06 Jun 2013
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John on Alert citizens understand that lower energy prices are vital to overall economic well-being. Unified policies across the EU would help sharply cut heating and electricity bills, freeing up money to be spent on other needs.
Now a former President of the European Parliament, speaking here in session, believes a better energy deal for consumers is finally within reach.
Jerzy Buzek in IEM session
John off EPP Group MEP Jerzy Buzek, Rapporteur for the internal energy market, said his report would reveal many incentives to getting a deal done.
The A-B-Cs of a healthier European energy market, he said, essentially boil down to what he calls the Three Cs--Choice, Clarity and Control.
Pictures of household looking at utility bills if possible Buzek on
We would like to be friendly to our consumers in our internal energy market. They should understand that they have a choice and they should also have control on the prices on the market.
Shots of Energy Comm. Günther Oettinger
John off Buzek's sentiments were echoed by European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger. He wants to see things move a lot faster on implementation to help create jobs and growth and infrastructure investment of nearly a trillion Euros. But he admits that there are obstacles along with the foreseen advantages…
Oettinger speaking in the hearing Oettinger on
Completing the internal market is not an end unto itself. If we should manage this then competition will empower the consumer and, as Mr. Buzek said, a functioning internal market raises the level of security of supply. A strengthened consumer has more options and is not reliant on the pricing power of a monopoly supplier.
Klar ist, den Binnemarket zu vollenden ist kein Selbstzweck. Sollen wir machen dies, weil ein Binnenmarkt mit Wettbewerb den Verbraucher starkt, und weil wie Herr Buzek sagte, ein funktionierende Binnenmarkt die Versorgungsicherheit erhoeht, und ein gestaerkte Verbraucher der Auswahlmoeglichkeiten hat, auch nicht von der Preisbildung eines Monopolanbieters abhaengt.
Shots of Ann-Katrin Schenk, Policy Offier at CEDEC (European Federation of Local Energy Companies)
John off A real drag on growth is the 25% increase that consumers pay for energy versus a decade ago. Lack of coordinated policy across the Member States means that Danes paid three times more for their electricity per kilowatt hour than Bulgarians last year, while prices were more than twice as high in Ireland than in Estonia.
In addition, not having an internal energy market in place would lead, according to some estimates, to electricity prices in Europe 50 percent higher than in the US and 300 percent higher than in China by 2035.
Ann-Katrin Schenk of the European Federation of Local Energy Companies was cautiously optimistic but said consumers needed to remain alert to their options
(CEDEC) Schenk on
There is a good process underway, and I do think especially on the local level and quite small companies such as ours, they are responding to their customers´ needs and the information is there…my message to consumers I guess would be to be active and to inform themselves and to look around for better alternatives.
So maybe to do the investments to buy energy efficient appliances and insulate the house well, as this will clearly pay off in the future.
Buzek shots John off Buzek insisted that citizens' purchasing power and EU industrial competitiveness would be unleashed to help end the economic crisis.
Like in the market of goods for example. Food. You´re going to the shop and you have milk, you have butter, you have tomatoes and you understand very well the prices, differences between the prices and you have a full choice. We would like to organise something like that in energy. And then you can be certain of having much more money in your pocket.
Archive energy producer/consumer shots
John off Proponents say a unified energy market will lead to greater ease of switching providers, which could cut, for example, 13 billion Euros from citizens' annual electricity bills.
The introduction of smart meters, phasing out subsidies on renewable energy and fully exploiting unconventional sources would also help. Its backers insist it's all about implementing existing rules.
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