For a start, the area of application is to be restricted to energy efficiency. The draft combines so far inadequately this topic with that of alternative energies and emissions. The latter two areas require undoubtedly special regulations. In particular, emission control (administrative and technical requirements for emitting plants) needs a separate and detailed regulation.
Furthermore, the Law itself requires clarification, along with subsequent resolutions thereto. The Draft generally seems to proclaim good things, yet in practice it threatens to share the destiny of many other Ukrainian laws. Let us merely mention the Waste Management Act, with the wording similar to West European Regulations (for instance, primacy of waste prevention followed by material and energy recycling, and only at the final stage – landfilling of the remaining residues). In the legal reality, it can hardly ever attract attention or be implemented, since, inter alia, it provides no incentive for waste prevention at all (e.g. in the form of liability for packaging industry), and the waste disposal fees cover no more than the cheapest way of landfilling.
The Draft should also rid itself from the Soviet-style proclamation culture. Article 2 paragraph 2 declares great „Principles“. But a law must not declare principles. It must set forth regulations. Or, instead of „popularizing” the advantages of effective energy use, the government must simply take care of it. According to many generations of politicians, today’s Ukraine is already on top of the world. But in reality it is quite often at the bottom of different scales.
Platitudes shall also be removed. For instance, Article 11 provides for the „state energy efficiency expertise“. Does it mean that even acquisition of a new machine will require prior approval? And what about the relation to Article 9, which is about to standardize any technical process?
Finally, the Draft is to be examined for feasibility. The energy use standardization for any conceivable technological process and the respective governmental supervision of total areas should not be the main ambition. The state must also partly rely on market mechanisms. Energy efficiency must also become a main interest for private and commercial consumers. This can particularly be achieved as soon as the energy prices are not further subsidized. Only then investments in efficient technical equipment can be repaid etc. The Problem of many consumers and companies, which somehow manage to bear their current costs but still need many years to repay high investments, is to be solved through state credit programs.
The funds required by the national budget can be raised e.g. via an energy tax. The thing to be burdened is namely the one against which the law is intended to act, i.e. high energy consumption. At the same time, such funds must be applied for the purposes of the Law, which consist in the promotion of energy efficiency. Only this kind of interplay will make the development dynamic.