European network codes

The Third Energy Package of European legislation created a requirement for European network codes (ENC), covering grid connections, markets, and system operation. The codes are designed to provide a sustainable, secure and competitive electricity market across Europe.

European legislation

The Third Energy Package facilitates the development of a harmonised European internal energy market. It includes two directives and three regulations, which became law on 3 March 2011.


Directive 2009/72/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity

Directive 2009/73/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in gas


Regulation (EC) No 713/2009 on the establishment of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators ACER

Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchange of electricity

Regulation (EC) No 715/2009 on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks


Clean Energy Package

The Clean Energy Package (CEP) is a suite of European legislation which entered into force over the course of 2018 and 2019 with the aim of decarbonising energy and facilitating better consumer outcomes. The CEP is made up of several pieces of legislation covering the following areas:

  • Energy Performance in Buildings
  • Renewable Energy
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Governance of the Energy Union
  • Electricity Market Design

 Electricity Market Design High-level Impact Assessment

In our ESO Forward Plan 2019-2021 we committed to publishing a high-level impact assessment in respect of the CEP. You can now download our high-level impact assessment for Electricity Market Design; this is the most recently ratified element of the CEP.

Download Electricity Market Design Overview and Update


Commencement of ENCs

All EU Network Codes (ENCs) have now entered into force, and are EU Regulations in their own right. Implementation activities in Britain will continue for a number of years. Grouped into three areas, there are eight European network codes required by the Third Energy Package.