Conducting energy audits, implementing energy management systems, and realising the identified measures can be a source of multiple benefits for companies if they tap into their wide potential: reduced operating costs, increased productivity, improved working environment, and much more. DEESME is a 3-year Horizon 2020-funded project (2020-2023), built on a consortium of academics, research organisations, consultancies and government offices from Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. They aim to enable companies, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), to engage in the energy transition by taking profit of multiple benefits from energy management and energy audit approaches, as well as provide national authorities with guidelines and recommendations to strengthen their national policies in line with Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive. 


Unlike large companies, SMEs tend to have less technical, human and financial resources to identify and implement energy efficiency measures. Barriers to energy efficiency have been identified as the lack of awareness, difficulties in accessing financing and/or the lack of technical human resources. To overcome such barriers in SMEs, methodologies, best practices, technology inventories and subsidies are offered along various national schemes in the European Union. Some of these introduce mandatory actions (energy audits) to obtain subsidies. Nevertheless, national policy schemes face challenges to convince SMEs that the energy audit is more than a “bureaucratic fulfilment” to obtain a subsidy and to push larger companies to take the step from the energy audit to the investment in identified measures.



To overcome the described challenges, DEESME aims at:

  • Enabling companies to manage the energy transition by taking profit of multiple benefits and energy management approaches,
  • Supporting and enhancing the implementation of energy efficiency policies following Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive, by providing national authorities with guidelines and recommendations, and
  • Enhancing the adoption of the DEESME approach by national authorities beyond the project timeline through the implementation of institutionalization activities. 


Generic guideline on best-practices (Fraunhofer ISI, June 2021)

The aim of the document is to support the national authorities in the Member States of the European Union in the implementation of Article 8 of the European Energy Efficiency Directive. For this, it compiles and presents solution strategies and best practices to challenges common to national authorities responsible for the transposition of Art. 8 in the EED.


Further project results

Available on the DEESME project website at   


September 2020 until August 2023


European Commission

(H2020 LC-SC3-EE-8-2018-2019 - Capacity building programmes to support implementation of energy audits)


  • IEECP (Netherlands)
  • FIRE (Italy)
  • SOGESCA (Italy)
  • CLEOPA (Germany)
  • SEDA (Bulgaria)
  • ECQ (Bulgaria)
  • KAPE (Poland)
  • EEIP (Belgium)