The Czech Republic has implemented the Energy Efficiency Directive, which, among other objectives, increases the number of businesses obliged to undertake an energy audit.  The main purpose of energy audits is to propose measures which increase the efficient use of energy. The costs of undertaking an energy audit can often be recovered by implementing the measures recommended in the energy audit report.

Measures to reduce primary energy consumption in the European Union – energy audit

The Energy Efficiency Directive or “EED” (Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on energy efficiency) was adopted on 25 October 2012 (the “Directive”), in order to meet the EU target to reduce primary energy consumption by 2020. Act No. 103/2015 Coll. (the “Amendment”), amending Act No. 406/2000 Coll., on energy management, as amended (the “Act”) which implements the Directive into Czech legislation has become effective as of 1 July, 2015.

Entities obliged to undertake energy audits

Both the Directive and the Amendment widen the pool of businesses that will be obliged to undertake energy audits. This obligation will also apply to businesses - with the exception of small or medium-sized enterprises - that use or own energy facilities and who were not caught by the previous legislation. According to EU Recommendation 2003/361/EC, any business which employs at least 250 persons and/or has an annual turnover exceeding EUR 50 million and its annual balance sheet total exceeds EUR 43 million, will not be deemed a small or medium-sized enterprise. It is important to note that small and medium-sized enterprises might be obliged to undertake energy audit on the basis of being owned by a larger parent company from Czech Republic or any other foreign country.

Deadlines and exemptions for conducting energy audits

Businesses that are affected by the Amendment must conduct their energy audit at the latest by 5 December 2015 and once every 4 years thereafter. This deadline does not apply to businesses having a valid energy audit undertaken within 3 years prior to 1 July 2015. However, they are still subject to the obligation to renew energy audits every 4 years.

The deadline does not apply to businesses that have an energy management system certified according to the Czech harmonized standard ČSN EN ISO 50001 or an environmental management system certified according to the Czech harmonized standard ČSN EN ISO 14001 and that includes an energy audit.

Failing to comply with the obligation to undertake an energy audit could result in a penalty of up to CZK 5,000,000 (approximately EUR 180,000)