Explanatory Memorandum to COM(2016)861 - Internal market for electricity (recast)

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This page contains a limited version of this dossier in the EU Monitor.

dossier COM(2016)861 - Internal market for electricity (recast).
source COM(2016)861 EN
date 30-11-2016


Reasons for and objectives of the proposal

Policy Context

European citizens spend a significant part of their income on energy, and energy is an important input for European industry. At the same time, the energy sector plays a key role in the obligation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Union by at least 40% until 2030 with an expected share of 50% of renewables by 2030.

The proposals for a recast of the Directive on common rules for the internal market in electricity, the Regulation on the electricity market and the Regulation establishing a European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators are part of the Commission's broader package of initiatives ("Clean Energy for All"). The Clean Energy for All Package comprises the Commission's key proposals to implement the Energy Union, as foreseen in the Energy Union Roadmap1. It includes both legislative proposals as well as non-legislative initiatives to create a conducive enabling framework to deliver tangible benefits for citizens, jobs, growth and investments while contributing to all five dimensions of the Energy Union. The key priorities for the package are thus energy efficiency first, the EU's global leadership in renewables, and a fair deal for energy consumers.

Both the European Council2 and the European Parliament3 have repeatedly stressed that a well-functioning integrated energy market is the best tool to guarantee affordable energy prices, secure energy supplies and to allow for the integration and development of larger volumes of electricity produced from renewable sources in a cost efficient manner. Competitive prices are essential for achieving growth and consumer welfare in the European Union, and hence are at the heart of EU energy policy. The current electricity market design is based on the rules of the "Third Energy Package4", adopted in 2009. These rules have subsequently been complemented by legislation against market abuses5 and implementing


Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European

Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank: A

Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy

COM/2015/080 final.

Outcome of the Council Meeting 3429th Meeting, transport, Telecommunications and Energy, 26

November 2015 14632/15, Outcome of the Council Meeting, 3472nd Meeting, Transport,

Telecommunications and Energy, 6 June 2016 9736/16.

European Parliament Resolution of 13 September 2016 on Towards a new Market Design (P8_T

A(2016) 0333).


Directive 2009/72 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning common

rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC, OJ L 211, 14.8.2009, p.

55–93 (henceforth the 'Electricity Directive'); Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 of the European


Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 on conditions for access to the network for cross-border


exchanges in electricity repealing Regulation (EC) No 1228/2003, OJ L 211, 14.8.2009, p. 15–35

(henceforth 'Electricity Regulation'); Regulation (EC) No 713/2009 of the European Parliament and of


the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators. OJ L

211, 14.8.2009, p. 1–14 (henceforth 'ACER Regulation'),


Regulation (EU) No 1227/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on

wholesale energy market integrity and transparency OJ L 326, 8.12.2011, p. 1–16; Commission


Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1348/2014 of 17 December 2014 on data reporting implementing

Article 8(2) and Article 8(6) of Regulation (EU) No 1227/2011 of the European Parliament and of the

Council OJ L 363, 18.12.2014, p. 121–142.





legislation concerning electricity trade and grid operation rules6. The EU internal energy market is built on well-established principles, such as the right of access for third parties to electricity grids, free choice of suppliers for consumers, robust unbundling rules, the removal of barriers to cross-border trade, market supervision by independent energy regulators, and the EU-wide cooperation of regulators and grid operators within the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO).

The Third Energy Package has brought tangible progress for consumers. It has led to increased liquidity of European electricity markets and significantly increased cross-border trade. Consumers in many Member States can now benefit from more choice. Increased competition notably on wholesale markets helped to keep wholesale prices in check. New consumer rights introduced by the Third Energy Package have clearly improved the position of consumers in energy markets.

