26 October 2017 Nordic national regulators (NRAs) met in Stockholm to discuss monitoring of the Nordic retail markets. National cases were presented and the overall conclusion was that NRAs faces similar challenges and therefore can benefit from sharing experience with each other.
The workshop was arranged by NordREGs Retail Market Working Group (RMWG) that today have published the following conclusions:
Nordic NRAs should encourage customers to compare more than price
Ranking electricity offers based on other components, rather than price, are becoming more important on the national comparison tools. This was confirmed by most NRAs as the share of customer complaints regarding binding time, time of notice etc. is increasing.
- All NRAs in NordREG should work actively to encourage customers to compare not only price, but also other terms of contract, before signing a supplier contract.
Enhanced collaboration between different national authorities is necessary
Regulation of issues related to the electricity retail market, contractual terms and consumer rights are split between several national authorities. Enhanced collaboration between authorities within a country as well as between countries would be necessary and most beneficial.
- All NRAs in NordREG should map common situations where unfair selling methods put electricity customers in a vulnerable situation in order to be able to advice customers how to act or which agency or public body to turn to for help.
It is important that EU-directives are interpreted in a similar way in Nordic countries
There are differences among the Nordic NRAs in how to interpret EU-Directives.
- NordREG believes that on a future Nordic retail market it is important that EU-directives are interpreted in a similar way in all countries. Differences of importance should be identified and discussed on a regular basis.
It is important that customers understand how the price is set
Suppliers offering contracts with arbitrary or no price setting mechanism are a problem in all Nordic countries. Some cases show that customers are either misinformed or not informed at all about how the price is set and how it may vary.
- NordREG believes that it is of outmost importance that customers are able to understand and foresee how the price of their supplier contract is set, and that the NRAs in NordREG monitor suppliers that do not follow national regulation on this issue.