24 October 2018 Nordic national regulaors (NRAs) met in Oslo 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.
This was the second annual workshop arranged by NordREG´s Retail Market Working Group (RMWG). Based on the discussions at the workshop RMWG today has published the following conclusions:
Independent price comparison tools
In all the Nordic countries there are new functions added to the NRAs price comparison tools (PCTs). The added functionality has the purpose to make it easier for consumers to be well informed and make better choices when choosing an electricity price contract. Examples of functionality is warning signs on suppliers, hourly price contracts, integration between PCT and datahub, filter to stop introduction offers.
- It is important that NordREG exchange information regarding PCTs and coordinates new functionalities more effectively, so all Nordic consumers can make better choices.
Suppliers with cross-border activities
Business practices by one supplier´s different subsidiaries are a problem in Sweden, Norway and Finland. The NRAs often monitor their activities due to many customer complaints.
- It is important that NordREG exchange experience in order to map activities for suppliers with many complaints that also have cross-border activities.
Customers often have a problem separating the DSO from the integrated supplier. In Denmark and Norway companies are obligated to change name of one of the companies so that they are clearly seen as separate companies.
- All NordREG NRAs should consider activities that promotes unbundling and coordinate similar activities within the Nordic region.
Information on the bill
When adding information to the customer’s bill one must consider that to much information will make the customer disregard all the information due to overload. In Finland some mandatory information has been removed to address this problem.
- When the Clean Energy Package is implemented NordREG should discuss how mandatory information on bills could be handled. In this discussion the result from the Customer Survey 2018 should also be considered.
Spot-based price contracts
When thinking of spot-based product it’s easy to think price contracts based on hourly prices on NordPool. But there are other products that use weighted average monthly price that is calculated by multiplying a load profile with the corresponding hourly prices from NordPool.
- NordREG should discuss if it is possible to find a joint definition of what a dynamic price contract is.
In both Denmark and Norway, it’s common for electricity suppliers to sell bundled products with offers including for example mobile phone contracts, discounts, online help with homework.
- The Nordic NRAs should follow the development of bundled products in each of the Nordic retail markets.
New ways of monitoring market efficiency
By developing new market indicators, the NRAs can keep track on the market more effectively and give better recommendations on legislative changes.
- NordREG should discuss and investigate if NVE´s work 2018 on measuring market efficiency could be used as a template for best practice in the Nordic region?