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A consumer-centred “Energy Union” and consumers’ central role in retail markets topped the agenda of the Citizens’ Energy Forum (12-13 March). The Feature article below showcases CEER’s strategy to place consumers centre-stage in the EU Internal Energy Market.
This month alone, CEER publishes 4 consumer papers: our Action Plan of what regulators are doing to implement the 2020 Customer Vision; advice on how to involve and engage consumer bodies in the regulatory process; a set of recommendations to make the system for disclosing how electricity has been produced more coherent, reliable and transparent; and (coming soon) our paper on customer data management.
Our recent public consultation on Distribution System Operators attracted much interest. We are currently reviewing the 100+ responses received in order to present preliminary findings at a (closed) workshop at the end of this month. Consumers and demand response also featured heavily in our discussions this month with Latin American regulators (see International section below).
Placing consumers centre-stage in the Internal Energy Market
CEER has long been a major champion of energy markets that work for the benefit of consumers. This is rooted in our belief that retail markets can only function if they have customers. Consumer engagement in turn depends on customer trust and confidence in retail energy markets. Consumers can provide much needed flexibility to energy system.
RASP Principles: Reliability, Affordability, Simplicity, Protection & Empowerment CEER has been driving efforts to place customers at the heart of EU energy policy and retail markets in particular. In 2012, CEER launched jointly with BEUC (the EU Consumer Body) the 2020 Customer Vision which is grounded on four RASP principles (Reliability, Affordability, Simplicity and Protection & Empowerment).
Regulators are fully committed to working on concrete actions to implement the Customer Vision (see the CEER Action Plan to implement the Customer Vision for the period 2015-2017). Our work is wide ranging from our detailed annual analysis of customer and retail market issues (see the joint ACER-CEER Market Monitoring Report) through to CEER’s work on retail markets. We are developing common criteria for well-functioning retail markets and working to remove market entry and supplier switching barriers. We are also exploring the roles and responsibilities of energy actors in innovative markets, the role of DSOs as market facilitators and the framework for optimizing flexibility.
Building Customer Trust Implementing the Customer Vision is not a job that regulators can do alone. CEER’s review of implementation of the 2020 by its supporters shows that the RASP principles provide added value, particularly to increasing customers trust in energy markets. CEER encourages industry to embed the RASP principles across the energy chain and to adopt CEER advice (on issues such as distribution service standards and the disclosure of sources of electricity) as to improve the consumer experience.
• CEER Advice on How to Involve and Engage Consumer Organisations in the Regulatory Process • Implementing the 2020 Vision for Europe's Energy Customers - CEER Action Plan 2015-2017 • CEER Advice on Customer Information on Sources of Electricity • CEER Advice on Customer Data Management for Better Retail Market Functioning Download from the customer publications section of our website.
At the CEER-ARIAE regulatory roundtable (11 March), Latin-American and European regulators met to discuss issues such as the impact of renewables and climate change on energy regulation, regional markets, incentivising infrastructure, customer empowerment and demand-side response (see Presentations and Conclusions).
The 6th World Forum on Energy Regulation in Istanbul on 25-28 May 2015 will be a unique occasion for regulators worldwide to deepen their collaboration. To register click here.