New developments have led to fundamental changes in European electricity markets. The share of electricity generated from renewable energy sources (RES-E) has steeply increased. This shift towards RES-E will continue as it is a key condition to fulfil the Union's obligations under the Paris Agreement on climate. The physical nature of RES-E – more variable, less predictable and decentralised than traditional generation – requires an adaptation of market and grid operation rules to the more flexible nature of the market. In parallel, state interventions, often designed in an uncoordinated manner, have led to distortions of the wholesale electricity market, with negative consequences for investments and cross-border trade7. Significant changes are also taking place on the technological side. Electricity is traded almost European-wide through so-called 'market coupling', jointly organised by power exchanges and transmission system operators. Digitalisation and the rapid development of internet-based metering and trading solutions enable industry, businesses and even households to generate and store electricity, as well as participate in electricity markets via so-called demand response solutions. The electricity market of the next decade will be characterised by more variable and decentralised electricity production, an increased interdependence between Member States and new technological opportunities for consumers to reduce their bills and actively participate in electricity markets through demand response, self-consumption or storage.

Regulation (EU) No 1227/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency OJ L 326, 8.12.2011, p. 1–16; Commission Regulation (EU) No 543/2013 of 14 June 2013 on submission and publication of data in electricity markets and amending Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council OJ L 163, 15.6.2013, p. 1–12; Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1222 of 24 July 2015 establishing a guideline on capacity allocation and congestion management OJ L 197, 25.7.2015, p. 24– 72; Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/631 of 14 April 2016 establishing a network code on requirements for grid connection of generators OJ L 112, 27.4.2016, p. 1–68; Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/1388 of 17 August 2016 establishing a Network Code on Demand Connection OJ L 223, 18.8.2016, p. 10–54; Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/1447 of 26 August 2016 establishing a network code on requirements for grid connection of high voltage direct current systems and direct current-connected power park modules OJ L 241, 8.9.2016, p. 1–65; Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/1719 of 26 September 2016 establishing a guideline on forward capacity allocation OJ L 259, 27.9.2016, p. 42–68; other Guidelines and network codes have been endorsed Member States' approval and are awaiting adoption.

See Communication from the Commission 'Delivering the internal electricity market and making the most of public intervention', C(2013) 7243 final of 5.11.2013.



The present electricity market design initiative thus aims to adapt the current market rules to new market realities, by allowing electricity to move freely to where it is most needed when it is most needed via undistorted price signals, whilst empowering consumers, reaping maximum benefits for society from cross-border competition and providing the right signals and incentives to drive the necessary investments to decarbonise our energy system. It will also give priority to energy efficiency solutions, and contribute to the goal of becoming a world leader in energy production from renewable energy sources, thus contributing to the Union's target to create jobs, growth and attract investments.

Adapting market rules

The existing market rules are based on the predominant generation technologies of the last decade, i.e. centralised, large-scale fossil fuel-based power plants with limited participation of consumers. As variable RES-E will play an increasing role in the generation mix in future, and consumers should be enabled to participate in the markets if they wish so, the rules need to be adapted. Short-term electricity markets which allow trading RES-E across borders are key for the successful integration of RES-E into the market. This is because most generation from renewables can only be accurately forecasted shortly before the actual production (due to weather uncertainties). The creation of markets which allow participation at short notice before actual delivery (so-called 'intraday' or 'balancing' markets) are a crucial step to enable RES-E producers to sell their energy at fair terms and it will also increase liquidity in the market. Short-term markets will provide new business opportunities for participants to offer 'back-up' energy solutions at times of high demand and scarce renewable generation. This includes the possibility for consumers to shift their demand ("demand response"), storage operators or flexible generators. While dealing with variability in small regions can be very expensive, aggregation of variable production over larger areas could help consumers save significant amounts of money. Yet, integrated short-term markets are still missing.

The shortcomings of the current market arrangements reduce the attractiveness of the energy sector for new investment. An adequately interconnected, market-based energy system in which prices follow market signals will stimulate the necessary investments into generation and transmission in an effective manner and ensure that they are made where they are most needed by the market, thereby minimising the need for state-planned investments.

