2018 PRESS RELEASES
Gathered in Madrid on February 14th, the members of the Board of European Energy Retailers (EER) have signed the statutes of the first European network of non-incumbent national associations of energy and services providers, namely ACIE from Spain, AFIEG from France, AIGET from Italy, BNE from Germany and Oberoende Elhandlare from Sweden.
EER already had met some EU institutions during 2017 and now has finalized its formal constitution acts. “Our aim is acting as a common voice from many market oriented energy players in our countries. We decided to join experiences in different EU countries in order to provide the EU and Member States’ institutions with more information and suggestions on how to promote competitive markets and technologic development in our industry” Michele Governatori, appointed president of EER for 2018 and 2019, has stated. EER members in Madrid also began working on the agenda for 2018 and 2019, based on a list of key principles published on its website Europeanenergyretailers.eu. Effective unbundling, real liberalization of all activities which don’t need to be regulated monopolies and efficient markets are part of this agenda, which will be carried out under the coordination of Bianca Barth, appointed General Secretary of EER.
The first institutional meeting of EER after foundation was with the Spanish Secretary of State for Energy, Mr. Daniel Navia. During the meeting EER’s delegates were able to speak with Mr. Navia about their views on different topics that are now being discussed at the Spanish and European level such as regulated prices, last resort suppliers, energy price comparison tools, the development of charging infrastructure for electrical vehicles, energy storage facilities, the role of DSOs, the possibility of establishing an independent metering operator and energy poverty.
2017 PRESS RELEASES
The role of independent energy retailers and service providers in the energy market were at the center of a high-level conference on Tuesday at the European Parliament in Brussels. The event was organized by European Energy Retailers (EER) and the Institute for Competitiveness, I-Com. Speakers came from the European Parliament, the Commission and other agencies and associations from EU member states.
With the conference, EER took a strong stand in the current discussions of the future energy policy of the European Union. Formed in June 2017, EER is the first network that represents the interests of independent energy retailers on a European level. It aims at enhancing cross-border competition in energy markets and achieving fair market conditions for new entrants offering energy and service-related solutions. The network calls for effective unbundling and harmonization of market rules. Competition and transparency must be key-principles of any future market design.
“With the ongoing discussion on the energy package, we see a perfect opportunity to address our issues. We have seen growing representation of the needs of new and grid-independent suppliers and service companies on the respective national level. Now it is time to establish a joint representation and coordination on the EU-level. We need to enhance cross-border competition in energy markets and improve market conditions for non-integrated companies. 20 years after liberalization, the energy market situation in individual EU Member States is still quite diverse and different, but we also see some common critical points, like lack of unbundling between grid and market services and overregulation of retail prices. As a growing network we will actively and jointly raise our voice to foster competitive solutions”, says Michele Governatori, designated President of EER. The network was founded by the Italian Association of Energy Traders & Suppliers (AIGET), the German Association of Energy Market Innovators (bne), the Spanish Association of Independent Retailers (ACIE) and the Independent Electricity Retailers in Sweden (Oberoende Elhandlare).
With AFIEG the French independent association for electricity and gas, a new and strong member joined EER. “Despite the progress that has been achieved in the past few years since the opening of the energy and gas markets, there is still a long way to go to an effective level-playing field in competition which will benefit the consumer”, says Marc Boudier, President of AFIEG. “Moreover, in the context of energy transition, it is essential to have a European view and capacity of action on energy issues. As the representative of the main alternative players on the French electricity and gas market in volumes and revenues, we believe that it is important that our voice is also heard at the European level. This is why we have made the choice of joining EER.”
Energy associations in four EU Member States have formed a new network aiming at enhancing cross-border competition in energy markets and achieving fair market conditions for new entrants offering energy and service-related solutions: European Energy Retailers (EER). In its founding declaration the network calls for effective unbundling and harmonization of market rules.
Transitioning to a cleaner and more decentralized energy system is not only contributing to the EU’s climate goals, but also creates new opportunities for innovative business models in EU Member States, thereby supporting further economic growth in the EU. “Especially new and grid-independent suppliers often still have to overcome substantial barriers, while at the same time cross-border competition is proceeding rather slowly,” said Massimo Bello, President of the Italian Association of Energy Traders & Suppliers (AIGET). Hence, EER is aiming at establishing a common voice for independent energy and solution providers’ interests in Brussels.
According to EER members, a major obstacle to an effective level-playing field in competition consists in insufficient separation between competitive and regulated business areas in the energy market. Incumbent energy companies can still prevent competition and monopolize strategically important business areas. Robert Busch, CEO of the German Association of Energy Market Innovators (bne) stated: “We need a clear separation of regulated and competitive business activities. Using the energy infrastructure as well as access to data and market information has to be based on comprehensible and transparent procedures and conditions.”
Energy markets in the EU are changing. Security of supply no longer exclusively is provided by central power stations, but also needs to be provided by storage, demand response and prosumers. However, in order to enable those sources and new actors to participate in the markets on equal footing, the framework conditions need to be changed. EER members strongly advocate for implementing discrimination-free access for all technologies and market players to the balancing markets.
20 years after liberalization, the energy market situation in individual EU Member States is still quite diverse and different: while supplier switching procedures in Germany work rather smoothly, those procedures are still a hurdle for new entrants in Spain. In addition, some EU Member States still have regulated energy retail prices.
Jointly the EER founders are advocating for an effective level-playing field in competition in order to guarantee a well-functioning energy market and benefit the customer – also on cross-border basis. “Although it is possible in many business areas to offer cross-border services in the EU, this is not really the case yet in the energy sector,” said Alejandro García, Secretary General of the Spanish Association of Independent Retailers (ACIE). EER is advocating for of a common European retailer “passport”: if a retailer is registered and authorized in one Member State, he should be able to provide energy and services to customers in all European Member States. Customers may benefit from greater choice and decreasing prices due to stronger competition.
Over the next couple of months EER aims to participate actively in the debate around the proposed clean energy package and offer its experience to decision-makers. Many of the legislative proposals provided by the European Commission are already steps in the right direction. Johan Öhnell, President of the Swedish Independent Electricity Retailers said: “With our work we aim to create more active customers, foster effective competition and support the goal of achieving a truly integrated Energy Union.”