Uncer­tainty about the Energy Act


The Energy Act is a pro­posed new Act to replace the cur­rent 1998 Elec­tri­city Act and Gas Act and to pre­pare Dutch energy legis­la­tion for the energy trans­ition. In addi­tion, the Energy Act imple­ments the fourth Elec­tri­city Dir­ect­ive (Dir­ect­ive (EU) 2019/944) and the Elec­tri­city Reg­u­la­tion (Reg­u­la­tion (EU) 2019/943) from the Clean Energy Pack­age into Dutch legis­la­tion.

The cur­rent Elec­tri­city Act 1998 and Gas Act are the res­ult of the imple­ment­a­tion of European dir­ect­ives aimed at lib­er­al­iz­a­tion and the intern­al mar­ket, with focus on reli­ab­il­ity, afford­ab­il­ity and safety. The pro­posed new legis­la­tion sets new goals: the real­iz­a­tion of low-car­bon and cli­mate-neut­ral energy sup­ply and the integ­ra­tion of the energy sys­tem in spa­tial plan­ning.

The pro­pos­al for the Energy Act was pub­lished on 17 Decem­ber 2020 as part of a pub­lic con­sulta­tion. This con­sulta­tion ran until 11 Feb­ru­ary 2021. On 11 March 2021, the Dutch Advis­ory Board on Reg­u­lat­ory Bur­den (ATR) advised against sub­mit­ting the Act to Par­lia­ment.

The ATR ques­tions the sub­stan­ti­ation of the pro­pos­al, in par­tic­u­lar because cer­tain oblig­a­tions will be fur­ther elab­or­ated in lower legis­la­tion, which is not yet avail­able, and can there­fore not yet be prop­erly assessed.

In the writ­ten answers to par­lia­ment­ary ques­tions pub­lished on 22 April 2021, out­go­ing Min­is­ter Van ‘t Wout of Eco­nom­ic Affairs and Cli­mate indic­ates that the input from the con­sulta­tion on the Energy Act is cur­rently being pro­cessed and the Act will be sub­mit­ted to the Advis­ory Divi­sion of the Coun­cil of State later this year.