Citizens' Energy Forums
The Citizens' Energy Forum meets on an annual basis and aims to explore consumers' perspective and role in a competitive, 'smart', energy-efficient and fair energy retail market. As such, the forum serves to structure the debate and channel consumers', regulators' and industry's view on the energy market and its future, directly feeding into the work of the European Commission in the energy and consumer policy areas.
At the 2020 edition of the Forum, the Commission decided to establish 3 Working Groups to prepare and identify key issues for the 2021 Citizens’ Energy Forum. The steering of each of these Working Groups (WG) was conducted by Energy Cities, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) and the Council of European Energy Regulators (CEER). Each group was chaired by a key stakeholder, which organised 2 roundtables in 2021 to discuss important consumer trends and issues related to each of those themes.
The Just transition WG, chaired by Energy Cities, highlighted the importance of enabling access to renewable energy systems for vulnerable citizens, at the demand and supply side. The WG also discussed energy efficiency measures and in particular massive renovation waves that are essential to truly empower and lift citizens out of energy poverty. The 2 roundtables looked at key driving actions to move towards a more inclusive and fair energy system as well as innovative solutions to engage all citizens in the energy transition (such as creating a solidarity solar bank, providing energy literacy and empowerment guidelines, targeting social housing). The WG highlighted the necessity of effective transposition of European legislation regarding individual and collective self-consumption of renewable energy systems in EU countries while respecting local specificities. It also stressed the need to go further than legislative measures by engaging with key local stakeholders and showcasing existing and innovative local projects in order to inspire others.
The Consumer Engagement WG, chaired by CEER, focused on concrete policies and measures with an impact on consumers’ ability to trust in and engage with the energy market. During the first roundtable the WG discussed consumer engagement and green offers, including misleading practices (greenwashing). The second roundtable focused on practical approaches to promoting consumer trust and engagement in green energy markets. It showcased initiatives across different sectors designed to help consumers play an active role in the energy transition and better adapt to emerging green and sustainable markets. The roundtables included breakout rooms where stakeholders gathered to discuss their views on consumer trust and ways to communicate key information to different types of consumers. Participants discussed how labeling scoring systems could be applied in the energy sector and what type of information should be featured. Participants highlighted the importance to improve comparison tools for consumers and to better enforce the current rules with regard to consumer information and choice.
The Consumer rights WG, chaired by BEUC, focused on consumer rights and protections in gas and district heating. The objective of the 2 roundtables was to draw attention to persisting loopholes in consumer protection and arising new challenges with increasingly digitalised energy markets. Participants subsequently discussed possible measures to strengthen consumer rights and protection in both markets. The roundtable on district heating discussed to what extent consumer rights in electricity can be mirrored to district heating. The roundtable on gas focused on digital tools (e.g. automated switching tools, comparison tools) and smart meters and discussed their role in the gas sector. The roundtables provided inputs for the Fit for 55 package and the Gas Decarbonisation Package and the Digitalisation of Energy Action Plan.
Citizens’ Energy Forum, 8-9 December 2021
The 2021 edition of the forum is organised as a “hybrid” event, both on-site and virtual, taking into account the uncertainty of travel due to COVID and to open up for a larger participation.
Citizens’ Energy forum, 19-20 November 2020
The event was organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), Ireland’s independent energy and water regulator.
It was the first Citizens’ Energy Forum taking place after the adoption of the European Green Deal.
Citizens' Energy Forum, 12-13 September 2019
The 2019 forum focused on how to achieve a fair and inclusive energy transition for all, including consumer's role in the changing energy market and their capacity to use opportunities offered by new technologies. The second day was dedicated to a Citizens' dialogue with youth on sustainable consumption. The forum was organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), Ireland’s independent energy and water regulator.
Citizens' Energy Forum in Dublin, 20-21 September 2018
The 2018 session aimed at placing the discussion on the role of consumers on the energy market in the context of the measures proposed by the Clean energy for all Europeans package and the new deal for consumers package. It also focused on presenting innovative solutions on the energy retail market in terms of consumer engagement and business models. The Citizens' Energy Forum 2018 was organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), Ireland’s independent energy and water regulator.
Citizens' Energy Forum in London, 30-31 May 2017
The 2017 meeting was dedicated to discussing the 'Clean energy for all Europeans' legislative package. The package places engaged and active consumers at the heart of future energy markets. Its proposed provisions aim to ensure that consumers across the EU have more choice, better information and protection, and the possibility of producing and selling their own electricity, individually and collectively. The forum was organised by the European Commission in collaboration with Ofgem, the UK's electricity and gas regulator.
- Draft report consumers and market agents
- Report of the working group on e-billing and personal energy data management (December 2013)
- Report of the working group on transparency in EU retail energy markets (November 2012)
- Previous editions of the Citizens Energy Forum (2011 – 2016)
- Meetings and documents related to the vulnerable consumer working group (2012 – 2016)