by 0.59 Mtoe). The structure effect and other effects had a reverse effect and increased consumption: +0.3 Mtoe and +0.9 Mtoe, respectively (ODYSSEE).   

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


The Intensive Energy Consumption Management System (SGCIE) which replaced the prior Regulation on Management of Energy Consumption, established an energy consumption management and monitoring system for companies and facilities with intensive energy consumption of energy (over 500 toe/year). Under this mandatory regulation energy intensive facilities were extended to SMEs, broadening the scope of the previous regulation. 

Table 4: Policies and measures into force in industry

MeasuresDescriptionExpected savings, impact evaluationMore information available
Intensive Energy Consumption Management System (SGCIE)Promote the increase of energy efficiency through the modification of production processes, the introduction of new technologies and the behaviors changes. The SGCIE applies for all companies and facilities (also named “Operators”) that have an annual consumption over 500 toe/year, imposing binding energy audits, with a 8-year periodicity. MediumLink
Source: MURE