National market rules (e.g. price caps) and state interventions currently hinder prices from reflecting when electricity is scarce. Furthermore, price zones do not always reflect actual scarcity if poorly configured and instead follow political borders. The new market design aims to improve price signals to drive investment in areas where it is needed most, reflecting grid constraints and demand centres, rather than national borders. Price signals should also allow for adequate remuneration of flexible resources (including demand-response and storage), as these resources rely on rewards for shorter periods of time (e.g. modern gas plants which are only used for peak hours or the reduction of industrial demand at times of peak demand or system stress). Effective price signals also ensure the efficient dispatch of existing generation assets. It is therefore critical to review any existing rules that distort price formation (such as rules prioritising the dispatch of certain installations) in order to activate and fully realise the flexibility potential that the demand side can offer

Putting consumers at the heart of the energy market

Fully integrating industrial, commercial and residential consumers into the energy system can avoid significant costs for backup generation; costs which consumers would otherwise end up paying. It even allows consumers to benefit from price fluctuations and to earn money

through participation in the market. Activating consumer participation is therefore a prerequisite for managing the energy transition successfully and in a cost-effective way.

Delivering a new deal for energy consumers is a key commitment of the Energy Union. However, current market rules often do not allow consumers to benefit from these new opportunities. Although consumers can generate and store electricity as well as manage their energy consumption more easily than ever, the current design of the retail market prevents them from being able to fully benefit from such opportunities.

In most Member States, consumers have little or no incentive to change their consumption in response to changing prices in the markets, as real-time price signals are not passed on to final consumers. The market design package is an opportunity to deliver on this commitment. More transparent real time price signals will stimulate consumer participation, either individually or through aggregation, and make the electricity system more flexible, facilitating the integration of electricity from renewable energy sources. Besides offering great energy saving potential for households, technological developments mean that appliances and systems, such as smart white electronics, electric vehicles, electric heating, air conditioning and heat pumps in insulated buildings and district heating and cooling, can automatically follow price fluctuations and, on a large scale, offer a significant and flexible contribution to the electricity grid. In order to enable consumers to benefit financially from those new opportunities, they must have access to fit-for-purpose smart systems as well as electricity supply contracts with dynamic prices linked to the spot market. In addition to consumers adjusting their consumption to price signals, new demand services are currently emerging whereby new market actors offer to manage the electricity consumption of a number of consumers by paying them a compensation for their flexibility. Although such services are already encouraged under existing EU legislation, the evidence suggests that these provisions have not been effective in removing the primary market barriers for those service providers to enter the market. Sharpening these provisions is necessary to further encourage such new services.

In many Member States, electricity prices do not follow demand and supply, but are regulated by the public authorities. Price regulation can limit the development of effective competition, discourage investments and the emergence of new market players. The Commission therefore committed in its Energy Union Framework Strategy8 to phase-out regulated prices below cost and to encourage Member States to establish a road map for the phasing-out of all regulated prices. The new market design aims at ensuring that supply prices are free of any public intervention, and only with duly justified exceptions.

Rapidly falling technology costs mean that more and more consumers are able to reduce their energy bills by using technologies such as rooftop solar panels and batteries. However, self-generation is still hampered by a lack of common rules for prosumers. Appropriate rules could remove these barriers, e.g. by guaranteeing consumers' rights to generate energy for their own consumption and sell surplus into the grid, while taking into account the costs and benefits for the system as a whole (e.g. appropriate participation in grid costs).

Local energy communities can be an efficient way of managing energy at community level by consuming the electricity they generate either directly for power or for (district) heating and cooling, with or without a connection to distribution systems. To ensure that such initiatives can freely develop, the new market design requires Member States to put in place appropriate legal frameworks to enable their activities.

See Communication 'A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Policy ', COM/2015/080.


