The Europen Commission has adopted a Communication on Energy Prices to tackle the rise in global energy prices
The Communication includes a “toolbox” that the EU and its Member States can use to address the immediate impact of rising energy prices.
The immediate measures which will protect consumers and businesses include:
- Provide emergency income support for energy-poor consumers
- Authorise temporary deferrals of bill payments;
- Put in place safeguards to avoid disconnections from the grid;
- Provide temporary, targeted reductions in taxation rates for vulnerable households;
- Provide aid to companies or industries, in line with EU state aid rules;
- Enhance international energy outreach to ensure the transparency, liquidity and flexibility of international markets;
- Investigate possible anti-competitive behaviour in the energy market and ask the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to further enhance monitoring of developments in the carbon market;
- Facilitate a wider access to renewable power purchase agreements and support them via flanking measures.
It also includes measures for a decarbonised and resilient energy system that will help insurance against price shocks in the future.
- Step up investments in renewables, renovations and energy efficiency and speed up renewables auctions and permitting processes;
- Develop energy storage capacity, to support the evolving renewables share, including batteries and hydrogen;
- Ask European energy regulators (ACER) to study the benefits and drawbacks of the existing electricity market design and propose recommendations to the Commission where relevant;
- Consider revising the security of supply regulation to ensure a better use and functioning of gas storage in Europe;
- Explore the potential benefits of voluntary joint procurement by Member States of gas stocks;
- Set up new cross-border regional gas risk groups to analyse risks and advise Member States on the design of their national preventive and emergency action plans;
- Boost the role of consumers in the energy market, by empowering them to choose and change suppliers, generate their own electricity, and join energy communities.
Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson said: “Rising global energy prices are a serious concern for the EU. As we emerge from the pandemic and begin our economic recovery, it is important to protect vulnerable consumers and support European companies. The Commission is helping Member States to take immediate measures to reduce the impact on households and businesses this winter. At the same time, we identify other medium-term measures to ensure that our energy system is more resilient and more flexible to withstand any future volatility throughout the transition.
“The current situation is exceptional, and the internal energy market has served us well for the past 20 years. But we need to be sure that it continues to do so in the future, delivering on the European Green Deal, boosting our energy independence and meeting our climate goals.”