The monitoring of the energy retail market: the Italian experience

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1 The monitoring of the energy retail market: the Italian experience Autorità per l energia elettrica e il gas MARKET DEPARTMENT Autorità per l Energia Elettrica e il Gas, Direzione Mercati 1

2 Preliminary remarks This presentation addresses the topic of the monitoring of the Italian energy sector (retail market) Generally speaking, regulation aims to identify barriers to entry and it is called to promote competition, to overcome the malfunctioning of the market and to guarantee consumer protection and service quality For this reason, it is necessary to point out that numerous barriers need to be contemplated, such as the lack of customers awareness, transaction costs, lengthy information flows, insolvency/bad payment The level of prices and other market indicators are monitored in order to guarantee a well functioning market In order to monitor the functioning of the market, AEEG collects information continuously through different tools: requests to suppliers, price comparison tools, complaints, probes, surveys, etc. Autorità per l Energia Elettrica e il Gas, Direzione Mercati 2

3 Market indicators The provisions of the Third Package and CEER s activities The Third Package has strengthened the NRA s duties in terms of monitoring the level and effectiveness of market opening In October 2010, the European Regulators' Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG) published the document Final Guidelines of Good Practice (GGP) on Retail Market Monitoring for electricity and gas (E10-RMF-27-03) As a follow up, CEER decided to carry out, within its 2012 work programme, a Status Review of the implementation by NRAs of the ERGEG GGP as of 1 January 2012 Autorità per l Energia Elettrica e il Gas, Direzione Mercati 3

4 Indicators (Status review of the implementation of the ERGEG GGP on indicators for retail market monitoring as of 1 January 2012 Autorità per l Energia Elettrica e il Gas, Direzione Mercati 4

5 CEER s GGP The 18 indicators of the GGP are grouped into four broad categories: Customer satisfaction Retail market outcomes Market structure Market condition and Distribution System Operators (DSO) services Market indicators are monitored by AEEG according to CEER s GGP and by taking into account the characteristics of the Italian retail markets In addition, AEEG monitors the level of data availability (e.g.: data flows from DSOs to suppliers in case of switching) and of insolvency/arrearage Autorità per l Energia Elettrica e il Gas, Direzione Mercati 5

6 Monitoring AEEG s activities - 1 AEEG has issued a resolution - ARG/com 151/11 (TIMR) in order to monitor the energy retail markets The legislative decree n. 93/11 states that: AEEG is responsible for monitoring the functioning of the market and the opening of it AEEG has the power to launch investigations on the well functioning of the market and to adopt resolutions to promote competition Monitoring is a very important tool it helps AEEG assess the functioning of the market, the level of competition of the retail market, the transparency of it and the level of customer satisfaction Autorità per l Energia Elettrica e il Gas, Direzione Mercati 6

7 Monitoring AEEG s activities - 2 According to TIMR, the following energy companies are obliged to provide data: Suppliers with more than point of deliveries (gas + electricity) Electricity DSOs with more than points of deliveries Gas DSOs with more than points of deliveries AEEG monitors the performance of contracts between the above mentioned suppliers/doss and: LV and MV customers (Electricity) customers whose consumptions do not exceed smc/year (Gas) Autorità per l Energia Elettrica e il Gas, Direzione Mercati 7

8 Switching: some figures with reference to the electricity sector % switching (points of delivery) * Type of Customer Household 4,1% 5,8% 6,4% LV (SME) 12,2% 11,4% 12,1% TOTAL 5,9% 7,0% 7,6% * Switching of customers moving form a supplier to another supplier of the same group are not taken into account. Source: AEEG s annual Surveys % customers leaving a contract with regulated prices (2012) LV 16,1% LV (Households) 32,4% TOTAL 27,2% It is significant that: more and more customers sign a contract whose prices are not regulated In 2012, 32 out of 100 customers - entering into a contract on the free market - were household customers Autorità per l Energia Elettrica e il Gas, Direzione Mercati 8

9 Market shares in the electricity sector Volumes Household customers + SME Retail market /supply C4 76% 73% 71% Incumbent 68% 65% 62% Market shares of the 4 largest have been decreasing over the years It is significant that also the market share of the incumbent has been decreasing over the years Autorità per l Energia Elettrica e il Gas, Direzione Mercati 9

10 What is necessary to do In order to enhance competition in the retail sector it is necessary to: increase customers awareness and their trust by: making customers, especially households, feel confident many customers are reluctant to change their supplier it is probably due to the formalities linked to the conclusion of a new contract, to the lack of perception of benefits and to the fear of penalties for switching supplier helping customers switch to the best deal speed up information flows and procedures overcome information asymmetries monitoring market conditions and customer s needs on a regular basis Autorità per l Energia Elettrica e il Gas, Direzione Mercati 10

11 The Probe on prices AEEG has launched a Probe (with reference to 2011) in order to understand: whether some energy suppliers are lowering or not their prices (current wholesale prices should let them offer cheaper prices; moreover, numerous suppliers operate in the market) the reasons for not lowering prices such as: lack of customers awareness services offered in addition to supply information flows not working well Autorità per l Energia Elettrica e il Gas, Direzione Mercati 11

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