There are a lot of bad things in the Gas Directive, but citizen energy communities won’t be one of them.

11 December 2023 - On Friday, the European Commission, European Parliament, and European Council reached a deal on the Gas Directive. The legislation governs the internal market rules for the gas sector and is currently being modified to reflect the EU’s decarbonisation commitments, including the promotion of hydrogen and biomethane. In an odd move that the community energy sector strongly opposed, the Commission moved in its original legislative proposal to insert the concept of citizen energy communities (CECs) into the Gas Directive.

The biggest argument against including CECs in the Gas Directive is that Renewable Energy Communities, which can operate in renewable gasses, are already covered under the Renewables Directive. There are also significant risks that CECs would be hijacked by incumbent gas companies, and that biomethane and hydrogen would be targeted towards citizens (i.e. households), even though it is largely acknowledged that biomethane and hydrogen are not cost-effective (or sustainable) ways to heat households in the energy transition. Furthermore, there is a risk that including CECs in the Gas Directive would create confusion with the other two existing energy communities definitions in the Renewables and Electricity Market Directives.

After a long-fought battle, and many compromises, which made the proposal more and more complicated, the Parliament and the Council ultimately agreed to delete the citizen energy community concept from the text. The European Parliament was the side who originally asked for the concept to be deleted. Moreover, the Directive also clarifies that in network planning for hydrogen, the latter should be targeted towards hard-to-abate sectors.

Dirk Vansintjan, President of said, “After two and a half years of having to work on this, reason has finally prevailed.” Continuing he said, “Europe’s energy citizens have given the Commission a clear message that it should prioritise implementing and improving on the energy communities concept that we currently have and really putting citizens at its core..”

Now that CECs are out of the Gas Directive,we will continue our much needed support for the proper implementation of existing and new EU legislation on energy communities.

*** END ***

For more information:

Josh Roberts - +32 493 400 933,

For media inquiries:

Sara Tachelet - +32 4 93 400 935,