The legal basis for achieving and tracking goals is the new Act on Energy Efficiency. This Act expresses commitment of the Republic of Croatia towards the accomplishment of objectives and it states who the obligated parties of the energy efficiency planning are. Plans are important because through them the local community is included in achieving the goals by national plans including wishes and needs of local authorities, rather than the State itself imposing the solutions. Center for Monitoring Business Activities in the Energy Sector and Investments – CEI in its work coordinates with more than 180 institutions and has included their plans to improve energy efficiency in the third National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (NEEAP). It is a three-year plan whose progress will be reported every year through the Report on the Implementation of NEEAP.
ZENU- Act on Energy Efficiency
Act on Energy Efficiency is in the agreement with Directive 2012/27 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25th of October 2012 on energy efficiency, which entered into force on 4th of December 2012. The Directive aims to determine, and consequently to achieve savings of direct and primary energy by applying energy efficiency measures, all in order to reach the goal of increasing the EU energy efficiency levels by 20% by 2020 and to further facilitate energy efficiency improvements after 2020.
Directive 2012/27/EC defines the system of obligations and methods for calculating energy savings, due to legitimate fears that they will not reach the intended European Union energy efficiency goals, which requires more rigorous and detailed means of determining national targets.
This Act also defines the National Energy Efficiency Authority as the body responsible for implementing energy efficiency policy in the Republic of Croatia which, among other things, provides a systematic plan to improve energy efficiency in Croatia, keeps track of the fulfillment of obligations on energy efficiency, tracks the results of implementation plans and measures of the energy efficiency policy and conducts the system of monitoring, measurement and verification of energy savings.
Here are some novelties from the Act on Energy efficiency:
This Act determines the method of contracting energy services in co-owned communities i.e. multi-apartment buildings through a contract on energy performance of the building. A prerequisite for such an energy service contracting is that the co-owned community does not invest in the works; that for them there are no credit commitments and they do not take the risks associated with the implementation of achieving energy savings, that is, they have a guarantee that the costs of energy sources will be decreased by at least the amount equal to the payments of energy services. Without determining this relation, co-owners of multi-apartment buildings do not have the ability to realize investments in order to reduce energy consumption without the consent of all co-owners, which limits them in the use of their own assets in an energy efficient manner and also represents a significant obstacle to business development in providing energy services.
This type of contract on energy performance of multi-apartment buildings is a contract that is transparent and beneficial to all co-owners of the building, with the possibility that each co-owner at any time disputes the realization of savings. With this type of legal arrangement of the institute of energy services for co-owners in multi-apartment buildings the real situation, which is not covered by other regulations, is regulated. Additionally, in equal details the mandatory parts of the contract are elaborated in a way that the guaranteed energy savings must be equal to or greater than the reimbursement per energy performance contract allowing co-owners safety to avoid paying for savings which were not implemented. The obligation of energy services providers includes the obligation to invest their own resources exclusively, which rules out the possibility of contracting in a way that represents the new cost for the co-owners, because the fee may be charged only for the realized savings.
In order to achieve the protection of all the co-owners and also to allow an easy, cost-effective and fast resolution of potential disputes, for each co-owner there is an option to request a verification of guaranteed savings from the National energy efficiency authority. This ensures that the decision on contracts on energy services in multi-apartment buildings is not at the expense of the co-owners of the building who decided against such a contract and also ensures the protection of their rights through the possibility of disputing the realization of savings as an essential condition of the agreement on energy performance.
The basis for attracting investments
The new Act creates conditions for setting goals, the adoption of measures to reduce energy consumption and mechanisms for promoting energy efficiency through institutional, financial and other frameworks in order to remove obstacles that hinder the development of an energy efficiency market. This Act regulates the issues related to the specifics of contracting energy services, which creates an environment for the mobilization of investment capital in energy efficiency projects, resulting in increased employment and reduced dependence on imported energy sources.
Act on energy efficiency, among other things regulates the conduct of the public sector in contracting energy services. That way the State gives an example to citizens and encourages the development of energy services market. The Act also creates the preconditions for using private capital for the investments in state property and starting the investment cycle with no additional cost for the State. In addition, the act makes the investment in energy efficiency possible for co-owned communities as well. This form of contracting is currently very difficult because the decision-making rules for this specific form of contracting have not been regulated so far. Improved regulation will have a synergistic effect with the implementation of agreements on energy services in the public sector, which will trigger new investments that by their potential far outweigh the potential of investments in the public sector.
Planning of public administration - so far only counties were obliged to plan energy efficiency measures, through the three-year programs and annual plans. The whole procedure is now simplified and follows national planning. There are three-year action plans, which are the basis for making NEEAP, and the next three-year plan will be developed by the end of 2017. Every year the annual plan is made. Parties obligated to do the planning are now not only the counties, but also all cities with more than 35,000 inhabitants. Three-year plans are made by the representative body, but annual plans are made by an executive body and the procedure is thus simplified. Plans on sustainable development of cities (which most cities already have: "Sustainable energy efficiency action plans") are complementary to these documents, so that there is already experience in the preparation and implementation of these documents.
