May 2016

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  Issue: May  2016

  Feature | Public Consultations & Events | Publications | International | Training



This is the season for events. Don't miss our “Engaged Customers Driving the Energy Transition” Sustainable Energy Week event which CEER co-hosts with 4 other organisations. Save the date (11 July) for our CEER 2016 Customer Conference.

Check out our 3 latest CEER papers: one is a scoping paper on flexibility; the second is in response to the European Commission’s LNG and storage strategy, and the third is on early termination fees (see the feature article below).


Delegates of the EU-US Regulators Roundtable, April

Feature: Switching should be free but early termination fees may be justified

CEER has published a position paper on early termination fees. Regulators are strong advocates of competitive markets which benefit consumers. CEER works hard to remove barriers (which was the feature of the April newsletter) and to make it easy (and at zero cost) for energy consumers to change suppliers.

Switching supplier should be free
In our newly released paper on early termination fees, we restate our 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. 

What about early termination fees for ending a contract early?
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.

Where a customer on a fixed term / fixed price contract terminates the contract before its end date, early termination fees may be justified to enable the supplier recoup its hedging cost, which is not recovered from the customer during the agreed term of the contract. If early termination fees were not allowed in these circumstances, the supplier may be forced to pass on the risk of such costs being incurred to all customers. The end result could be higher electricity prices and less consumer choice.

CEER recommends:
• Allowing early termination fees for fixed term, fixed price contracts, provided the customer is fully and clearly informed about the existence of the fee before entering into the contract and that the rest of the contract terms are balanced and do not “lock-in” the customer. 

• Not allowing early termination fees for energy contracts with variable pricing where the customer carries the risk of the price variation.

• Not allowing early termination fees for energy contracts that result from automatic renewal of fixed term energy contracts.

• Clarity is key. Contractual terms must be clear to customers before entering into a contract with an energy supplier.

Public Consultations & Events

Visit our website to be updated on our future consultations and events.


•   CEER discussion paper on scoping of flexible response
•   CEER response to the European Commission's strategy for LNG and gas storage
•   CEER position paper on early termination fees


Click here for further information on our recent Eastern Partnership workshop, the EU-US Regulatory Roundtable, and the CEER-IEA security of supply workshop.


Training for regulators

See full calendar of CEER’s 2016 training courses.


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