EU Commission says EU must be ready to help citizens with energy cost shocks

The EU Commission today proposed today that consumers within the EU must be able to opt to freeze their electricity prices.

In recent years, natural gas typically determines electricity prices.

Therefore, the EU commission seeks a completely new way of setting electricity prices.

This has been opposed by several countries, including Denmark, based on concerns that such a reform could weaken the green transition by discouraging green energy investment. It seems the EU Commission in Strasbourg has heard this opposition and proposes a sharp alternative; to give governments of EU nations the power to collect excessive profits from electricity producers to the money to consumers who have difficulty paying energy bills. However, member states would not have the individual power to determine when there is an energy crisis; this will be defined by set criteria.

This proposed reform also aimed to strengthen European companies’ competitiveness and encourage renewable energy investment, through, among other measures, ensuring that smaller companies can enter into long-term contracts for their electricity consumption in the same way as the large ones.

According to an overview document, the EU Commission envisions a stable, renewable, competitive energy supply, with the goals of;

  • More stable prices
    • Right to fixed-price contract
    • Hedging obligations for suppliers
  • More power to choose
    • Right to have multiple contracts
    • Right to share renewable energy with neighbours
    • Better information on offers before signing up
  • More protection for the vulnerable
    • Obligation on Member States to establish suppliers of last resort
    • Access to regulated retail prices in a crisis
    • Protection of vulnerable consumers from disconnection
  • More stable and efficient prices/system
    • Enhanced market monitoring by ACER and national authorities to protect against manipulation
    • Improved energy storage to absorb or put power onto the system when needed
    • Consumers empowered to increase or decrease their demand for power

Access the Factsheet

Read the full Energy Market Reform proposal


ritzau / Reform af EUs elmarked skal sikre forbrugere mod høje regninger [Reform of the EU’s electricity market must protect consumers against high bills], Politiken, 2023-03-14

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