China Legal Framework - Energy Laws and Regulations

In China, the legal environment for ppp energy projects has rapidly progressed. The legal framework is a sophisticated system with distinctive hierarchies.

There are national laws, ministerial regulations, guiding opinions, measures and procedures, local rules and regulations, self-regulation rules of the industry and internal governance rules for each of the state-owned power companies and grid companies.  Interestingly, use is also made of the concept of 'trial' rules and procedures, whereby new concepts are introduced for stakeholder comment, before becoming fully effective. 

The national laws provide broad guidance and are procedurally more difficult to amend.  Accordingly, it is the secondary regulations and rules that truly drive the reforms in the industry. The NDRC regulates pricing. The SERC focuses on administration and market regulations. The SASAC, in turn, supervises power corporations. Other specific regulations, such as environment issues and land use rights, are developed by the corresponding governmental bodies.

The main laws and regulations in the power sector are listed below, including some of the proposed rules and procedures, but it should be noted that this list is subject to change due to ongoing reforms. 

National Laws (Approved by the National People’s Congress)

Central Governmental Regulations

State Council Regulations

  • Regulations on Supply and Utilization of Electricity 电力供应与使用条例
  • Regulations on Power Grid Dispatch Administration 电网调度管理条例

Market Supervision Regulations


- Model Contract of Direct Purchase of Electricity by Major Users (Trial) 《大用户与发电企业直接交易购售电合同(示范文本)(试行)》

- Model Contract of Direct Purchase of Transmission and Distribution of Electricity by Major Users (Trial) 《大用户与发电企业直接交易输配电服务合同(示范文本)(试行)》

  • Measures of Power Markets Regulation (Trial) (SERC) 电力市场监管办法(试行)
  • Basic Rules of Power Markets Operation (Trial) (SERC) 电力市场运营基本规则(试行)
  • Guiding Opinion of the Construction of Regional Power Markets (SERC) 关于区域电力市场建设的指导意见
  • Tentative Measures of Pilot Projects on Direct Power Purchase from Generation Enterprise by Users (SERC and NDRC) 电力用户向发电企业直接购电试点暂行办法

Pricing Regulations

  • Tentative Measures of Price Administration of Electricity Uploaded to Grids (NDRC) 上网电价管理暂行办法
  • Tentative Measures of Price Administration of Transmission and Distribution of Electricity (NDRC)
  • Tentative Measures of Price Administration of Electricity Sales (NDRC) 销售电价管理暂行办法
  • Tentative Rules of Price Review of Inter-Regional Transmission of Electricity (SERC)

Grid Operation Regulations

  • Grid Operational Rules (Trial) (SERC) 电网运行规则(试行)
  • Tentative Rules of Inter-Regional and Inter-provincial Power Dispatch Optimization (SERC)

Regulations on State-Owned Enterprises

  • Tentative Measures of the Administration of Generation Right Trading (SERC)
  • Measures of the Entry of Newly-installed Generation Set into Commercial Operation (Trial) (SERC)
  • Implementation Measures for Disclosure of Information of Electricity-Supply Companies (Trial) (SERC)

Other Administrative Regulations

  • Measures of Electricity Accountability Management (SERC) 电力可靠性监督管理办法
  • Measures of Electricity Demand-Side Management (SERC and NDRC) 电力需求侧管理办法
  • Measures of Standardization of Power Industry (Trail) (Energy Bureau, NDRC)


  • Measures of Environmental Protection in Power Industry (MEP) 电力工业环境保护管理办法
  • Land Quotas for Electricity Project Construction (Thermal Power Plant, Nuclear Power Plant, Substation, converter station) (MLR and Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development) 电力工程项目建设用地指标(火电厂、核电厂、变电站和换流站)

Examples of Local Rules

  • Tianjin Municipality: Rules of Electricity Supply and Utility 天津市供电用电条例
  • Hunan Province: Provisions on Electricity Development 湖南省电力建设若干规定

Examples of Self-Regulation Rules of the CEC and of the State-Owned Power Companies and Grid Companies

  • Measures of Review of Industry Standard of Electricity Sector (CEC) 电力行业标准复审管理办法
  • Specification of Establishment of Industry Standard of Electricity Sector (CEC) 电力行业标准制定管理细则
  • Measures of Connection of New Power Plant to the Grid (Southern Grid Co.) 新建电厂并网管理办法

Download Page as PDF

Updated: October 10, 2021