21 June 2016
The European Consumer Organisation and its Slovak member ZSS met the Slovak First Secretary of State of the Ministry of the Economy, Mr Rastislav Chovanec, to present their expectations for the first ever Slovak EU Council Presidency.
20 June 2016
A network representing many of Europe’s local energy companies, CEDEC, has joined BEUC as well as gas and electricity providers in calling for clearer information in energy offers. The effort is part of a bid to help consumers navigate the market more successfully in the coming years. Currently, consumers find it difficult to compare energy offers and to choose which one works best for them.
26 May 2016
The European Parliament today voted through a report which calls on the Commission to create a more consumer-friendly energy market. The report, ‘A New Deal for Consumers’, is a timely call ahead of a Commission legislative package due in the second half of the year, expected to cover issues related to energy bills, supplier switching, smart meters or small-scale generation of renewable energy by consumers.
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.
- 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