What: Austria published draft legal amendments enabling RECs and CECs

Where: Austria

When: 16 September 2020

Austria has published a legislative package for Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) and Citizen Energy Communities (CECs) amending the green electricity act (for RECs) as well as the ELWOG (Elektrizitätswirtschafts- und –organisationsgesetz 2010) for CECs. RECS will not only be able to generate, store and deliver renewable energy but can act also as an aggregator and can provide energy efficiency services. RECs can also operate district heating grids.

RECs can be organized as an association, cooperative but also the association of housing owners. RECs can own and operate electricity grids but need to fulfill the same obligations as Distribution System Operators (DSOs).

To avoid the creation of unnecessary new grid infrastructure, however, new grid tariff structures are foreseen for medium voltage (MV) and low voltage (LV) energy communities. Fees for using higher grid levels than the REC will be deducted for electricity exchanged in the REC resulting in different tariffs for LV communities and MV communities. In addition, further tariff elements relating to renewables support, an electricity fee, and potentially VAT are supposed to be deducted from the local tariff.

CECs can be established over the entire territory of Austria. They can provide services to its members such as energy efficiency services or EV charging services.

Public consultation has started today and is open until 28 October 2020. The draft for amendment, together with explanations and impact-oriented assessment, is available here.