Energy


 
 

There are two stages in energy regulatory proceedings:

  • The first stage, which takes place before the President of the Energy Regulatory Office in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Code
  • The second stage, in which appeals against decisions and orders of the President of the Energy Regulatory Office are considered by the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection (a division of the Warsaw Regional Court) under the Civil Procedure Code.

Proceedings before the President of the Energy Regulatory Office

The President of the Energy Regulatory Office is a central authority of the government administration whose competence is defined in Art. 23(2) of the Energy Law of 10 April 1997. Proceedings before this authority are subject to the Administrative Procedure Code.

Proceedings before the President of the Energy Regulatory Office may be either of two types:

  • Inquisitorial, when the authority initiates proceedings and collects evidence in the case, and then issues a decision on that basis. This covers such matters as imposing fines (Energy Law Art. 56(2)).
  • By application, when the initiative to start proceedings and collect evidence generally rests on the party. This applies, for example to disputed cases (Energy Law Art. 8(1)), decisions on commencement or continuation of supply (Energy Law Art. 8(2)), cases to grant, revoke or amend a concession (Energy Law Art. 33 and 41), and cases concerning approval of tariffs (Energy Law Art. 47 §1).

Relief cannot be sought from the courts until administrative remedies have been exhausted.

Decisions of the President of the Energy Regulatory Office may be appealed. An appeal against a decision of the President of the Energy Regulatory Office must be filed within 14 days of receipt, whereas a complaint against an order of the President of the Energy Regulatory Office, when permissible, must be filed within 7 days of receipt. The appeal must be filed with the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection via the office of the President of the Energy Regulatory Office. If the President of the Energy Regulatory Office considers the appeal to be justified, he may withdraw or amend his earlier decision.

A decision which may be appealed against is not final. However, the President of the Energy Regulatory Office may make a decision immediately enforceable if necessary to protect life or health or to protect the national economy from significant losses, or due to some other community interest or an exceptionally important interest of a party. Orders are final. The lodging of a complaint does not stay execution of the order, but the authority that issued the order may stay its execution if it deems it justified.

Proceedings before the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection

At this stage of proceedings, any issues resolved before the President of the Energy Regulatory Office which have been appealed to the Court of Competition and Consumer Protection are formally regarded as civil matters. But not all of them are civil cases in a substantive sense. Further proceedings take place under civil procedure rules. Appeals against decisions of the court may be filed with the court of appeal. A cassation appeal against the decision of the second-instance court is available regardless of the amount in dispute.

Review of final decisions of the President of the Energy Regulatory Office

The Energy Law has no separate regulations on the reviewability of final decisions of the President of the Energy Regulatory Office. Review is available pursuant to rules for administrative procedure. They can be reviewed through:

  • An application to reopen the proceedings (Administrative Procedure Code Art. 145)
  • An application for invalidation of the decision (Administrative Procedure Code Art. 156), or
  • An application to vacate or amend the decision (Administrative Procedure Code Art. 154 and 155).