The EU’s Clean Energy for All Europeans Package (CEP) introduced provisions for ‘renewable energy communities’ (RECs) and ‘citizens energy communities’ (CECs) for the first time, empowering citizens to take ownership of renewables and providing them with a legal right to set up their own initiatives at the national level. The elements of the two definitions are elaborated and explained in the transposition guidance document.

As indicated in’s Transposition Tracker, several Member States have made considerable progress in transposing these provisions into national legislation. However, most Member States have yet to develop an enabling framework allowing communities to participate in the market without discrimination compared to other market actors.

Since the CEP, Europe has experienced a global pandemic, the biggest war at our door since World War II, and an energy and related cost-of-living crisis that exposed our dependency on expensive fossil fuels. Many European policymakers have worked hard to soften the blow of these crises. Among these solutions were the REPowerEU, the Fit for 55 Packages, and the Electricity Market Design revision.

Although the core provisions for RECs and CECs were not revised, new provisions relevant for energy communities are included in the revised Renewables Directive, Energy Efficiency Directive, Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Social Climate Fund and the revised Electricity Directive and Electricity Regulation. These EU legislation developments that took place after the CEP can be considered as the second generation EU legislation for energy communities.

These laws reinforced the model of energy communities, further acknowledging that citizens no longer need to depend on corporate power for their renewable electricity, heating, or renovations. Positively, the second-generation EU legislation clarifies that citizen-led initiatives actively contribute not only to renewables production, but also to other activities, including renovations, the alleviation of energy poverty, energy efficiency, offshore wind and heating and cooling.

The briefings below aim to analyse the relevant provisions for energy communities in each file and share recommendations for the national and EU level.

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