Europe’s energy markets are delivering benefits for households, but more progress is needed

Press Release

•    Falling electricity and gas prices for households, and increased switching
•    CEER works to empower and protect consumers
•    PEER to PEER collaboration of consumer rights enforcers to strengthen EU consumer rights

Europe’s energy markets are delivering more benefits for households was welcome news at today’s 2017 Customer Conference of the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER)1.

Falling electricity and gas prices for households
Regulators (ACER and CEER) market monitoring2 shows that electricity and gas retail prices fell in the EU last year for both household and industrial consumers. European households paid 8.4% less for their gas in 2016 compared to 2015. Households also saw the first electricity price decrease since 2008, of 2.1% last year. These reductions are being driven by lower wholesale energy prices are better market functioning.

A new CEER Retail Markets Monitoring Report3, launched today, monitors retail markets across Europe. It shows that, although we are seeing new suppliers, retail energy markets in some European countries remain highly concentrated. Furthermore, regulated electricity prices persist in 11 countries for electricity and 12 countries for gas. Household customer switching rates in electricity have increased from an average of 5.0% in 2011 to 6.4% in 2016, and for gas from on average from 5.5% in 2011 to 6.4% in 2016. However, this masks a wide variation among countries. Overall more needs to be done to encourage consumers to switch and benefit from liberalised retail energy markets.

The new CEER President, Garrett Blaney stated

“Energy consumers are seeing increased benefits from competition but still face many problems. CEER is pushing for pro-competitive, pro-consumer Clean Energy legislation that allows consumers to engage in energy markets as individuals or collectively, while their rights are protected.”

CEER works to empower and protect consumers
With our customer-focus, CEER works to iron out the problems consumer face. In 2016, CEER published a report on commercial barriers to supplier switching4. Regulators are calling for supplier switching to be much faster (24 hours) to help boost switching rates, for bills to be clear and simple, and for reliable comparison tools.

CEER will soon publish an update on its (2012) advice on comparison tools in the light of new developments.  CEER is also working on new and improved metrics to monitor retail markets and consumer rights, on cybersecurity, and on good practices on customer-driven smart technology development.

PEER to PEER collaboration of consumer rights enforcers to strengthen EU consumer rights
CEER is also leading an initiative (called PEER) to strengthen the enforcement of European consumer rights by improving cross-authority collaboration of relevant public authorities with consumer-related responsibilities and liaising with stakeholders across different sectors.

Brussels, 28 November 2017


Ends (see Notes for Editors)


Tel: +32 2 788 73 31