On Monday the EU-Commission presented the results of a study that analysed, inter alia, whether consumers are able to make informed and rational decisions in the energy market.
The results show that:
- Across the EU only few consumers tried to switch suppliers in the 2 years prior to 2009: 10,1 percent.
- 62 percent of the mystery shoppers were able to find a cheaper tariff than their current one. The annual savings were 107 percent.
The EU Commission estimates that European consumer could save 13 billion Euro if they switched to the cheapest electricity tariff they could find.
EU Commissioner in charge of Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli said: "Market liberalisation has enormous potential for consumers in terms of prices, choice, innovation and service quality. But that potential will only be fully realised if consumers know that they could be getting better deals and feel it is easy for them to find those deals."
The EU Commission announced measures to improve the practical benefits of the EU energy policy for consumers. The measures include: better information by the national regulators to consumers for making it easier for them to compare prices and to switch suppliers; improving alternative dispute resolution in the energy sector and complaints handling; and better energy bills.
Further information: europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do, ec.europa.eu/consumers/strategy/docs/SWD_function_of_retail_electricity_en.pdf, ec.europa.eu/energy/gas_electricity/doc/forum_citizen_energy/sec%282010%291407.pdf, ec.europa.eu/consumers/strategy/docs/retail_electricity_full_study_en.pdf
Source: DG SANCO