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Completing the internal energy market: nothing but benefits

Katarzyna Klaus
03.06.2013 - 16:45
gas pipe line

The price of whatever you buy depends on the price of energy. Distant developments such as an unstable supply of energy, world conflicts, lack of competition between distributors and also lack of proper implementation by national authorities of EU energy bills all translate into how much we pay for everyday goods and services.

Without a properly integrated and working European internal energy market the prospects look gloomy. Between 2005 and 2012 energy prices in Europe rose by 27 percent, a record for OECD countries. At the same time European households had to pay 14 percent higher energy bills than those in the US.

EPP Group is taking the lead on tackling high energy prices

This Wednesday 20 June the Energy Committee in the European Parliament will vote on a report by the former President of the house Jerzy Buzek, calling for the swift completion of the internal energy market. The effects of fully implementing existing EU legislation – namely the Third Energy Package – would be immediate.

Better deal for consumers

According to EPP Group MEPJerzy Buzek, individual consumers will benefit from the Triple C effect: clarity, control and choice. Energy bills will become more transparent and consumers will make better choices between different offers. All with the effect of paying less for the same amount of energy consumed.

The European Commission argues that already today households could save up to 13 billion euro yearly by switching to the cheapest electricity tariff.

Completing the European internal energy market is our exit strategy from the crisis Jerzy Buzek

New investment opportunities for businesses

The creation of a single energy market with half a billion consumers means new investment opportunities for the corporate sector. This is a powerful incentive for the industry sector to stay in Europe, to create new jobs and to move towards high-end technological innovation.

“Completing the European internal energy market is our exit strategy from the crisis,” said Jerzy Buzek.

Securing Europe’s place in the world energy market

Only by sufficiently interconnecting Europe with compatible energy grids will we be able to buy external energy at lower prices through economies of scale - that is, act as one when negotiating energy purchases. But first we need an integrated and interconnected energy market and to tackle the price differences in Europe. For example, electricity in Slovakia costs twice as much as in Estonia.

European companies pay four times more for gas than their US competitors. Predictions are that without an internal energy market by 2035 electricity prices in Europe will be 50 percent higher than in the US and 300 percent higher than in China.

So what do we need to do?

The good news is that the creation of the internal energy market and all the benefits that follow, doesn’t require new legislation. It is all there. What is needed is for Member States to urgently implement existing rules, the 'Third Energy Package'.

The EPP Group is calling for:

  • Putting consumers first by allowing them to play a more active role in stimulating market competition and by introducing smart meters;
  • Investment in new energy infrastructure to connect Europe - the total sum of investment needed amounts to 1 trillion euro;
  • Limiting price regulation by Member States and gradually phasing out subsidies on renewables;
  • Fully exploiting the potential of unconventional energy sources available in Europe;
  • An end to isolation of Member States from EU energy networks - there should be no 'energy islands'.

Next steps:

MEPs in the Industry, Research and Energy Committee will vote on the Internal Energy Market report by Jerzy Buzek on 20 June 2013.

It will be voted by all MEPs in plenary in September 2013.

Member States have committed to a clear deadline for the completion of the internal energy market by 2014.

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