Commission publishes findings of study into retail electricity markets

A Commission study has revealed that EU consumers could save €13 billion if they switched to the cheapest electricity provider available to them. The study by the Commission also shows that electricity consumers are not making full use of opportunities that market liberalisation has created, which allows consumers a choice of suppliers.

The study also revealed few consumers switch electricity suppliers; only a third of EU consumers have compared offers from different suppliers, one in four EU consumers do not know if they can find a cheaper tariff for themselves and switching rates are above 10% in only seven EU countries.

The study shows that more action is needed to improve the awareness of the tangible benefits of EU consumer policy in this area and the Commission proposes a series of actions including; development of guidelines at national level (which will provide information to consumers, make it easier to compare prices and to switch suppliers); the identification of best practices in ADR in the energy sector; and improved complaint handling.

The package of proposals will be incorporated into the conclusions of the Energy Council on 3 December.

IP/10/1507 - 15 November 2010