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Abstract

The article deals with the subject of an important component of energy management, which is the performance of energy efficiency audits in companies. Using the case study analysis, the role of the energy audit was analyzed in the context of improvement of energy efficiency in selected production companies. The essence of legal requirements following from the implementation of the amended Energy Efficiency Act was presented. Specifically, problems and challenges, which refer to the method of implementation of the audit obligation in economic practice, were discussed. Furthermore, the issue of quality and usefulness (in the decision-making process) of prepared reports was raised. It was found that there were indications to claim that the obligatory energy audit of companies is not an instrument for the improvement of energy efficiency, which is always used optimally. The fault in this situation is partly attributable to the state, audit bodies and the company management. In this case, not only is the ineffective communication an issue here, but also the insufficient level of knowledge regarding energy management, as well as haste. The amendment of the Energy Efficiency Act (within just one year) imposed the necessity to conduct an energy audit on a specific group of companies. In principle, because all the entities, to which the obligation referred, had to take actions almost at the same time, numerous issues appeared. Some managers learned about the obligation to conduct the audit from companies who themselves had come out with a proposal to carry it out. This proves the lack of the proper information flow between the government administration authorities and the companies. Again, it turned out that practitioners did not keep pace with the implementation of actions, which were a consequence of numerous (and not always well thought-out) changes in the law. Haste in the fulfillment of the statutory obligation affected a high price spread of the bids sent during tenders, related to the performance of an energy audit. Bureaucratic regulations regarding tenders became another obstacle in the correct performance of the tasks. The entrepreneurs themselves, without clear guidelines on what to expect after the performed energy audit and what a report should look like, on many occasions, selected the “cheapest” bid – not always thinking too much about the qualitative consequences of such a decision. Some certifying bodies – taking advantage of an opportunity and the satisfactory combination of circumstances – offered unprofessional audit services of questionable quality. In the presented conditions, it is difficult to expect real, systemic and desirable results (economically, ecologically and socially) with regards to the energy efficiency both in the micro-, meso- and macr-economic scale. It is worth considering changes in the Energy Efficiency Act and spread the obligation to perform audits over different years according to clearly defined (in cooperation with business) criteria. If relevant actions are not taken, the situation of a temporary Eldorado on the market of energy audits will repeat in 4 years. Again, the consequence may be the poor quality and questionable usefulness of reports from energy audits of companies both at the business level and the ecological-political level. It is necessary to counteract all forms of unfair competition to interdisciplinary and specialist bodies which take actions to improve the energy efficiency of organisations. The creation of appropriate business conditions will have a positive impact on the improvement of energy efficiency. In this context, it is necessary to take actions, which enable the optimization of both the process of the implementation of obligatory legal regulations and voluntary (industry) norms and standards.
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Abstract

Until the early 1990s, the domestic power industry was a natural monopoly. This was caused by the specificity of the operation of the electricity transmission and distribution sub sectors, technical challenges of coordinating the operation of generating units and transmission networks, requirements regarding long-term forecasting of the industry development, and returns to scale. In view of the above, the objective of the presented paper is to assess the economic situation of energy companies operating in a competitive electricity market. The article analyses the main areas of activity of the energy companies, i.e.: the areas of production, transmission, distribution, and sales. In addition, the market shares of the various energy companies, in terms of generating capacity and the amount of the energy produced, were analyzed. Furthermore, the technical and economic situation of enterprises operating in the power sector was also subjected to analysis. The mentioned analysis has revealed that the profit received from the main activity of the enterprises (i.e. the sale of electricity) has decreased in recent years. What is more, the energy sector must adapt to legal and regulatory changes related to the intensification of the decarbonization policy pursued by the European Commission. Therefore, national energy should focus on developing skills in the areas of innovation, such as: electro mobility, energy storage, energy management, etc.
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