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Transparency of gas and electricity prices

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Transparency of energy prices is guaranteed within the European Union (EU) through the obligation of gas and electricity suppliers to send the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) information relating to prices, conditions of sales, pricing systems and even categories of consumer. The transparency of energy prices contributes to the creation and smooth operation of the internal energy market.

ACT

Council Directive 90/377/EEC of 29 June 1990 concerning a Community procedure to improve the transparency of gas and electricity prices charged to industrial end-users [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

The transparency of energy prices contributes to the creation and smooth operation of the internal energy market.

The transparency of gas and electricity prices in fact improves the conditions ensuring fair competition within the market. It can help eliminate discrimination of consumers, by promoting their freedom to choose between different energy sources (oil, coal, fossil fuels and renewable energy sources) and between different suppliers.

The Member States make sure that companies supplying gas or electricity to European end-users send the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) information relating to:

  • prices and conditions of sale of gas and electricity to these consumers;
  • the pricing systems in force;
  • breakdown of consumers by category and their respective market share.

Information regarding gas and electricity prices is sent to Eurostat twice a year whereas information on consumer breakdown by category is only sent every two years.

The methods adopted by Eurostat guarantee that the confidentiality of the information is not compromised and that, as a consequence, commercial confidentiality is respected.

For energy price transparency to be truly effective, prices and pricing systems must be published and broadcast for consumers as widely as possible. Furthermore, the reliability of data sent to Eurostat can be checked.

The annexes to the Directive establish the nature of the information that electricity and gas suppliers must provide. The Commission may, with the help of an advisory committee, amend the technical elements to reflect the reality of the gas and electricity markets. Commission Decision 2007/394/EC therefore updates the annexes to take into account the implementation of Directive 2003/54/EC and Directive 2003/55/EC, on opening of the electricity market and the gas market respectively.

With regard to gas prices, implementation of Directive 90/377/EEC is not planned in the Member States until five years after introduction of this form of energy on the national market, in order to allow the market time to develop sufficiently.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force - Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 90/377/EEC

6.7.1990

1.7.1991

OJ L 185, 17.7.1990

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Council Decision 2007/394/EC

29.6.2007

-

OJ L 148, 9.6.2007

RELATED ACTS

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning a Community procedure to improve the transparency of gas and electricity prices charged to industrial end-users [COMM(2007) 735 final - Not published in the Official Journal].

Directive 2003/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2003 concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 96/92/EC [Official Journal L 176, 15.7.2003].

Directive 2003/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2003 concerning common rules for the internal market in gas and repealing Directive 98/30/EC [Official Journal L 176, 15.7.2003].

Last updated: 26.02.2008
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