Poland’s legislation on regulating natural gas prices for non-household off-takers fails to comply with the EU internal energy market rules, the EU Court of Justice ruled on 10 September.

Under the Gas Directive consumers are guaranteed the option to choose their supplier freely, as prices should primarily be determined by supply and demand. Regulated prices may be adopted in exceptional circumstances only. By regulating prices for non-household customers, Poland is in breach of these requirements. The European Commission stated that tariffs set for non-household end-users impede new gas suppliers from entering the gas market and prevent Polish consumers from reaping the full benefits that the internal market can offer. Poland was therefore referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union in June 2013.

The ECJ ruled that Poland fails to respect the requirements of EU law, as the system of regulated gas prices applies to all non-household users, regardless of their size and situation, and does not set a time limit for the regulated prices. It also obliged Poland to cooperate with the European Commission in implementing its ruling. Most probably the case will result in respective amendments to Polish Energy Law.