Today, more than 90% of variable renewable electricity sources are connected to distribution grids. The integration of local generation has in fact contributed to a significant increase in network tariffs for household consumers. In addition, taxes and levies to finance grid extensions and renewables' investments have risen drastically. The new market design and the revision of the Renewables Directive provide an opportunity to address these shortcomings, which can disproportionately impact certain household consumers.

Allowing Distribution System Operators (DSOs) to manage some of the challenges associated with variable generation more locally (e.g. by managing local flexibility resources) could significantly reduce network costs. However, since many DSOs are part of vertically integrated companies which are also active in the supply business, regulatory safeguards are necessary to guarantee the DSOs' neutrality in their new functions, e.g. in terms of data management and when using flexibility to manage local congestions.

Another key driver to competition and consumer engagement is information. Previous Commission consultations and studies have shown that consumers complain about a lack of transparency in electricity markets, reducing their ability to benefit from competition and actively participate in markets. Consumers do not feel informed enough about alternative suppliers, the availability of new energy services and complain about the complexity of offers and procedures for switching suppliers. The reform will also ensure data protection as an increased use of new technologies (notably smart metering systems) will generate a range of energy data carrying high commercial value.

In putting consumers at the heart of the energy market, an essential consideration in the new market design is how to ensure that the most vulnerable in society are protected and that the overall number of energy-poor households will not further increase. With rising levels of energy poverty as well as a lack of clarity on the most appropriate means of tackling consumer vulnerability and energy poverty, the new market design proposal requires Member States to duly measure and regularly monitor energy poverty based on principles defined at EU level. The revised Energy Efficiency and Energy Performance of Building Directives provide for further measures to tackle energy poverty.

Security of electricity supply

Security of electricity supply is indispensable in modern societies which largely depend on electricity and internet driven systems. It is therefore necessary to assess the ability of the European electricity system to offer sufficient generation and flexibility to ensure reliable electricity supply at all times (resource adequacy). Ensuring security of supply is not only a national obligation, but a key pillar of European energy policy9. This is because security of supply can, in a fully interconnected and synchronised network with well-functioning markets, be organised far more efficiently and competitively than on a purely national basis. Grid stability in individual Member States often heavily depends on electricity flows from neighbouring countries and potential security of supply problems therefore usually have a regional impact. For this reason, the most efficient remedies to national generation deficits are often regional solutions, allowing Member States to benefit from generation surpluses in other countries. A coordinated European adequacy assessment should therefore be introduced, following a jointly agreed methodology, in order to obtain a realistic picture of possible generation needs, taking into account the integration of electricity markets and potential flows from other countries. If the coordinated adequacy assessment shows that capacity mechanisms are necessary in certain countries or regions, such mechanisms should be designed so as to minimise distortions to the internal market. Clear and transparent criteria to minimise

See Article 194(1)(b) TFEU.


distortions of cross-border trade, maximise use of demand response, and reduce impacts affecting decarbonisation should therefore be defined to avoid the risk of fragmented national capacity mechanisms creating new market barriers and undermining competition10.

Strengthening regional cooperation

The close interconnection of EU Member States through the common trans-European grid is unique in the world and a great asset when it comes to dealing efficiently with the energy transition. Without the ability to rely on generation or demand resources from other Member States, the costs of the energy transition for consumers would increase significantly. Today, system operation across borders is much more interrelated than it was in the past. This is due to the increase in variable and decentralised generation, together with closer market integration, especially in shorter market time intervals. This also means that national actions by regulators or grid operators can have an immediate effect on other EU Member States. Experience has shown that uncoordinated national decisions can lead to significant costs for European consumers.

