CEER September 2021 Newsletter 

Editorial Section
The summer has passed quickly, and autumn is knocking on the door. During the time off, we were able to recharge the batteries and are ready for coming work. Are you too? But before going on leave, we published several publications (see below), the July General Assembly re-appointed Dr Annegret Groebel for her second term as CEER President, and we held few online events, such as our first Stakeholder Forum.

Back in business, we are now working on new reports to be published soon (for example, the Report on Innovative Business Models and Consumer Protection Challenges, well-known Market Monitoring Report volumes on the wholesale electricity and retail energy markets, the 2nd CEER Paper on Unsupported RES and many more). Regarding events, we plan new webinars on diverse topics such as the Methane Emissions webinar on 14 September; we are also happy to be part of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) extended programme with two events. Our Training Academy is busy organising trainings for regulators, but also a couple that are open to public.

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Over the summer, CEER members were working on delivering a couple of responses to the European Commission’s public consultations. One was on the Data Act and another was on the Climate, Energy and Environmental Aid Guidelines. Here are brief summaries of both.

CEER response to the European Commission’s public consultation on the Data Act

According to the European Commission, “The objective of the Data Act is to propose measures to create a fair data economy by ensuring access to and use of data, including in business-to-business and business-to-government situations.”  The public consultation consists of both a questionnaire to which stakeholders can respond to questions of interest and the possibility to upload a response that consists of a position paper or other such document. CEER chose to respond with a short policy paper rather than responding to individual questions. The response was submitted to the European Commission and published on 3 September.

The policy paper gives CEER’s view that when it comes to data, besides guaranteeing adequate levels of protection, focus should be placed on empowering consumers who wish to take part in these processes by ensuring equal access to the value propositions resulting from increased digitalisation of the energy sector. So, data must be interoperable, subject to appropriate cost-benefit analysis and lastly, secure, in line with cybersecurity and data protection requirements but also have a regulatory framework that is adaptable and responsive to innovation. Energy data, be it system data or consumer data, should be treated with neutrality by system operators and they should give non-discriminatory access to authorised third parties who process this type of data for legitimate interests.

The paper also notes that where there is a lack of economic incentives for effective interoperability, forms of external or regulatory oversight might be warranted in order to safeguard consumer portability rights. This appears to be the case for privately installed wall boxes, for example. The paper concludes that a harmonised framework for digitalisation must be based on, among other things, making the data of the energy system accessible and useful for actors interested.

Please read the full paper 

CEER response to the EC Consultation on Climate, Energy and Environmental Aid Guidelines (CEEAG)

On 2 August 2021, CEER published its response to the EC Consultation on Climate, Energy and Environmental Aid Guidelines (CEEAG). The CEEAG set out the conditions under which the Commission will scrutinise requests for State aid for energy and environment projects during a notification procedure. The Commission will assess the distortion of the internal market caused by the relevant State aid measure to ensure compatibility with Article 107 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union.

CEER understands that one important aspect of the revision of the Guidelines is to harmonise the rules with the Union Law that entered into force after the publication of the EEAG, e.g., the prescriptions from the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, but also with the principles of the Green Deal and the Commission’s hydrogen strategy.

Overall, CEER welcomes the introduction of the revised Guidelines. These contribute to regulatory and investment certainty and help ensure aid is well-justified and in the interest of consumers.

Furthermore, CEER welcomes and appreciates the harmonisation and coherence with other rules and principles as uniformity of the legal system is an important aspect for balanced, transparent, and understandable rules that facilitate a minimisation of distortions in the Internal Energy Market. CEER supports the stimulation of RES integration by widening the scope of the Guidelines to all measures that are suitable to reduce greenhouse gases and the strong commitment to end support for fossil fuels.

