It has been a tough year for customers on the energy prices front.
Spiralling gas costs coupled with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have hit consumers hard over recent months, with homeowners bracing themselves for an even harsher winter ahead.
To tackle the crisis head-on, the Commission last October announced a “toolbox” to address the immediate impact of prices increases, and further strengthen resilience against future shocks.
The “toolbox” included providing emergency income support such as vouchers for vulnerable consumers; temporary deferrals of bill payments; safeguards to avoid disconnections from the grid; temporary, targeted reductions in taxation rates for vulnerable households, and the provision of aid to companies or industries.
However, amid the ongoing uncertainty, long-term measures are needed to protect customers, guarantee energy security, and decarbonise the economy.
Indeed, protecting and engaging with our most important partners is the fifth of the game-changing solutions outlined in our policy actions and recommendations.
We are calling on policymakers to:
- Implement the EU Green Deal and decarbonisation objectives as the only way to combine affordability, energy resilience, and security of supply.
- Boost customer involvement in the energy transition, by maximising synergies between education, digital literacy programmes, and electrification promotion.
- Empower customers to play an active role in the energy transition, through greater differentiation in price signals, cost reflective network tariffs and an efficient use of both smart meters and grids. Enable financial support to facilitate customers’ access to advanced and innovative energy services by mitigating upfront costs and allowing for co-investment, especially to vulnerable customers.
- Remove ad-hoc taxes and policy costs from the electricity bill. These should instead be allocated to the States’ budgets. In addition, ensure a quick adoption of the Energy Taxation Directive to harmonise taxes and levies across energy carriers based on energy content and environmental impact.
- Incentivise building renovation and district heating system modernisation, while phasing out subsidies for gas boilers.