The fact that some interconnectors are only used to 25% of their capacities, often due to uncoordinated national limitations, and that Member States have not been able to agree on appropriate price zones illustrates that there is a need for more coordination between Transmission System Operators (TSOs) and regulators. Successful examples of voluntary and mandatory cooperation between TSOs, regulators and governments have shown that regional cooperation can improve market functioning and reduce costs significantly. In certain areas, e.g. for the EU-wide market coupling mechanism, TSO cooperation has already become mandatory, and the system of majority voting on some issues has proven to be successful in areas where voluntary cooperation (leaving each TSO a veto right) did not lead to efficient results for regional problems. Following this successful example, mandatory cooperation should be expanded to other areas in the regulatory framework. To this end, TSOs could decide within Regional Operational Centres (ROCs) on those issues where fragmented and uncoordinated national actions could negatively affect the market and consumers (e.g. in the fields of system operation, capacity calculation for interconnectors, security of supply and risk preparedness).

Adapting regulatory oversight to regional markets

It appears appropriate to also adapt regulatory oversight to the new realities of the market. All main regulatory decisions are currently taken by national regulators, even in cases where a common regional solution is needed. While ACER has been successful in providing a forum for the coordination of national regulators with diverging interests, its main role is currently confined to coordination, advising and monitoring. While market actors increasingly cooperate across borders and decide on certain matters concerning grid operation and electricity trading with qualified majority at a regional or even Union level11, there is no equivalent for these regional decision-making procedures at regulatory level. Regulatory oversight therefore remains fragmented, leading to a risk of diverging decisions and unnecessary delays. Strengthening the powers of ACER for those cross-border issues which require a coordinated regional decision would contribute to faster and more effective


See in this context also the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council on risk preparedness in the electricity sector, covering risks to security of supply related to the management of electricity crisis situations.

See e.g. Article 9 of Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1222 of 24 July 2015 establishing a guideline on capacity allocation and congestion management, OJ L 197, 25.7.2015, p. 24–72.


decision-making on cross-border issues. National regulators, deciding within ACER on those issues through majority voting, would remain fully involved in the process.

It also appears appropriate to better define the role of ENTSO-E in order to strengthen its coordination role and render its decision-making process more transparent.

Text clarifications

Finally, the recast of the Electricity Regulation, the Agency Regulation and the Electricity Directive will be used to provide some editorial clarifications on some of the existing rules and to restructure some of them in order to make the-highly technical-rules of the three acts more comprehensible, without touching upon the substance of the provisions.

Consistency with other provisions and proposals in the policy area

The market design initiative is strongly linked to other energy and climate legislative proposals brought forward in parallel. These notably include initiatives to improve Europe's energy efficiency, a renewable energy package, and the overarching initiative addressing governance and reporting mechanisms for the Energy Union. All those initiatives aim at implementing the necessary measures to achieve the objective of a competitive, secure and sustainable Energy Union. The intention of packaging the different initiatives, consisting of multiple legislative and non-legislative levers, is to ensure utmost coherence of the different but closely interlinked policy proposals.

Therefore, although the current proposal is centred on updating market rules so as to make a clean energy transition economically advantageous, these provisions work in synergy with the wider EU climate and energy policy framework. These links are further explained in the Commission's Impact Assessment12.

The proposal is closely linked to the proposal for a revised Renewable Energy Directive, providing for a framework to achieve the 2030 renewable target, including also principles in relation to support schemes for renewable energy sources, which would make them more market-oriented, cost-effective and more regionalised in scope in cases where Member States are opting to keep support schemes. Those measures aimed at the integration of renewable energies in the market, such as provisions on dispatching, market-related barriers to self-consumption and other market access rules – previously contained in the Renewable Energy Directive –, have now been integrated in the Electricity Regulation and the Electricity Directive.

The proposal for a Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union will contribute to ensuring policy coherence by streamlining planning and reporting obligations by Member States so as to better support the convergence towards energy and climate goals set at EU level. As a new planning, reporting and monitoring instrument, it shall provide a temperature gauge on the state of progress from a Member State on the implementation of European-wide market requirements introduced by the present acts.

The proposal for a Regulation on risk preparedness in the electricity sector complements the current proposal, focusing in particularly on government actions to manage electricity crisis situations and to prevent short term risks for the electricity system.

