Changes in regulations governing the energy sector in Poland  

2013 will see various new and amended regulations come into force in Poland which will directly impact the energy sector.

Organisations in the sector should pay particular attention to the new rules coming into force as a result of the Energy Efficiency Act, as failure to comply with the new rules could result in an interruption to an organisation’s operations or even a financial penalty.

The three areas of change in energy law discussed below are just a few selected issues from the various changes expected to take place in 2013.

Energy efficiency—white certificates

Up until the end of 2012, energy companies, end users and brokers in Poland were required to obtain energy efficiency certificates, also known as white certificates, in order to submit them for redemption to the President of the Energy Regulatory Office (URE). To facilitate the process, on 31 December 2012 the President of URE announced the first tender for white certificates. The total value of the white certificates to be issued as part of this tender is 550,000 toe (tonnes of oil equivalent). Offers in response to the tender had to be filed to URE by 30 January 2013.

The “big energy trio”

The “big energy trio” is a package of three acts: the Energy Law, the Gas Law and the Renewable Energy Sources Act. It is intended that the three pieces of legislation will divide up the regulations governing the three main limbs of the energy sector in Poland. The trio of acts have been accepted by the Committee for European Affairs, an auxiliary body to the Polish government. They are currently being considered by the Standing Committee of the Council of Ministers and are expected to be enacted in late 2013 or early 2014.

The “little energy trio”

Due to the delay in implementing EU energy directives, Poland has recently been fined by the European Commission. The “little energy trio” therefore aims to amend current regulations in an attempt to ensure Poland is complying with relevant EU law. It is thought that as a result of the “big energy trio”, it will soon be quicker and more efficient to amend current regulations to ensure compliance. Parliament is currently drafting the amending act which should be submitted to the full Sejm within the first few months of 2013.

A number of other changes are also in the legislative pipeline which relate to issues such as transmission corridors, radioactive waste and mandatory oil and gas reserves.