December 2017

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Helping to make energy markets function better and empowering customers to take a more active role in the liberalised energy markets has been a pillar of CEER’s work for many years.  Our two latest reports further these goals.  Our LNG report identifies barriers on LNG markets (in terms of services offered by terminals and the tariffs applied) and proposes ways to overcome them. Our updated recommendations on comparison tools seeks to future-proof comparison tools in the new energy market design so that they function effectively to the benefit of energy customers (see the feature article below).  

Last few days (until year end) to avail of the early bird registration for the World Forum on Energy Regulation in Mexico in March.

Thinking about your new year resolutions for your professional development? Check our CEER training courses on REMIT, on Legal issues and our joint CEER-FSR course on the fundamentals of energy regulation in 2018!


Regulators’ new future-proofed Guidelines of Good Practice on Comparison Tools in the New Energy Market Design

Comparison tools (often web-based) can make it easier for customers to access information on available offers when they are considering switching energy supplier. 

CEER has published an update of its Guidelines of Good Practice (GGP) on Comparison Tools (CTs) in the New Energy Market Design. The update, which includes two new recommendations, builds on our (July 2012) original set of (14) recommendations on how comparison tools should function effectively to the benefit of energy customers offering neutral, objective and usable information on available offers.

These updated GGP should be considered as a list of best market practices, rather than a list of suggested legal minimum requirements for comparison tools. 

Why did CEER review and update its (2012) Guidelines on Comparison Tools?

Energy markets are significantly evolving due to different factors, including new opportunities offered by the spread of advanced technologies, such as smart meters and smart grids, or by the emergence of new ways to enable consumers to play an active role, such as collective switching schemes or demand response schemes. 

Given the technological developments, as well as a focus of the European Commission on comparison tools in the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” legislative proposals, CEER decided in 2016 to re-examine our existing guidelines. A public consultation was launched in November 2016, and the Evaluation of Responses, published today at the same link, notes those responses and CEER’s consideration of them.

What’s still valid in the CEER Guidelines on Comparison Tools in the New Energy Market Design?

The new guidelines update the original (14) recommendation and includes two new ones. 
CEER found that although our existing (2012) recommendations on comparison tools remain essentially valid, but some new elements are introduced that derive from the experience of the past five years, technological and market evolution and the stakeholders consultation. Key principles remain:
Independence of the tool
Clarity and comprehensibility
Correctness and accuracy
Customer empowerment
What’s new in the CEER Guidelines on Comparison Tools in the New Energy Market Design?
In order to future proof our GGP, CEER has added two new recommendations (Guidelines 15 and 16) that take into account smart metering, electric vehicles, prosumers and other recent developments.
The new elements are in regards to:
Transparency: clear identification of advertising and/or sponsored products (Guideline 3);
Clarity and comprehensibility: making the customer clearly understand the nature and meaning of information referred to regarding potential savings (Guideline 5) and regarding information on listed offers which is based on subjective elements (Guideline 7), where present;
Correctness and accuracy: immediate rectification of any incorrect information and establishment of a specific procedure for third parties to report errors (Guideline 8); 
Customer empowerment: availability of neutral navigation tools and transparency requirements about the nature of navigation parameters (Guideline 12);
Future developments: calling for innovation in order to adapt and reflect the evolution of the new energy market (Guideline 15); seizing opportunities offered by new developments in metering, being able to process complex data and providing customers with a more accurate comparisons and analysis (Guideline 16).
The changes in energy markets, especially in retail energy markets, since CEER’s guideline were first published in 2012 has been intense, and the evolution in the next few years is expected to be even more challenging. Therefore, comparison tools will need a continuous development and evolution as new technologies such smart metering and time-of-use tariffs are increasingly being offered to customers. CEER hopes that our recommendations will help future proof comparison tools in the new energy market design. 


Early bird registration for the World Forum on Energy Regulation Early (until 31 Dec. 2017) 


Tel: +322 788 7330 or
+ 32 484 668 599