Language of document :

Request for a preliminary ruling from the Vilniaus miesto apylinkės teismas (Lithuania) lodged on 9 May 2017 — ‘Renerga’ UAB v ‘Energijos skirstymo operatorius’ AB, ‘Lietuvos energijos gamyba’ AB

(Case C-238/17)

Language of the case: Lithuanian

Referring court

Vilniaus miesto apylinkės teismas

Parties to the main proceedings

Applicant: ‘Renerga’ UAB

Defendants: ‘Energijos skirstymo operatorius’ AB, ‘Lietuvos energijos gamyba’ AB

Questions referred

1.    Is the objective of ‘ensuring that system operators and system users are granted appropriate incentives, in both the short and the long term, to increase efficiencies in system performance and foster market integration’, laid down in Article 36(f) of Directive 2009/72/EC 1 for the regulatory authority carrying out the regulatory tasks specified in Directive 2009/72, to be understood and interpreted as prohibiting a failure to grant incentives (a failure to pay PIS [public interest service] compensation) or their restriction?

2.    Having regard to the fact that Article 3(2) of Directive 2009/72 provides that PIS obligations are to be clearly defined, transparent, non-discriminatory and verifiable, and Article 3(6) of Directive 2009/72 provides that financial compensation to PIS persons is to be determined in a non-discriminatory and transparent way, it is necessary to clarify the following:

2.1.    are the provisions of Article 3(2) and (6) of Directive 2009/72 to be interpreted as prohibiting the incentivisation of PIS providers from being restricted if they properly fulfil the obligations assumed by them that are related to PIS provision?

2.2.    is an obligation laid down in national law to suspend the payment of financial compensation received by PIS providers irrespective of the activities for PIS provision carried out by the PIS provider and of the fulfilment of the obligations assumed by it, but linking the ground for restricting (suspending) the payment of PIS compensation to, and making it dependent on, the performance by a person connected with the PIS provider (a controlling interest in which is held by the same undertaking as that which has a controlling interest in the PIS provider) of actions and obligations when accounting for the PIS consumption monies calculated for that undertaking, to be regarded as discriminatory, unclear and restrictive of fair competition for the purposes of the provisions of Article 3(2) and (6) of Directive 2009/72?

2.3.    is an obligation laid down in national law to suspend the payment of financial compensation received by PIS providers, while the PIS providers remain obliged to continue to fulfil in full their PIS provision obligations and related contractual obligations to undertakings purchasing electricity, to be regarded as discriminatory, unclear and restrictive of fair competition for the purpose of the provisions of Article 3(2) and (6) of Directive 2009/72?

3.    Under Article 3(15) of Directive 2009/72 which requires Member States to inform the European Commission every two years of changes to all measures adopted to fulfil universal service and public service obligations, is a Member State which has established in national legal measures legislation laying down grounds, rules and a mechanism for restricting compensation payable to PIS providers obliged to inform the European Commission of such new legislation?

4.    Does the laying down by a Member State in national law of grounds, rules and a mechanism for restricting compensation payable to PIS providers offend against the objectives of implementation of Directive 2009/72 and against general principles of EU law (legal certainty, legitimate expectations, proportionality, transparency and non-discrimination)?

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1 Directive 2009/72/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC (OJ 2009 L 211, p. 55).