Govt Introduces Changes to Energy Efficiency Regulation
The ruling circles found out another way to pour fresh money into energy. On Wednesday (January 21), the cabinet adopted a draft of a new law on energy efficiency. It sets new targets for energy savings by the end of 2020. Savings should be additional 1% for 2015 and 1.25% for 2016 and 2017 and then 1.5% annually until 2020.
But who will be responsible to pay for the new requirements? First, end suppliers, suppliers of last resort, electricity traders and heating companies that sell more than 75 GWh of energy per year to end-customers. For the new environmentally friendly laws will pay both suppliers and traders of natural gas who sold to endcustomers more than 8 million cubic metres of natural gas and fuel retailers selling to end users more than 6,500 tonnes of liquid and 13,000 tonnes of fossil fuels per year.
Where's the catch? The bill provides for the possibility that if some of the above persons are not able to cope with the imposed obligation, they can simply buy an indulgence. This will be done through mandatory contributions to the Fund "Energy Efficiency and Renewable Sources" and other financial intermediaries, as the money will finance measures to improve energy efficiency. The contribution rate will be determined by a special methodology developed by the Executive Director of the Agency for Sustainable Energy Development and approved by the Minister of Energy.
Other changes provide that heated and cooled state buildings should be required to carry out energy efficiency measures on at least 3% of their total surface area, otherwise they will be penalized. However, if the activities have covered more than the legislatively required area, the excess will be deducted from future commitments or will be entered in the account for previous years. All large enterprises will also be obliged to carry out an energy audit of their buildings and facilities at least once every four years.
The new text also extend from three to five years the validity of certificates of registration in the public registers of persons carrying out energy efficiency audits of buildings and industrial systems and certification. The purpose of this change is to help reduce the administrative burden for businesses.