Starting the year on a jolly note, CEER had a party (on the eve of our 2014 Annual Conference) to officially open our brand new offices in Brussels (complete with a jazz band to chase away any January blues). The CEER Annual Conference was on the theme “Bringing the Internal Energy Market home to consumers” (see the Feature article below). In his opening remarks, Mr Borchardt (DG ENER) provided a glimpse of the main elements of the new EU framework on climate and energy for 2030 (launched that day). The debate centred on what needs to be done so as to make the IEM deliver for consumers. There were dedicated sessions on demand-side management and demand-side flexibility which are considered key enablers.
The event also shone the spotlight on women. In an effort to increase the visibility of women on the conference platform, CEER aimed for (and far exceeded) a 20% female speaker target for this, our flagship annual event. For more on the international Women in Energy initiative, see the International Section below. The International Confederation of Energy Regulators (ICER) has also recently published the first edition of its online publication, the ICER Chronicle. The ICER Chronicle is packed with interesting articles on a range of topics such as incentives for network loss reduction to the value of solar tariff, and it contains two women in energy stories.
We have published our 2013 CEER Annual Report. It provides highlights of CEER’s main achievements over the past year. Two CEER public consultation are currently open: one on "green" electricity CEER, and the other on Regulating the Quality of Distribution Services. Soon to be published is the CEER status review of regulatory approaches to smart grids.
Bringing the Internal Energy Market home to consumers
2014 is the target date for completion of the internal energy market (IEM). Clearly, much has already been achieved in terms of EU regulatory framework with EU-wide network code and improved wholesale market integration. But, regulators considered it important to tell the whole story, that the IEM is not yet fully delivering benefits to final consumers. Hence, “Bringing the IEM home to consumers” was the core theme of our CEER 2014 annual conference (held on 22 January). See Press Release.
Mr Borchardt (DG ENER) was joined by MEP Jerzy Buzek, ACER Director, Alberto Pototschnig and Monique Goyens (BEUC) in a high level panel which assessed whether the pieces are in place for the IEM to deliver benefits.
CEER President, Lord Mogg set the scene for this high level panel debate addressing pertinent questions:
Where does the IEM stand now? Pointing to the facts-based ACER/CEER Market Monitoring Report, Lord Mogg explained that in spite of the economic downturn, over the last four years households have experienced increasing energy prices. Competition in retail markets is increasing in many, but not all Member States, but many European households are not switching supplier: - regulated prices - lack of awareness - loyalty to incumbents and distrust of alternative offers - (perceived) complexity of the switching process
Where do we want to go? Lord Mogg underlined the following recommendations of Regulators: - Implementation of Third Energy Package - Development and (early) implementation of Network Codes - Remedial action and developing solutions for loop flows - Promote liquidity in gas hubs and more transparent transportation charges - Remove barriers to consumer switching - Fully enforce consumer rights
Lord Mogg said: “Europe needs reliable and clean energy at competitive prices. Regulators and EU policy makers recognise that it is time to push the competitiveness of the energy sector not only to bring the IEM home to consumers but also so that European firms can regain their global competitiveness and contribute to EU growth and jobs.”
What are Regulators doing? Once again, customers are at the core of CEER’s 2014 work programme.In 2012 CEER developed a 2020 Energy Customer Vision, the implementation of which is a touchstone for the IEM to deliver benefits to consumers. The CEER 2020 Customer Vision has won widespread support. Now the focus must be on implementing the vision.
CEER will work closely with ACER on its post-2014 strategic initiative: “Energy Regulation: a bridge to 2025”. The “2025 Bridge” paper explores the key challenges and regulatory responses between now and 2025 in gas, electricity and consumer issues. Flexibility, smarter demand-side, encouraging competition and empowering consumers so that they can be more active in the market are core parts of CEER’s work in the coming period (see the CEER 2014 Work Programme).
Public Consultations & Events
• Draft advice on green electricity (Closing 07/02/2014) • Quality of distribution services (Closing 31/01/2014) Visit our websiteto be updated on our future consultationsandevents.
• CEER Annual Report 2013 Press Releases • Bringing the Internal Energy Market home to consumers (22 January 2014)
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.
In an effort to change attitudes and culture, the International Confederation of Energy Regulators (ICER) has encourages its members (and others) to reach a 20% female speaker target at their main events. CEER is the first ICER member to take up this challenge. At the CEER 2014 Annual Conference (22 January 2014) more than 30% of the speakers were women.