Community Energy Gets Green Light from Czech Lawmakers

In a significant move towards sustainable living, Czech lawmakers have approved an amendment to the energy law, also known as Lex OZE 2. The revision, voted in with 162 votes across the board, makes it possible for households to share energy between themselves and allows for the establishment of energy communities.

Energy communities are set to be a game-changer, with the potential to revolutionize how energy is distributed and consumed. The law will simplify the creation of groups of up to ten members, who could be from the same family, friends, businesses with multiple operations, or even local government offices. Within these groups, energy producers can send their surplus electricity to other locations or to other group members. However, they must pay distribution fees if they share the current through the distribution network.

This initiative is expected to kickstart in the middle of next year, pending further examination by the Senate and the president. “Adopting the amendment is great news for households, municipalities, and companies. Sharing electricity from their own emission-free sources will contribute to long-term energy self-sufficiency, thereby reducing electricity costs,” Martin Ander, an expert on community energy at the Union of Modern Energy, told Právo.

The legislation allows up to a thousand connection points in a maximum of three neighboring municipalities with extended jurisdiction to participate in an energy community. Later, the plan is to extend this to even more connection points, which will be possible by establishing a data center to monitor electricity production and consumption in the system. The center is expected to be operational by mid-2026.

According to the Union of Community Energy, interest in community energy is high. It’s seen as a groundbreaking law for Czech energy and society as it allows citizens to actively participate in the energy transformation by building and using local renewable energy sources.

Jakub Čejka, technical director of IBG, a battery storage supplier, believes that community energy will offer consumers a range of benefits, with photovoltaics and battery energy storage playing a pivotal role. “Efficient use of clean energy from renewable sources requires a system that effectively manages production, accumulation, and energy consumption,” Čejka said. According to Jiří Krist, the chairman of the Enerkom Opavsko company, up to a third of municipalities and half the citizens could participate in some form of community energy by the end of this decade.