REC/CEC definitions

Overall assesment

The Croatian government has proposed only one definition for CECs. However, it has elaborated significant detail regarding the principles contained in the EU directives, including autonomy (a positive attribution, even though this is not required for CECs). Openness and voluntariness are ensured also. There are limitations placed on the type of membership that medium and large companies can take up, as well as limitations on their decision making rights. However, the legal form for energy communities is limited to non-profit organisations, questioning whether cooperatives could be considered a CEC. There are also substantial limitations on the geographical scope of activities allowed. While CECs have rights elaborated pertaining to different activities across the electricity sector, the exercise rights could be significantly limited because of spatial scope limitations. It is also unclear whether there is any regulatory oversight.

Detailed assesment

Criteria of EU definition reflected in national definition

  • Openness and voluntariness are ensured – those who are denied membership or from leaving may file an objection with the Agency
  • Autonomy is covered via a requirement for voting rights to be independent of ownership share and according to the one-person-one-vote principle; ownership is also limited to not more than 40% of the share of the CEC
  • Effective control - Owning shares in the CEC is limited to natural persons, local governmental units and micro- and small-enterprises. Large enterprises may however become a member; control of the CEC excludes medium and large enterprises

Level of detail in the elaboration of principles contained in EU criteria

The legislative proposal creates limitations that go beyond the Electricity directive, particularly on geographical proximity and local activities. Language seems to limit CECs to “the exchange” of energy that is produced and consumed by the community, within a certain spatial scope, suggesting a geographical proximity limitation which need not apply to CECs – this would implicitly limit the ability of CECs to engage across the energy sector and could impede the exercise of rights by CECs. Indeed, membership is limited to those with residence, establishment or premises in the local self-government unit.

Clearly defined purpose

Not explicitly stated – would need to be implied based on the identification of a CEC as a non-profit organization.

ICA cooperative governance principles reflected


Legal entities allowed

Legal entities operating under the law governing financial operations and accounting of non-profit organisations; cooperatives may be excluded from this definition.

Citizen participation is ensured


Designated authority to oversee

Not clear.

Number of definitions


Coherency between both definitions