[OP: Please insert Link to Impact Assessment]


The current proposal is closely aligned with the Commission's competition policy in the field of energy. It incorporates notably the results of the Commission's Sector Inquiry on Capacity Mechanisms, ensuring full coherence with the Commission's energy state aid enforcement policy.

Consistency with other Union policies

The proposal seeks to implement key objectives of the Energy Union, as defined in the Framework Strategy for a resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy. As already stated above, the details of the package are also in line with the recent global-level engagement by the Union to achieve ambitious climate targets under the agreement found in Paris at the 21st UN Conference of the Parties (COP21). The current proposal is mutually reinforcing and complementary to the proposal for the revision of the EU Emissions Trading System made in July 2015.

Further, to the extent that a revision of the electricity market design is aimed at making Europe's energy market more competitive and accessible for new energy technologies, the proposal also contributes to fulfilling the Union's objectives to generate jobs and growth. By offering market opportunities for new technologies, the proposal will spur the uptake of a number of services and products that would give European businesses a first-mover advantage as the clean energy transition advances globally.


Legal basis

The legal basis for the proposed measures is Article 194 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which consolidated and clarified the competences of the EU in the field of energy. According to Article 194 TFEU, the main aims of the EU’s energy policy are to: ensure the functioning of the energy market; ensure security of energy supply in the Union; promote energy efficiency and energy saving and the development of new and renewable forms of energy; and promote the interconnection of energy networks.

The present initiative also builds upon a comprehensive set of legislative acts that have been adopted and updated during the past two decades. With the objective of creating an internal energy market, the EU has adopted three consecutive legislative packages between 1996 and 2009, with the overarching aim of integrating markets and liberalising national electricity and gas markets. These provisions cover a wide range of aspects, from market access to transparency, consumer rights and the independence of regulatory authorities, to name a few.

With an eye on existing legislation and the general trajectory of growing energy market integration, the current initiative should thus also be seen as part of an ongoing effort to ensure the integration and effective operation of Europe’s energy markets.

Recent calls from the European Council13 and the European Parliament for action at EU level to complete the European energy market have also created further ground for action.


In February 2011, the European Council set the objective of completing the internal energy market by 2014 and developing interconnection to end the grid isolation of certain Member States by 2015. In June 2016, the European Council also called for a Single Market Strategy in the field of energy, with action plans to be proposed by the Commission and to be implemented by 2018.


The proposed changes to the provisions of the Regulation on electricity markets, the Directive on common rules for the internal electricity market and the Regulation establishing a European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators are necessary to achieve the purpose of an integrated EU electricity market and cannot be reached at national level in an equally efficient manner. As set out in detail in the evaluation of the recast legislative acts14, evidence has shown that isolated national approaches have led to delays in the implementation of the internal energy market, leading to sub-optimal and incompatible regulatory measures, unnecessary duplication of interventions and delays in correcting market inefficiencies. The creation of an internal energy market that delivers competitive and sustainable energy for all cannot be achieved on the basis of fragmented national rules where they concern the trading of energy, the operation of the shared grid and a certain amount of product standardisation.

The increasing interconnection of EU electricity markets requires closer coordination between national actors. National policy interventions in the electricity sector have a direct impact on neighbouring Member States due to energy interdependence and grid interconnections. Ensuring the stability of the grid and its efficient operation is increasingly difficult to do at national level alone, as rising cross-border trade, the uptake of decentralised generation and enhanced consumer participation, all increase the potential for spill-over effects. No state can effectively act alone and the consequences of unilateral action have become more pronounced over time. This general principle applies across the range of measures introduced by the current proposal, whether they concern energy trading, the operation of the grid and consumers’ effective participation.

Since common regional issues which require a coordinated decision often have a significant economic impact on individual Member States, past experience has shown that voluntary cooperation, while useful in many areas of cooperation between Member States, has often not been able to overcome technically complex conflicts with significant distributive effects between Member States15. Existing voluntary initiatives, such as the Pentalateral Energy Forum, are also limited in their geography, as they only cover parts of the EU electricity market and do not necessarily combine all countries which are physically most closely interconnected.

