Network Codes / Guidelines (NCs/GLs)

  • Network Codes / Guidelines (NCs/GLs) are an important part of 3rd package (see Article 6 of Regulation (EC) No 714/2009)

  • NCs/GLs contain market and technical rules for electricity and gas

  • NCs/GLs are issued as EU regulations and as such are immediately legally binding

  • NCs/GLs are primarily addressed at transmission system operators (TSOs), generators, traders, distribution system operators (DSOs), power exchanges (PXs), consumers and other market participants

  • The implementation of NCs/GLs relies on broad and close cooperation

  • When each NC/GL enters into force depends on the legislative process at EU level

Different roles


  • Depending on the stage of the legislative process, a different organization takes the lead in preparing the NC/GL (for instance, the Agency for the Coordination of Energy Regulators (ACER) has the lead in the framework guideline process)
  • Each NC/GL runs through a process where the lead lies first with ACER, then the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO‑E) and then the European Commission (EC)
  • NCs/GLs are finalized in the comitology process and then issued


  • National regulatory authorities (NRAs), member states (MS) or market participants have to prepare the methods and approvals (at European/regional/national level)


  • The NCs/GLs entrust ACER,  the NRAs, ENTSO‑E and the individual transmission system operators with a variety of monitoring duties


  • Enforcement of NCs/GLs is mainly ensured by NRAs and MS

Framework Guidelines and Network Codes / Guidelines (NCs/GLs) 

Originally, the intention was to issue all NCs/GLs formally as network codes. For legal reasons, however, only some have been turned into network codes (Requirements for Generators, Demand Connection), while others have ended up as guidelines (capacity allocation and congestion management, forward capacity allocation, system operation). Regardless of this formality, they are all equally binding.

The process for developing NCs/GLs is as follows: first, the European Commission asks ACER to develop framework guidelines for particular fields. Once these are ready, the Commission proceeds to the second step, in which they ask ENTSO‑E to draw up the corresponding network codes. ENTSO‑E sends these draft network codes to ACER so that they can verify whether the NCs are within the framework set by the FGs. ACER draws up an opinion with its findings, which can either ask ENTSO‑E to change the draft NCs or forward the NCs to the Commission. A series of informal meetings with further assessments and fine tuning of the texts follows. In the end, the member states approve the NCs/GLs in the electricity cross-border committee. Formal entry into force, with immediate legal effect, is about four to six months later.

Categorisation of NCs/GLs



Market Grid Connection System Operation


CACM Guideline

RfG Network Code

SO Guideline

Balancing NC

FCA Guideline

DCC Network Code ER Network Code Interoperability NC
EB Guideline HVDC  Network Code  

Tariff NC





Regulation (EU)

CACM GL Guideline on capacity allocation and congestion management Leitlinie für die Kapazitätsvergabe und das Engpassmanagement 2015/1222
FCA GL Guideline on forward capacity allocation Leitlinie für die Vergabe langfristiger Kapazität 2016/1719
EB GL Electricity Balancing Guideline - -
RfG NC Network code on requirements for grid connection of generators Netzkodex mit Netzanschlussbestimmungen für Stromerzeuger 2016/631
DCC NC Network code on demand connection Netzkodex für den Lastanschluss 2016/1388
HVDC NC Network code on requirements for grid connection of high voltage direct current systems and direct current-connected power park modules Netzkodex mit Netzanschlussbestimmungen für Hochspannungs-Gleichstrom- Übertragungssysteme und nichtsynchrone Stromerzeugungsanlagen mit Gleichstromanbindung 2016/1447
SO GL Guideline on electricity transmission system operation - -
ER NC Network code on emergency and restoration - -
CAM NC Network Code on Capacity Allocation Mechanisms in Gas Transmission Systems Netzkodex über Mechanismen für die Kapazitätszuweisung in Fernleitungsnetzen 984/2013
Balancing NC Network Code on Gas Balancing of Transmission Networks Netzkodex für die Gasbilanzierung in Fernleitungsnetzen 312/2014
Interoperability NC Network code on interoperability and data exchange rules Netzkodex mit Vorschriften für die Interoperabilität und den Datenaustausch 2015/703
Tariff NC Harmonised Transmission Tariff Structures Netzkodex mit Vorschriften für harmonisierte Fernleitungsentgeltstrukturen -



Network Codes / Guidelines (NCs/GLs) Electricity

COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) 2016/1719 of 26 September 2016