Draft Law on Energy Communities

In conjunction with the inclusion of communities of energy, for the first time, in the European
Commission’s proposal to amend the directive on common rules for the internal market in electricity
and the directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable energy sources (RES) (the
s ocalled ‘Winter Package’ of November 30 2016), in Greece, such communities are also being
introduced and publicly discussed.

Draft Law on Energy Community

(Article by Mira Todorovic Symeonides, published in the Energy & Natural Resources Newsletter of the ILO on July 10, 2017)

Draft law
On June 7 2017 the Ministry of Environment and Energy launched a public consultation on the draft
Law on Communities of Energy. The consultation closed on June 26 2017.
While the European Commission’s proposal distinguishes between local energy communities and
renewable energy communities and applies different requirements to each, the draft law proposes
only one type of community, which in its general and specific scope of operations, encompasses both
types of EU community.
More precisely, the draft law defines ‘energy communities’ as civil law partnerships with the
exclusive aim of:

  • promoting the social economy;
  • encouraging solidarity and innovation in energy;
  • responding to energy needs;
  • promoting energy sustainability in the production, storage, selfconsumption, distribution
    and supply of energy; and
  • increasing energy efficiency in final consumption on the local and regional level.

Energy communities must engage in one of the following activities:

  • the production, storage, selfconsumption or sale of electricity or heating or cooling from
    renewable energy sources or highefficiency cogenerated heat and power (CHP);
  • the management of raw material for the production of electricity or heating or cooling from
    biomass, biowaste or biofuel;
  • the procurement for energy communities of appliances and installations with increased
    energy efficiency, as well as electric vehicles and vehicles that use natural gas, biofuel or
    liquefied gas for energy;
  • the distribution of electricity or heating or cooling on a local level;
  • the supply of electricity and natural gas on a local level;
  • the management of final electricity consumption;
  • the development and the management of fuelling stations for electric vehicles, CNG, liquefied
    natural gas, liquefied gas or biofuel, as well as management of their transport on the local
    level; or
  • the management of desalination of water through RES

While the EU draft directives do not require energy communities to be nonprofit organisations, the

draft law generally requires communities of energy to be nonprofit organisations, with the exception
of RES energy communities which may either be small and mediumsized enterprises or nonprofit
organisations. That said, they are entitled to distribute profit if they have at least 15 members, 50%
of which are individuals.
According to the draft law, individuals, public and private law legal entities and local authorities
(municipalities) of the seat of an energy community or its plant may be members of the energy
community. The minimum number of members is as follows:
l five public or private law legal entities or individuals;
l three local authorities; or
l three members, if at least two are local authorities.
At least 75% of the members should be legally connected to the place of the energy community’s seat
(eg, a member should have real estate, residence or citizenship within the territory).
Under the EU proposal, RES energy communities may not have installed more than 18 megawatts of
renewable capacity for electricity, heating and cooling and transport as a yearly average in the
previous five year. The existing version of the draft law envisages no capacity limitation for RES
produced by energy communities.


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