To illustrate on a concrete example, uncoordinated national policies concerning the principles for distribution tariffs may distort the internal market to an extent that distributed generation or energy storage services will be under very different incentives to participate in the market. With the uptake of new technologies and energy services increasingly traded across borders, EU action has a significant value in ensuring a level playing field and more efficient market outcomes for all parties involved.

The coordinating function of ACER has been adapted to new developments in energy markets, such as the increased need for coordination in times of higher energy flows across borders and the rise of energy production from volatile RES-E. The independent national regulatory authorities (NRAs) play a major role in providing regulatory oversight over their national energy sector. A system which becomes more and more interdependent between the Member States both when it comes to market transactions and system operation requires, however, regulatory oversight beyond national borders. ACER is the body established to provide such regulatory oversight as far as situations are concerned which cover more than

14 [OP please add link to Impact assessment – evaluation part].

15 See e.g. the discussion on congestion management in central Europe, where divergent national interests led to significant delays on the way to more market integration.

two Member States. The main role of ACER as a coordinator of the action of national regulators has been preserved; limited additional competences have been assigned to ACER in those areas where fragmented national decision-making on issues with cross-border relevance would lead to problems or inconsistencies for the internal market. For example, the creation of regional operational centres (ROCs) in the [recast of Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 as proposed by COM(2016) 861/2] calls for supra-national monitoring which needs to be performed by ACER, as the ROCs cover several Member States. Similarly, the introduction of an EU-wide coordinated adequacy assessment in the [recast of Regulation (EC) No 714/2009 as proposed by COM(2016) 861/2] calls for a regulatory approval of its methodology and calculations that may only be attributed to ACER as the adequacy assessment is to be performed across Member States.

While the assignment of new tasks to ACER will require a reinforcement of its staff, the coordinating role of ACER will lead to a lower burden for national authorities, thus freeing up administrative resources at national level. The proposed approach will streamline regulatory procedures (e.g. by introducing direct approval within ACER instead of 28 separate approvals). The coordinated development of methodologies (e.g. concerning adequacy assessment) will reduce the workload for national authorities and avoid extra work resulting from potential problems through non-aligned national regulatory action.


The policy choices covered by the Electricity Regulation, the Electricity Directive and the Agency Regulation seek to adapt the electricity market design to the increasing share of decentralized generation and to ongoing technological developments.

The proposed reforms are strictly oriented on what is indispensable to achieve the necessary progress for the internal market, while leaving utmost competencies and responsibilities for Member States, national regulators and national actors.

Options considering a more far-reaching harmonisation, e.g. by proposing a single independent European energy regulator, a single integrated European transmission system operator or more straightforward prohibitions of state interventions without exemption possibilities have been consistently dismissed in the Impact Assessment. Instead the proposals aim at well-balanced solutions which only restrict the national scope for regulatory action where coordinated action clearly brings more benefits for the consumer.

The policy options adopted are aimed at creating a level playing field amongst all generation technologies and removing market distortions so that, amongst other things, renewable energy sources may compete on an equal footing in the energy market. In addition, all market participants would bear a financial responsibility for keeping the grid in balance. Barriers to services that provide flexibility to the grid, such as demand-response services, will be removed. Further, the measures seek to create a more liquid short-term market, so that price fluctuations can properly reflect scarcity and offer adequate incentives for a flexible grid.

At retail market level, Member States will also be encouraged to progressively phase-out blanket price regulation, starting with prices below cost. Vulnerable consumers can be protected by a transitional price regulation. To further increase competition, the use of contract termination fees will be restricted, so as to encourage switching. Equally, high-level principles shall ensure that energy bills are clear and easy to understand, and non-discriminatory access to consumer data will be granted, all whilst keeping in place general privacy provisions.


