Vernon | David Wins Landmark Case against the ANRE regarding Green Certificates

After four years of court proceedings and overcoming a stout and persistent fight by the Romanian State through the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE), Vernon | David has obtained the annulment of ANRE Order no. 5 of 26 February 2016 on establishing the mandatory quota for purchasing green certificates for 2015 (Order no. 5) and obtained a ruling against the ANRE for 2.2 million RON in damages on behalf of one of the largest domestic pipes in Romania.  The decision is final and binding.

In 2008 Romania implemented a green certificate system that, despite its benefits, put a significant burden and cost onto large energy users.  However, considering historically low margins in a competitive environment, the cost of green certificates to large energy consumers became difficult to sustain and manage, leading to Romania, after EU approval, to adopt in December 2014, Government Decision 495/2014.  The goal of this Decision was to reduce these costs and burdens by granting certain pricing exemptions.

Unfortunately, according to the lawyers from Vernon |David, there was a significant delay in the actual implementation of the legislation and the issuance of the exemption approvals.  In addition, through ANRE Order no. 5, the ANRE, invoking a legislative modification, attempted to limit and reduce the granted benefit by arguing that any reduction of costs would be only as of the date of the approved “exemption” (and not for the full year in which such exemption was granted).  What this meant in practice was that instead of receiving a full year of exemptions and benefits, the large consumers were only granted the exemption for a few months.

Thus, the relevant company believed this reduction of the granted benefits was unjust and instructed Vernon | David accordingly.  Through its mixed team of specialists in litigation (led by founding partner, Daniela David, and Irina Parvulescu, managing associate) and energy and natural resources (Corina Tiganas, partner of Vernon David and Head of the Energy and Natural Resources department), Vernon | David succeeded in cancelling ANRE Order no. 5 and obligated ANRE to pay material damages of RON 2.2 million.

Vernon | David is a boutique law firm specializing in complex commercial transactions and disputes, regulatory matters and compliance issues. Vernon | David provides high-end bespoke legal advice to a wide array of domestic and international clients ranging from start-ups to large multinational companies and foreign governments.  Currently, the firm has offices in Bucharest, Romania and in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.