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All sectors: EU energy audits

General information:

The European directive on energy efficiency published in 2012 requires Member States to make it mandatory for companies larger than SMEs to carry out an energy audit of their activities. This obligation was transposed into the Energy Code in France by Act 2013-619 of 16 July 2013. All sectors of activity are concerned by this regulation.

The energy audit should enable companies to identify action paths for encouraging the reduction of energy consumption.


Extract from Art. 40 of Act 2013-619

Corporate entities registered on the trade and companies register and corporate entities under private law as stated in article L. 612-1 of the French Code of Commerce, whose total balance sheet, revenue or headcount exceed the thresholds determined by Council of State decree, are obliged to carry out every four years an energy audit satisfying legally-defined criteria, and produced independently by auditors recognized as competent, for the activities exercised by said entities in France.

"The first audit is to be produced by 5 December 2015 at the latest. Corporate entities subject to this obligation shall transmit to the administrative authority information relating to the implementation of this obligation."


Who is concerned?

Implementing Decree No. 2013-1121 of 4 December 2013, published in the Official Journal of the French Republic on 7 December 2013, details the threshold beyond which a company is subject to this regulation. A company is obliged to carry out this energy audit if it exceeds any of the following thresholds:

  • Headcount of more than 250 employees
  • Revenues in excess of €50 million
  • Balance sheet total in excess of €43 million


What is the scope of the audit?

The energy audits carried out by the companies should cover 80% of their energy bill (electricity, gas, fuel oil, fuel for the vehicle fleet, etc.). The activities covered by ISO 50 001 certification are exempted from this audit. Therefore, if a company's activities are totally covered by ISO 50 001-certified energy management, then the company is exempted from the audit.


The method  

Audits must be carried out according to normative reference framework 16247. This reference framework is divided into four standards:

  • a "header" standard, 16247-1, which defines the requirements and the general methodology
  • 16247-2 which applies to energy audits for buildings
  • 16247-2 which applies to energy audits in industry
  • 16247-3 which applies to the transport sector

ADEME can provide companies with guides on the drafting of specifications for implementing services in accordance with this normative reference framework.

These guides are available from


Who can carry out the audit?

The regulation makes provision for two types of auditor:

  • Personnel from within the company
  • External service providers

The external service provider must be qualified by a body accredited by Cofrac. Qualification comprises a certain number of requirements, in particular with regard to human or material resources.


Internal auditors from within companies must be capable of justifying their capacity to understand and implement an energy audit in compliance with the requirements of the normative reference framework.


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