Policy Guide

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Curve Breaker Agreement (CBA)

Between 2007 and 2013 Curve Breaker Agreements (CBAs) set binding targets for reducing electricity consumption to voluntary signatories. The targets typically ranged between three and 15 per cent of demand reduction over a period of three to five years. Thereby, the agreements and the programme overall aimed at breaking the rising curve of electricity consumption that had still prevailed in Denmark at the setup of the programme in 2007. Target groups were not only municipalities, regions, ministries and agencies but also non-governmental actors. The defined targets were negotiated with CBA coaches who worked at the Danish Saving Trust (DEST). These coaches offered proposals for tailor-made electricity saving solutions to each participant. The participants were obliged to publish a) their energy consumption on a special website in order to ensure compliance and b) how reductions had been achieved, which promoted a mutual learning process between CBA signatories. DEST, on the other hand, offered various tools to promote electricity demand reductions (e.g. training courses, behavioural campaign materials, energy efficient procurement guidelines and tools). DEST’s work was financed by an extra charge of 0.06 Eurocent/kWh on the electricity bills of private households and public institutions. Therefore the CBA participation was completely free of charge. By also embracing non-governmental actors, DEST maximised its efforts.
By 2010, 177 curve breaker agreements were concluded. By 2011, signatories achieved an average 7.5 % of electricity demand reductions.


  • Tholen, Lena (Lead author)
  • Adisorn, Thomas (Author)
  • Thomas, Stefan (Reviewer)

Official document

Official document code:

An example of a Curve Breaker Agreement in English is available at: www.bigee.net/s/7x6wri
A Danish version can be accessed via: www.bigee.net/s/4zjexk

References and further reading

  • Danish Energy Agency (DEA) (2010): Final Energy Consumption in Trade and Service. In: Annual Energy Statistics 2010. www.bigee.net/s/z4fvqx
  • Danish Energy Saving Trust (DEST) (2008): Break the Energy Curve. www.bigee.net/s/d1wfh8
  • Danish Energy Saving Trust (DEST) (2009): Purchasing Guidelines 2009. www.bigee.net/s/nzeex2 
  • Danish Energy Saving Trust (DEST) (2009a): Trust helping to save energy in Malaysia. www.bigee.net/s/1uzh49
  • Danish Energy Saving Trust (DEST) (2010): List of Agreements. www.bigee.net/s/ef41h1
  • Danish Energy Saving Trust (DEST) (2010a): Viden om kurveknækkeraftalen. 
  • Danish Energy Saving Trust (DEST) (2012): About us - Go' Energi – promoting energy efficiency in Denmark. www.bigee.net/s/yik7gp
  • Jarby, Christian; Pagh Nielsen, Karen Marie; Fjordbak, Troels (2009): The Danish Curve Breaker Agreement model - a voluntary agreement to break the electricity consumption curve. In: ECEEE 2009 Summer Study, Act! Innovate! Deliver! Reducing Energy Demand Sustainably. www.bigee.net/s/8d7h5r
  • Jarby, Christian; Pagh Nielsen, Karen Marie; Fjordbak, Troels (2009a): The Danish Curve Breaker Agreement - Voluntary agreement model to break the electricity consumption curve. Presentation www.bigee.net/s/w2q7av
  • Motiva (2010): Finnish municipalities’ energy efficiency agreement and energy programme for 2008-2016. www.bigee.net/s/tzwapc


  • Location:

  • Types of policy:
    • Energy efficient public procurement
    • Voluntary Agreements with commercial or public organisations
    • Public sector programmes
    • Voluntary Agreements with commercial or public organisations

  • Implementation period:
    2007 to 2013

  • Title in original language:

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