Tracking consumption - although public administration still has to have a person responsible for monitoring consumption in buildings that are in their possession, those people will no longer have to enter bills in the Information System for Energy Management - ISGE. In order to improve the accuracy of the entered data, the obligation of entering monthly bills into ISGE now passes to the energy suppliers. People in charge of ISGE still need to control the data in ISGE, use consumption data for a more rational use of energy and, if necessary, enter weekly readings, but herewith their job is made considerably easier.
Large companies need to make energy audits of their buildings every four years, but also for other parts, such as production processes or vehicles, if they have them. These are extended energy audits that will follow certain internationally accepted standards, and the exact instructions will be given in the Ordinance for energy audits of large companies. The first audits will have to be made until 5th December of 2015.
Energy Efficiency Act regulates the obligation of informing customers and all interested parties on the possibilities of investments in energy efficiency and the application of easily achievable measures as well as on available grants, funding sources, companies and other relevant information for the development of an energy efficiency market.
Act on Energy Efficiency creates the conditions for setting goals, adopting measures to reduce the consumption of primary energy in production, transmission and distribution of energy and mechanisms for promoting energy efficiency through institutional, financial and other frameworks in order to remove obstacles that hinder the development of an energy efficiency market. This will significantly contribute to the achievement of the national energy savings target of the Republic of Croatia.
NEEAP - National Energy Efficiency Action Plan
The third National Energy Efficiency Plan presents all-conquering document of energy efficiency implementation for three-year period (2014.-2016.). It contains a detailed report on all the activities implemented in the past three-year period, and the goals for the same period that were presented in the second NEEAP.
Submission of the NEEAP used to be obligatory by Directive on final energy consumption and energy services (ESD 2006/32/EC), but since the third NEEAP it's obligatory by the new directive on energy efficiency (EED 2012/27/EU), that stated that submission of the National action plan by Match 30th 2014 was obligatory, and every three years afterwards. In the meantime, every year an annual report will be submitted, and they will contain the progress of energy savings and energy efficiency increase. In the making of NEEAP, 180 institutions were contacted. Ultimately, there are over 30 obligated bodies that will participate in the realization of the measures. The intention was to reduce number of institutions responsible for the implementation of measures so that the responsibility of implementation would increase. However, for the successful implementation cooperation of many institutions is necessary and induced. CEI is often mentioned as a monitoring body. In one hand, CEI will monitor all measures as it is in charge System for measuring and verifying energy savings (SMIV), a national Internet platform in which all participants of NEEAP are obligated to enter implemented measures.
In NEEAP are presented energy efficiency measures that should help decrease energy consumption. The implementation of these measure does not qualify as savings but achieving development while energy consumption stays rational. Savings in primary and total consumption are being observed, while energy efficiency objective is expressed like absolute level of primary energy supply and final energy consumption in 2020.
Approximate National goal of energy consumption increase expressed like absolute level of total final energy consumption in 2020. amounting 293,04 PJ (7,00 Mtoe). Compatible goal expressed like absolute level of primary energy supply in 2020. amounting 466,69 PJ (11,15 Mtoe).
This means that total energy efficiency increase must achieve energy savings amounting to:
- 19,77 PJ until year 2016. And
- 22,76 PJ until year 2020.
News in the third NEEAP
For period 2014-2016 there are 40 measures, 28 of which are from the second NEEAP and 12 are new. 7 new measures refer to primary energy savings and will be implemented by certain energy distributers, while 11 new measures are for information purposes. Through 29 remaining measures savings amounting 10,16 PJ are recorded in year 2016..
Through planned measures total savings will amount of 10,16 PJ until year 2016. and 16,66 PJ until year 2020. Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive requires that in the period 2014. - 2020. energy savings amount 1.5% a year. For Croatia it means we have to achieve 54,25 PJ savings. Croatia has decided to accomplish that through a combination of alternative measures and mandatory schemes. Mandatory schemes are yet to be determined, and through alternative measures it’s expected to save 32,094 PJ (about 60% of required target). 10 measures are repeated from the last NEEAP but with stricter calculations that are demanded by article 7. Those measures, that present a total required goal, are presented in chapter 188.8.131.52 of NEEAP.
The purpose of NEEAP – The Counties an cites role
The purpose of National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency is to enable planning and monitoring the achieved savings. Croatian counties have been obligated to plan activities concerning energy efficiency. So far it’s been done through the three-year programs and annual energy efficiency plans. The new Act on Energy efficiency expresses that now not only the counties, but also all cities over 35 000 inhabitants are obligated to plan energy efficiency measures. By that local government is induced to systematically manage energy and plan which steps to take in order to consume energy more rationally and reduce expenses at the same time. Plans are made on a three-year and annual basis. The next three-year Action plan for counties and big cities will be developed by the end of 2016. and it will apply to the period 2017.-2019. An Annual plan will be developed by the end of each year, and it will represent a ground basis for national report on the implementation of measures set in NEEAP. The purpose of the report is to coordinate national plans with local activities – from now on National plans will be made by guidelines that come from local government. While counties and big cities are obligated to plan energy efficiency measures, other cities and municipalities are invited to participate on a voluntary basis. That way they would increase their chances to receive co-financing for certain activities they intend to realize, since National action plan is a basis for planning distribution of Funds resources.