New Pan-European energy retail and consumer protection report highlights key trends across the Energy Community Contracting Parties

28 October 2020

The Energy Retail and Consumer Protection Volume of the Annual Monitoring Report 2019 was presented today at a joint webinar organized by the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER). While the report analyses electricity and gas retail prices in the Energy Community Contracting Parties already for the fourth consecutive year, this is the first time that retail markets and consumer protection aspects, such as billing, market structure, switching and vulnerable customers, were put into the spotlight. The report is based on data provided by the Contracting Parties’ national regulatory authorities and, for energy prices, the EUROSTAT database.

In 2019, the average electricity price for households in the Contracting Parties, excluding Ukraine, was 7.66 euro cents/kWh. This is 2.8 times less than the average EU electricity price for households in the same year. Average electricity prices for industry were around 65% of the average electricity prices for industrial consumers in the EU Member States. Household consumers in Ukraine paid in 2019, on average, around 1.7 times less than in the other Contracting Parties- only 4.4 euro cents/kWh. In the period 2013- 2019, household electricity prices in the Contracting Parties, excluding Ukraine, increased by 15.8%, while industrial prices increased on average by 12.8%. Divergent trends are apparent in Ukraine, where the final prices for households increased by 50% and for industry decreased by 25%. The unwinding of cross-subsidization partially explains the price dynamics in the two segments. Nevertheless, end-user price regulation for households still limits the entry of new suppliers in the majority of the Contracting Parties.

Contrary to the trends observed in the EU Member States, the final gas prices for industry were on average higher than household prices in 2019. Over the period 2013-2019, average household prices decreased by 27% in the Contracting Parties without Ukraine, where these prices increased by 225%. Average gas prices for industry decreased in all Contracting Parties. As for electricity, there are big national differences across the Contracting Parties at the level of household and industry gas prices.

More information on electricity and gas retail markets in the Energy Community Contracting Parties may be found in the forthcoming ECRB Retail Market Monitoring Report 2019, to be published in November 2020.