CEER Report on commercial barriers to supplier switching in EU retail energy markets Ref: C15-CEM-80-04, 7 July 2016
CEER encourages Europe’s energy customers to compare offers in order to benefit from competition in the market. However, in practice, some energy customers do not do so. In this report, CEER aims to address the question of “what keeps customers from switching” by focusing on perceived or actual commercial barriers to switching.In particular, this CEER report identifies two potential barriers to switching: 1. Customer perception whereby the customer perceives insufficient monetary gain, a complex switching process, or has a lack of trust in alternative suppliers; and 2. Commercial contract conditions such as unjustified termination fees and value-added services that lead to customer “lock-in” where the customer bears a cost in switching.
CEER Position paper on early termination fees Ref:C16-CEM-90-06, 17 May 2016
In its Position paper on early termination fees, CEER restates its view that energy suppliers should not charge a termination fee to customers who switch energy supplier. This is because charging a switching fee to customers would deter competition in the market and limits consumer choice. However, early termination fees are different. These are supplier fees charged to customers who unilaterally end their energy contract earlier than the agreed termination date. These fees are not considered switching fees but rather are separate and legitimate charges covered under the contract between the supplier and the customer.
CEER Statement on the European Commission’s Heating and Cooling Strategy Ref: C16-CRM-99-03, 17 May 2016
CEER, as the independent voice of Europe’s energy regulators, welcomes the European Commission’s strategy on heating and cooling and in particular its objective to make the heating and cooling sector contribute to energy efficiency, decarbonisation, and the growth of renewable forms of energy in Europe.
CEER Benchmarking report on removing barriers to entry for energy suppliers in EU retail energy markets Ref: C15-RMF-70-03,1 April 2016
This report (C15-RMF-70-03) identifies a range of barriers to entry for energy suppliers into retail gas and electricity markets across the EU, and points to actions NRAs have taken or envisage taking for removing them. In particular, the report looks at 4 categories of barriers: barriers to market access; regulatory barriers; barriers arising from differences in processes and standards; and barriers specific to cross-border entrants. The findings of this report will provide a basis for the forthcoming CEER Guidelines of Good Practice on removing barriers to entry for energy suppliers in EU retail energy markets.