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January 25 2016
Under Section 10 of the Federal Energy Efficiency Act,(1) certain energy utilities which commercially supply end consumers with energy in Austria must, as of 2015, take energy efficiency measures on an annual basis. The energy efficiency measures must equal 0.6% of the supplier's energy set-off in the previous year.
Until recently, neither comprehensive specifications as to which energy efficiency measures were eligible to fulfil this target nor detailed calculation mechanisms to determine the extent to which certain energy efficiency measures contributed to the energy supplier's energy saving target were in place.
On November 30 2015 the minister for science, research and economy released an ordinance enacting these long-awaited specifications.(2) The ordinance derogated an earlier method document,(3) which provided for an interim method to evaluate energy efficiency measures but left a series of legal uncertainties.
The ordinance provides:
Under Section 15 – the legislative centrepiece of the ordinance – apart from the prerequisites set out in the Federal Energy Efficiency Act, energy efficiency measures can be credited against the energy supplier's saving target only if:
Section 3 of the ordinance further outlines that energy efficiency measures can be credited against the energy supplier's energy saving target only if they correspond to either a so-called 'generalised method' or undergo an individual assessment.
A generalised method is a general group of systematically similar energy efficiency measures. Annex I to the ordinance contains a description of the generalised methods enacted thus far and includes energy efficiency measures in the fields of:
For each energy efficiency measure caught by a generalised method, Annex I provides for:
If no generalised method exists, or an energy supplier can substantially demonstrate grounds why a generalised method should not be applied, an individual assessment will be undertaken to evaluate whether and to what extent a certain energy efficiency measure accounts for the supplier's energy saving target. The methodical approach used to create generalised methods (as defined in Sections 3 through 10 of the ordinance) applies mutatis mutandis to the individual assessment.
The ordinance has enacted long-awaited specifications for the accountability of energy efficiency measures and will help energy suppliers to reach their saving targets in the most economically favourable way. That said, a series of legal uncertainties must still be overcome. One of the most economically relevant questions refers to the transfer and 'banking' of energy efficiency measures.
For further information on this topic please contact Bernd Rajal or Mark Tuttinger at Schoenherr by telephone (+43 1 53 43 70) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).The Schoenherr website can be accessed at www.schoenherr.eu.
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