European Interest

How to empower EU consumers

Flickr/Scott Zhang/CC BY 2.0

The European Parliament’s Industry and Energy Committee amended four legislative proposals on the bloc’s electricity market. Their aim is to secure more efficient competition and prices on the market.

The proposals are part of the so-called Clean Energy package and a step closer to an Energy Union.

MEPs agreed that EU member states should consider additional payments to capacity providers only as a last resort and under certain conditions.

Also, consumers should be able to withdraw from a contract without facing penalties, and a summary of key conditions should be included on the first page. In fact, by January 2022, switching supplier should take no longer than 24 hours.

What is more, bills should display the actual amount of energy consumed, the payment due date, contact details of the company, as well as rules on switching provider and dispute settlement.

The MEPs also agreed on clear conditions for creating and managing local energy communities (groups of people producing and consuming energy locally). These local networks should contribute to the costs of the electricity system they connect to and not distort competition, they added.

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