Overall assessment

Updated December 2022

The Electricity Act LXXXVI as amended in 2021 established a framework for energy communities, with RECs as a subset of the primary definition. They are granted rights and obligations in the electricity sector only, including the following activities: production, storage, consumption, provision of distribution flexibility services, electricity distribution, aggregation, provision of electromobility services and operation of electric charging equipment. However, in this way the law excludes heating and cooling, which is opposed to the EU provisions that allow RECs to be active in renewable energy sources in general and not electricity only. A REC is allowed to produce electricity from renewable energy sources, consume, store or sell such electricity. The Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Office (NRA) register their creation and evolution, while monitoring the barriers and obstacles to sharing electricity. Besides the creation of a registry, implementing acts of the law are still needed to clarify the framework for energy communities as recommended by IEA.

Overall, several elements of the enabling framework for RECs are missing, while the funding programmes introduced mainly allocate funding to for-profit companies, which opens the door to corporate capture. Also, the fact that RECs are only limited to electricity is against the Renewables Directive provisions that allow RECs to engage with activities in the field of renewables in general, thus including heating and cooling

Detailed assessment

Assessment of obstacles and potential for development of ECs

The National Regulatory Authority is responsible for such an assessment. The Office must monitor the evolution of the amount of electricity produced and consumed by active users, active users acting together, the self-consumer, the self-consumers acting together, the REC or the EC, the establishment of EC. It is asked to identify the factors hindering their development and formulate proposals for the minister in order to eradicate them (article 159(1)-16).

The Office should also ensure competition and monitors the development of contracts for renewable electricity sharing between the producer or active user and an energy community, and every two years, make proposals to the minister to eliminate regulatory and administrative obstacles that unreasonably hinder the creation of such contracts (159(3)-13). The deadline for the first report is July 2023. In addition, the Office has to evaluate every 5 years the most important effects of changes in regulation on the renewables feed in tariff and fid in premium support schemes on different consumer groups and investments (12(4)).

Removal of unjustified regulatory & administrative barriers

Not addressed in the transposition.

DSO duties around cooperation with ECs and facilitation of energy sharing

Distribution regulations must be prepared by the DSO involving all parties, including ECs and aggregators for operation of the distribution network, flexibility services amongst others (article 69).

Fair, proportionate, and transparent registration & licensing procedures

According to article 39-B of the Decree 273/2007, EC must apply to the Office for registration at least 75 days before the start of the activity. The declaration must contain statutes, a list of activities, and a declaration that it complies with the effective control limitations as well as a list of the substations impacted by its creation. Any change should be notified to the Office within 30 days of the change. The Office will run compliance checks on the registry, and will publish a list of EC on its website.

Incentives connected to network tariffs based on a CBA

No network tariff incentives are in place, there was no publicly available CBA conducted by the Office.

Non-discriminatory treatment as market participant

The Act states that the participation in an energy community cannot affect the rights and duties of the consumer adversely (article 66/B (4)). In practice, however, suppliers are threatening to stop their universal service provision obligation for members of prospective energy communities.

Accessibility to low-income & vulnerable households

The RRF call on community renewable energy consumption and production (​​RRF-3.4.1-22) allocates more than €30 million to “social solar plants” with 25 MW installed capacity in total at the 300 most disadvantaged settlements in the country. The local residents, however, are not empowered to own or make decisions on the solar panels. The NGO Malthesers, running the project without an open selection procedure, is also tasked to develop a legal amendment for energy communities, especially for targeting vulnerable households, by 30 September 2023.

Tools to access finance

Not addressed in the transposition

Tools to access information

Not addressed in the transposition

Regulatory capacity building for public authorities

Not addressed in the transposition

NECP reporting on enabling frameworks

Not addressed in the transposition

Support Scheme adapted for RECs

There were two rounds of government funding schemes for energy communities, the third under preparation. Firstly, the Ministry of Technology and Industry, jointly with the National Research, Development and Innovation Office, launched a call for supporting the establishment and operation of energy community demonstration projects (EUR 5 million). Second, the call was launched by ÉMI, the Quality Control and Innovation in Building Nonprofit LLC for supporting a multi-annual programme for energy communities (EUR 10 million). In both programmes, the selected projects are dominantly led by for-profit companies. The projects are largely in the initial stage of implementation with substantial delays.