Please read the full response 
Upcoming events At this webinar, you will find out more about the ACER-CEER joint White Paper on Rules to Prevent Methane Leakage in the Energy Sector. The webinar will address the key recommendations on the introduction of new rules to prevent methane leakage in the energy sector. See the agenda and register here for the webinar.
The aim of the session is to increase clarity and debate on what gas consumers need from the gas certificate system design and how they can influence the energy transition through their consumption choices.
Achieving (at least) 55% emission reductions by 2030 will only be feasible if a coherent policy framework across sectors is put in place to enable consumers to actively take part in the energy transition and to ensure that no one is left behind by embedding inclusiveness in its design and implementation. 

Recent events
Invitation to tender
CEER is looking for consultants interested in a tender to assist in developing a CEER consultation on “Dynamic Regulation”. The scope of the paper, including a detailed description of the envisaged work to be carried out, as well as other pertinent information, are included in the uploaded Terms of Reference on this webpage.

If you are interested in participating in this tender process, your offer, clearly marked “Invitation to tender – Dynamic Regulation”, should be received no later than Friday, 17 September 2021. The offer should include the completed Appendix 1 “Identification of tenderer for invitation to tender”. Please submit your offer by e-mail to charles.esser@ceer.eu.
On the Kick-off conference held on 8 July 2021, the European Commission marked the official launch of the second phase of its EU4Energy programme – ‘Promoting the Clean Energy Transition in the Eastern Partnership Countries: EU4Energy Phase II’, which will run until December 2024 and will contribute to the development of sound legislative and regulatory frameworks for energy, support the region’s transition to clean energy, and the liberalisation of its energy markets. The Programme will address new challenges and opportunities, such as the gradual embedding of digitalisation in all energy-relevant market segments, while promoting cost reflectivity. Citizens of the Eastern partner countries will benefit from sustainable energy investments, prioritisation of infrastructure projects, increased regional market integration, and intra-regional trade. A particular focus of the Programme will be on gender equality, emphasising the importance of women’s engagement in the energy sector and their potential to take on leadership roles.

Dr Annegret Groebel and Mr Charles Esser from CEER emphasised the importance of regulation of the energy markets and the role of independent regulators in placing the energy sector under a legal framework that benefits consumers.

EU4Energy Blog: Women in Energy

EU4Energy has launched its blog on ‘Women in Energy’ to recognise, promote and celebrate the success of women working in the energy sector. The blog aims to encourage young women to choose a profession in the energy/power sector and discover the advantages associated with it. It promotes and showcases the collaboration of female-male professionals and emphasises the importance of acknowledgement and success-sharing. It is important that the Blog through its series of interviews reiterates and re-surfaces the significance of creating equal opportunities for women and men and breaking so-called “professional cliches”, as an imbalance between the share of men and women in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) professions, is depriving science and technology of a greater opportunity for innovation. “There is evidence that when teams are gender balanced, those teams are more creative and achieve higher/better results or achieve those results in a more efficient and timely manner. Energy sector utilities having at least 30% of women in the boards have higher profit margins,” says Dr Tamar Sulukhia, Director of International School of Economics at Tbilisi State University (ISET) and ISET Policy Institute. To see the Blog post, please visit: https://www.ceer.eu/blog-women-in-energy

ICER Chronicle 10th edition published

After a short hiatus, the International Confederation of Energy Regulators (ICER) Chronicle is back again! Highlights include Updates on the World Forum on Energy Regulation in Peru in 2023; regional member news; and interviews with the ICER’s Women in Energy program leaders. Read it all here.
CEER Secretariat New Staff Members

The CEER Secretariat has recently welcomed three new staff members. In early July, Ms Silke Huber joined the team as Training Manager. In mid-July, Ms Irama Zamora Ala-Välkkilä started her work in coordinating and assisting the Customers and Retail Markets Working Group and the Market Integrity and Transparency Working Group as a High-Level Administrator. Finally in mid-August, Ms Rasha Zeina joined the team as Training & Programme Coordinator.

Wondering who else is part of the CEER Secretariat team? Check all team members with the contact details here.

CEER Training Academy
In autumn, CEER will hold two online trainings, which are also open to the public. Check the website for more information.

Register by Monday 13 September

Save the date, registration will open soon


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