Public consultation on How to Involve and Engage Consumer Organisations in the Regulatory Process
What is the CEER Advice on the involvement and engagement of consumer organisations in the regulatory process?
This report proposes a number of ways in which regulators and consumer organisations can improve their collaboration. The aim is to show in which fields and through which measures regulators and consumer organisations can work together to achieve better conditions for the energy retail market and its consumers.
What does the report propose to achieve effective collaboration of regulators and consumer organisations?
The report proposes that regulators and consumer organisations should find enhanced ways of sharing information with each other and should provide their expertise to each other so both sides have a better understanding of how the energy market and its actors work. The report also proposes ways in which consumer organisations can support regulators in developing new policies and should work together as partners in the process of enforcing existing energy market rules and regulations.
How does it work?
Involving consumer organisations in the regulatory process as proposed in this report is believed to have a number of positive effects:
First, it will improve the individual performance of regulators and consumer organisations because they will have more information and knowledge about the market;
Second, the participation of consumer organisations in the regulatory processes will increase acceptance and legitimacy of regulatory decisions; and
Third, the collaboration between regulators and consumer organisations will bring more transparency to the benefit of all market participants.
Why is this important for energy customers? What is the impact on energy customers?
Regulators and consumer bodies both work towards the goal of strengthening energy consumers. Even if they do so under different mandates and responsibilities, the ultimate goal is still very similar. Enhanced collaboration between regulators and consumer organisations will therefore lead to an even better outcome for consumers. This is the very reason why regulators drew up this report and examined the relationship with consumer organisations so thoroughly.
In terms of the four key principles raised in CEER’s 2020 customer vision - reliability, affordability, simplicity and empowerment/protection - the recommendations made in the report are believed to have an impact on all of these dimensions.
Strong ties between regulators and consumer organisations are believed to significantly increase the reliability of processes and services delivered to consumers and enhance customer empowerment/protection as more transparency, regulatory accountability and stronger enforcement of rules will be a direct result of cooperation with consumer organisations;
By joining forces in disseminating, explaining and increasing accessibility of rules and regulations in the market, customers will benefit from information that is readily available and simple to understand; and
The improved market rules that will be achieved through the participation of consumer organisations in law enforcement and policy development may contribute to more competitive markets, which in turn is a condition for affordable prices in the long run.