04 December 2019
‘Innovation’ has become a buzzword in Brussels. Defined as “the introduction of new ideas or methods”, innovation holds many promises for consumers. But it is a means, not an end, and it is not always beneficial. The BEUC view on innovation in the EU is detailed in a new paper titled ‘When innovation means progress’.
06 November 2019
16 October 2019
Last week, BEUC set up a workshop involving some of the first companies in Europe to offer flexible electricity services to consumers. Flexible electricity consumption is where a household limits its energy consumption at certain times of the day because it is more expensive, or devolves that control to a company called an aggregator which does it for groups of households at a time. This limits pressure on the electricity grid at peak times and can save consumers money.
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