European energy regulators issue guidelines for monitoring markets


Lord Mogg,
Chair, ERGEG
Brussels, Belgium — (METERING.COM) — November 4, 2010 – European energy regulators, through the European Regulators’ Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG), have issued guidelines on indicators for monitoring the retail electricity and gas markets.

The guidelines comprise a suite of 18 indicators covering four areas, and are aimed at providing national regulators with a uniform basis to assess the functioning of their retail markets.

The indicators are as follows:

Customer satisfaction:

  1. Number of customer complaints by category
  2. Number of customer enquiries
  3. Is there a reliable price comparison website available for customers?

    Retail market outcomes:

  4. End-user price for typical household customer
  5. Price spread on comparable products for typical household customer
  6. Number of available contracts to typical household customer
  7. Percentage of customers eligible to receive a regulated end-user price; Percentage of eligible customers supplied under regulated end-user prices

    Market structure:

  8. Number of active suppliers that are selling electricity and/or gas to household customers across the same market
  9. Market shares by number of customers and consumption
  10. What percentage of customers is served by a DSO that has separate branding from the supply branch of its vertically integrated undertaking?

    Market condition and DSO services:

  11. Number of switches for household customers as a percentage of customer numbers
  12. Number of renegotiated contracts for household customers as a percentage of customer numbers
  13. Number of delayed switches
  14. Number of failures in relation to the total switching rate
  15. Average time between a connection being requested by a customer and completed
  16. Average time until repair
  17. Relative number of disconnections
  18. Is there a charge for execution of maintenance services? Average time taken for execution of maintenance services; Average charge for execution of maintenance services

In developing the indicators ERGEG considered how customers reveal their customer satisfaction (customer complaints, enquiries), which in turn is affected by market outcomes (such as prices and choice) and ultimately driven by market structure (e.g. number of suppliers, market share and branding) and market conditions (e.g. switching, disconnection, repair and maintenance).

In launching the guidelines, ERGEG chair Lord Mogg said that customers should be empowered to participate in the market rather than be protected from it, and that the guidelines should make future market monitoring easier.