A new externally-contracted study on barriers in European retail energy markets has been published by the European Commission this week aimed at identifying remaining retail market hurdles, assessing their significance and suggesting potential ways of overcoming these issues. In global terms, the study comprises a final report, 28 country-specific handbooks (for every Member State except Malta, plus Norway and Great Britain) and a European Barriers Index Ranking report. It follows more than 12 months of exchanges with around 150 suppliers, and relevant national regulatory authorities and other stakeholders.

On the basis of an opening survey with stakeholders and follow-up discussions, the study identifies five top barriers: 

i) Advantage of vertically-integrated market players;

ii) Low customer awareness or interest;

iii) Uncertainty around regulatory future or digitalization;

iv) Uncertainty around current regulatory environment or its development; and

v) Strategic behaviour of incumbent or other market players.

Please read the full report here https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/commission-publishes-report-barriers-eu-retail-energy-markets-2021-feb-23_en


Key recommendations for Romania:

• The most prevalent entry barriers in the Romanian retail energy markets are associated with the regulation of the end-user prices. The regulatory changes announced in January 2020 will overcome these issues soon, however the uncertainty of the future regulation is still present.

• Uncertainty is also a barrier regarding the regulatory landscape for new technologies and innovative services. Implementation of the legislative framework for enabling demand response is important to enable this type of service.

• The low level of data access and digitalization, together with the lack of data standardisation imposes high burdens on suppliers in the daily business processes. It is recommended to digitalise B2B communication and create a centralised data platform (or at least standardise the DSO-supplier data exchange).

• The process of consumer switching is perceived to be very difficult. The process can be simplified with a standardised protocol, supervised and approved by the regulator.

The report for Romania here PDF icon mj0221190enn.en_.pdf