Well-functioning electricity retail markets are indispensable to Europe's energy future. They give customers the chance to become more active and involved, and they will help to deliver low-carbon, reliable electricity at competitive prices.
EURELECTRIC is promoting a retail market model that puts customers firmly at its centre. Such a model should be part of a wider, future-proof market design.
The integration of variable renewable energy sources into the power system will require an evolution towards 'smart energy systems'. This implies adequate regulatory incentives to ensure that the necessary investments are delivered, as well as the development of new market models which should have customers at their very heart. Building on clear roles and responsibilities for suppliers (as major points of contact for customers) and distribution system operators (as neutral market facilitators), new contractual agreements will be established to ensure proper market functioning, smooth processes, and a secure and reliable electricity supply.
The principles of well-functioning, competitive retail markets should be the same as for any other market. In particular, to the customer, buying electricity and electricity services should 'look' like any other purchase. Customers are genuinely empowered wherever they can make an informed choice based on a variety of offers and be confident that any potential problems will be properly resolved and/or compensated. Customers will have that choice wherever retail supply companies can freely enter the market, innovate to meet customers' differing expectations and compete with their products and services on a level playing field with other supply companies.
Beyond advocating well-designed electricity retail markets, EURELECTRIC is thus actively involved in consumer issues, promoting price transparency, data security and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms as essential tools to improve consumer awareness, trust and participation in the market.