The European Commission's Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) is charged at European level with empowering and protecting consumers on a number of areas, from food and product safety, to consumer rights and public health. They also work specifically on energy consumer rights, in cooperation with DG ENER below.
The European Commission's Directorate General for Energy (DG ENER) is responsible for developing EU policy on energy matters and ensuring EU laws are implemented at national level. Its main areas of work range from renewables and energy efficiency to technology and innovation to nuclear energy and a single market for electricity and natural gas. The EU aims to fully integrate national energy markets by 2014, to give consumers and businesses more and better products and services, more competition, and more secure supplies.
ICER is the International Confederation of Energy Regulators. ICER is a voluntary framework for cooperation between energy regulators from around the globe. ICER has set up a Virtual Working Group (VWG3) of regulators from around the world to explore the role of consumers in the development of energy markets, including the challenge of increasing the capacity of consumers to guard their own interests and ways in which consumer protection measures may be enhanced.
BEUC acts as the umbrella group for 31 national consumer organisations and its main task is to represent these members and to defend the interests of all Europe's consumers. They cover a range of policy areas, including financial services, digital rights, food, health, consumer redress and energy. In particular, they work to ensure that energy is affordable and available to all consumers and that they can easily choose between various energy suppliers and switch to the best deal. They also want consumers to be able to make informed and sustainable choices between energy suppliers and for affordable smart energy systems to be designed to the benefit consumers.