The Council of Ministers recently accepted the draft of the new Energy Efficiency Act (the "Act").

The Act will replace the current Energy Efficiency Act and will implement the provisions of Energy Efficiency Directive 2012/27/EU. The Act shall positively affect low-energy investments and lead to lower losses in the transmission and distribution of electricity, heat and gas.

The current support system of certificates of energy efficiency ("white certificates") will be modified. The white certificate will be issued, upon an application, not through a tender, by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office for selected projects supporting energy efficiency. Under the currently binding law, it is possible to issue white certificates for projects which have been performed in previous years. However, according to the Act, white certificates will be issued for new projects only.

The Act includes a new obligation to conduct energy audits. This obligation will be imposed on enterprises which do not meet criteria stipulated in the Act on Freedom of Business Activity referring to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Enterprises, meeting specific conditions, such as having an energy management system specified in the relevant standards, will not be obliged to conduct energy audits. Energy audits will have to be carried out by the affected entities themselves or by external contractors within twelve months of the Act entering into force and every four years thereafter. A penalty, not exceeding 5% of the previous year’s turnover of an enterprise, may be imposed by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office if an energy audit is not conducted.

No deadline for the adoption of the Act has been set. The Act, which is at an early stage of the legislative process, will come into force 30 days after being published in the Journal of Laws.