Regulation of universal service to be decided nationally

The Nordic energy regulators (NordREG) is of the opinion that the regulation of universal service provisions are of national concern and NordREG will therefore not issue any recommendations on a single harmonised Nordic model for universal service at this stage. However, energy regulators should nationally regard the effects on the harmonised Nordic end user market when developing the universal service obligations. Further, NordREG finds it important to issue recommendations on customer activity and neutrality by distribution system operators (DSOs), which is of great importance for the competition in the market.

The cornerstone for achieving a common Nordic end-user market is the supplier centric model. It implies that the customer should contact the supplier in a majority of cases on the electricity market. All Nordic countries have systems – with different features – where there is a default supplier for those customers who choose not to make an active choice in the retail market. This study recognises the risk of not needing to be active on the retail market as one of the key issues.

NordREG recognises that in order to create an effective and well-functioning retail market it is important to encourage customers to make active choices. Even if NordREG doesn’t find it necessary to harmonise universal service obligations within the Nordic countries at this stage, all Nordic countries should try to remove from their universal obligations such existing features which unnecessarily support customers’ passivity.

NordREG Universal Service report

For more information, please contact
Daniel Norstedt, Chair of the NordREG Retail Market Working Group
phone +46 16 16 27 31