- ACER: demystifying the European energy supervisor from a consumer perspective
- Oil, Gas and Energy Law
- Volume | Issue number
- 10 | 5
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
- Centrum voor Energievraagstukken
Amsterdam Center for European Law and Governance (ACELG)
The European energy regulatory triangle, consisting of National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs), the European Commission and the newly established Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER), has an important role in enhancing cross border trade and wholesale market competition and ultimately in protecting and promoting the interests of the energy consumers on the basis of the Third Energy Package. Generally it is assumed that ACER's tasks mainly concern the regulation of access to the transmission networks for the promotion of efficient cross-border trade and that they will have limited (direct) relevance for the consumers. In line with the Meroni-doctrine it is assumed that ACER has limited decision-making powers and no powers to make policy choices or complex legal and economic assessments. This article argues, however, that the first experiences with ACER’s practice show that the new European supervisor may have a substantial influence on crucial regulatory aspects relating to the technical and economic conditions governing access to and investments in the cross border energy networks. ACER‘s powers are gradually being extended for example through the binding comitology guidelines of the European Commission. Therefore, ACER may develop into a crucial player in realizing the right conditions for competitive retail markets and ultimately ensuring choice for the consumers.
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