EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva and the Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs gave their closing remarks at the 2nd Citizens' Energy Forum in London this week. The Forum has endorsed recommendations for good practice in billing, aiming to provide EU consumers with simple, clear and informative gas and electricity bills. The recommendations build on good billing practices in several EU countries. The European Commission expects that better billing will help EU consumers to save both on their energy use and on their bills.
Launched in 2008, the Citizens' Energy Forum brings together consumer organisations, industry, and government regulators to tackle practical energy-related issues which matter to consumers, such as switching suppliers, user-friendly billing and complaints-handling. The retail electricity market has been flagged as one of the problem markets in the Consumer Markets Scoreboard. Less than half (45%) of consumers find it easy to compare offers from energy providers, which can be one of the reasons why only 8% of consumer switched providers in the past two years. The Commission has launched a major study of the retail electricity market and will present the results to the Forum in 2010.