The Energy Efficiency Act of 20 May 2016 (“Act”) has introduced mandatory energy audits into Polish law. The Act implements requirements of Article 8 of EU Directive 2012/27/EC on Energy Efficiency (the Energy Efficiency Directive).

An energy audit must be carried out by a business entity as defined by the Freedom of Establishment Act, excluding microenterprises, small businesses and medium-sized businesses. External subcontractors may carry out the audit at a business entity’s request. The first energy audit must be carried out within twelve months of the Energy Efficiency Act entering into force and then every four years thereafter. However, if an energy audit has been carried out – and meets the criteria stipulated in the Act – since 5 December 2012, it will be considered an energy audit in the meaning of the Act. In such a case, the company must notify the President of the Energy Regulatory Office accordingly within 30 days of the Act entering into force.

The energy audit should contain detailed information on energy consumption in the buildings, industrial installations and transport.

A business entity with an energy management system or environmental management system specified in the relevant acts is not obliged to conduct an energy audit.

Business entities should inform the President of the Energy Regulatory Office about energy audits conducted within 30 days of completing the audit. Information about energy audits should be kept for 5 years for inspection purposes.

A penalty, not exceeding 5% of the company’s turnover in the previous year, may be imposed by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office for breaches of the audit requirement.

The Act will come into force on 1 October 2016.