09 October 2017
BEUC has published a brochure about the five main barriers consumers often face when they try to switch energy suppliers. The ability to change energy suppliers is a basic need for consumers in a functioning energy market. But across Europe, switching rates in the energy market are generally low. As a result, consumers are on average missing out on between €29 and €389 depending on the country.
27 June 2017
Energy ministers from national governments have agreed to push for a weak energy savings target in 2030, as part of a comprehensive reform of the EU’s energy market. This is despite energy efficiency being one of the most important ways to cut CO2 emissions and for consumers to save money.
04 May 2017
The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) undertook a consumer performance check of the first two-and-a-half years of the Juncker Commission.1 We looked at the Commission’s legislative initiatives and its key policy actions and graded their performance on a scale from very good to very bad.
Our work areas
Despite many attempts for improvement, the energy market is still a sector of great concern to European consumers as it has many failures: there is concern over complex tariffs, rising prices, poor service or mis-selling, the difficulty of switching and confusion over what consumers can do to lower their bills, including how to be energy efficient.
Access to affordable energy is a real worry for consumers, particularly for vulnerable groups such as those with a low income. Despite the opening of the markets, competition remains limited, restricting consumer choice and driving up prices. Unfair commercial practices such as aggressive doorstep-selling are another source of consumer frustration in the energy market.
‘Smart technologies’ such as smart meters are heralded as the future and they are claimed to offer benefits to consumers. Yet they raise numerous questions about their true potential to deliver real benefits to consumers, as well as risks related to privacy and cost increases.
If you want to discover how EU laws protect consumers in this area, don’t miss the Consumer Champion Energy e-learning course.
- Ensure energy is affordable and available to all consumers
- Enable consumers to easily choose between various energy suppliers and switch to the best deal
- Ensure that smart energy systems and other new developments are affordable and designed to benefit consumers