Mandatory energy audits for large enterprises

Hungary: Energy Efficiency Directive implemented in Hungarian legislation.

Energy efficiency targets of EU

The aim of the Energy Efficiency Directive is to establish a common legal framework to promote energy efficiency within the European Union. This means achieving the Union’s energy efficiency target of 20 % by 2020. The overall objective of the energy efficiency target is to reduce 20 % of the Union’s primary energy consumption by 2020 compared to expected values by then.

The key element of the Directive is the end-use energy savings obligation of 1.5%. This implies that energy service providers should achieve further savings at least equivalent to achieving 1.5% of their annual energy sales. According to the Directive governments of each Member State can achieve the Union level objective by means of national energy efficiency obligation schemes for energy utilities or other alternative policy measures that achieve the same amount of energy savings.

Hungarian implementation

According to the Hungarian Energy Efficiency Act, the Hungarian Government aims to achieve Union level objectives by means of alternative policy measures. Besides many other policy measures, the Act imposes new obligations on many large enterprises.

Obligations of large enterprises

According to the Act large enterprises – regardless of their activities – must carry out an energy audit, the first by 5 of December 2015 and then every four years. Linked and partner enterprises do not have to send their energy audit to the supervisory authority if the energy audit for a large enterprise as a whole has already been sent.

Energy audit activities

A natural person or economic entity can carry out energy audits if listed in the energy auditors register. The Government Decree on the implementation of the Act sets out detailed rules for energy audits and energy auditors.

Exemption from the obligation

The Act allows exceptions from the energy audit obligation if a large enterprise operates an energy management system certified by an accredited certification body corresponding to the EN ISO 50001 Standard. In this case the large enterprise need only send valid certification to the supervisory authority every four years.

Control and infringement

The Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority controls completion of mandatory energy audits and compliance with the relevant legal conditions. In cases of infringement of laws, a fine maximum of 10 million Forint (approximately EUR 350 000) can be imposed on large enterprises and can be repeated. However, as a transitional measure, the Authority will not impose fines until 31 December 2016.

Source: Act LVII of 2015 on Energy efficiency

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