Season’s greetings to all our readers! In wrapping up the month of December, we published our regulatory reaction to the European Commission’s public interventions package. With the Citizens’ Energy (London) Forum this month, (16-17 December), we explain in our feature article how CEER champions consumer rights. We also have two open public consultations on consumer-related issues: one on the quality of distribution services; and the other on green electricity. We published a report on the type of information customers have access to regarding energy costs, sources and energy efficiency systems. We also published our monitoring report evaluating the extent to which LNG operators are using the GLE-CEER Transparency Template (which allows them to comply with the transparency provisions of an EU Regulation); and update of continuity of electricity supply data for the year 2012 and new customer brochures.
Now is your last chance to register for our (as always free) 2014 Annual Conference. It takes place in Brussels on 22 January. The theme is “Bringing the EU Internal Energy Market home to consumers”. The topic is interesting and timely given that 2014 i s the target year that EU Heads of State have set for the EU Internal Energy Market to be in place. We are using our annual conference as an opportunity to raise awareness of the under-representation of women in the energy sector. CEER is striving to reach a minimum target of 20% female speakers at our 2014 annual conference. Setting this target is a small yet meaningful step that CEER is taking to increase the visibility of women in energy (for more on regulators’ Women in Energy initiative see the international section below).
Regulators’ tools and rules to facilitate consumer engagement
CEER is at the forefront of efforts to protect and empower energy consumers in our belief that consumers have a central – and evolving – role to play in energy markets. Nowhere is this more evident than in the 2020 Energy Customer Vision that CEER has built with stakeholders.
CEER’s 2020 Customer Vision The 2020 Vision is a vision that puts energy customers first. It is based on four so-called RASP principles (reliability, affordability, simplicity, protection and empowerment). Presented at the 2012 Citizens' Energy (London) Forum, it immediately gained widespread support, not only by BEUC, the EU Consumer Organisation, but also by the energy sector and the European Commission.
Is the Internal Energy Market delivering for consumers? Not yet! At the 2013 London Forum (16-17 December), CEER placed the focus on implementing the Vision together, in our belief that the IEM is not yet delivering full benefits to consumers. CEER President, Lord Mogg underlined regulators’ commitment (CEER has a rolling 3-year Action Plan which states what regulators are doing to implement the Vision) and encouraged the 16 supporters of the Vision to develop their own action plans for realising the Customer Vision. See CEER PPTs and Speeches from the London Forum.
How does CEER promote energy markets that take into account the interests of consumers? Through CEER, energy regulators work together to put in place tools & rules to facilitate consumer engagement with (and fair treatment by) the energy market, by:
1. making voluntary (EU-wide) recommendations to improve market services and the consumer experience on areas like:
- price comparison websites - capabilities of smart meters - data management to improve retail market functioning - standards for distribution services (connection, disconnection, maintenance) - switching and billing practices - complaint handling, reporting and classification
2. extensively monitoring the implementation of customer rights and functioning of retail markets: - see our findings on the customer and retail market aspects of the latest ACER-CEER Market Monitoring Report.
3. working to improve consumer representative involvement in the regulatory process and the voice of consumers being heard: - CEER advice on tools regulators can use to involve and engage consumer representatives in their national framework - CEER's many workshops and events (including our annual customer conference) are an important means for engaging consumer bodies in dialogue - Advancing implementation of the 2020 Vision for Energy Consumers in rder to ensure markets deliver reliability, affordability, simplicity and protect & empower consumers.
4. bringing energy regulatory issues closer to consumers: - through our dedicated customer website - our communications material (check out our latest fact-sheets) Naturally, customer issues are a core focus of CEER’s 2014 Work Programme.
Public Consultations & Events
• Draft advice on green electricity (Closing 07/02/2014) • Quality of distribution services (Closing 31/01/2014) • Regulatory and Market Aspects of Demand-Side Flexibility (Closing 20/12/2013) Visit our websiteto be updated on our future consultationsandevents.
• CEER status review on customer access to energy costs, sources and energy efficiency schemes • CEER views on the “public interventions” package • CEER monitoring report on the implementation of LNG transparency template Press Releases • Is the Internal Energy Market working for Consumers? Regulators say: not yet! (16 December 2013)
CEER is leading a global initiative of energy regulators, within the framework of the International Confederation of Energy Regulators (ICER), to promote the career advancement of women. The ICER Women in Energy initiative includes a global collaborative women’s network open to staff of energy regulatory authorities, a pilot mentoring programme and training webinars for women, and increasing visibility of women through story-telling and the 20% female speaker target.