In line with the evolution of cross-border trade in electricity and the gradual integration of the market, the institutional framework will be adapted in line with the need for additional

regulatory cooperation and new tasks. ACER is to be given additional tasks, especially in the regional operation of the energy system, all whilst keeping the national regulators' centre role in energy regulation.

All of the options have been extensively checked to meet the requirements of proportionality, in the Impact Assessment accompanying the proposal. It should be noted here that the proposed policies present a compromise between bottom-up initiatives and top-down steering of the market. In keeping with proportionality, the measures do not in any way substitute the role of national governments, NRAs and TSOs in carrying out a variety of critical functions. If anything, national regulators are encouraged to come together more effectively in a regional setting, both formally and informally, to address issues arising from the management of the electricity system at a scale that is commensurate with the scale of the problem.

Far from endorsing a 'full harmonisation' approach, the measures seek to create a level playing field for all market players, particularly where market opportunities extend beyond national borders. Ultimately, a certain standardisation of rules and products is essential to the effective trading of electricity across borders; whilst decisions concerning the operation of the grid would lead to sub-optimal market outcomes if left to single Member States and regulators acting in isolation. Direct experience in the formulation and adoption of common network and trading rules (so called “Network Codes” and 'Guidelines') since the Third Energy Package of 2009 has shown a clear added value in having regulators and national authorities coming around the table to agree common rules and methodologies, both on high level and technical principles.

There is an increasing competitiveness gap between retail and wholesale markets, with the former still lagging behind in terms of service offer and tangible benefits to consumers. By monitoring energy poverty, transparency and clarity of consumer information and access to data, the proposed measures will not unduly limit national prerogatives.

Choice of legal instrument

The proposal will amend the key legal acts that were part of the Third Energy Package. These include the Electricity Regulation (No 714/2009) and the Electricity Directive (No 2009/72/EC), alongside the Regulation establishing ACER (No 713/2009). The choice of a recast of said legal acts will enhance legal clarity. Recourse to an amending act may have been inadequate to address a wide set of new provisions. The choice of the instrument thus calls for a revision of rules already adopted and implemented, as a natural evolution of current legislation.





Ex-post evaluations/fit-for-purpose checks of existing legislation

The Commission services have evaluated the performance of the current legislative framework (Third Energy Package) against five set criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and EU added value. A stand-alone evaluation has been carried out alongside the Impact Assessment, and the results of the evaluation have been reflected in the problem identification of the impact assessment.

The evaluation found that, overall, the Third Energy Package's aim to increase competition and remove obstacles to cross-border competition in electricity markets has been met. Active enforcement of the legislation has led to positive results for electricity markets and consumers, and markets are in general less concentrated and more integrated than in 2009. As

regards retail markets, the set of new consumer rights introduced by the Third Energy Package have clearly improved the position of the consumer in energy markets.

However, the success of the rules of the Third Energy Package in developing the internal electricity market remains limited in a number of fields, both at the wholesale and the retail level. In general, the evaluation showed that large gains can still be made by an improvement of the market design framework, as shown by untapped general welfare gains and ultimate benefits to consumers. At the level of wholesale markets, barriers to cross-border trade persist and interconnector capacities are rarely fully exploited. These originate, amongst other things, from insufficient cooperation between national grid operators and regulators on the shared use of interconnectors. The national perspective of the parties involved still prevents effective cross-border solutions in many cases and ultimately limits otherwise beneficial cross-border flows. The picture is not the same across all markets and timeframes, with varying degrees of integration across day-ahead, intra-day and balancing markets.

With regards to retail markets, competition performance could be significantly improved. Electricity prices still vary significantly from Member State to Member State for non-market reasons, and prices have risen steadily for households as a result of significant increases in non-contestable charges in recent years; these being network charges, taxes and levies. With regard to consumer protection, rising energy poverty, as well as lack of clarity on the most appropriate means of tackling consumer vulnerability and energy poverty, have been a drag on the further deepening of the internal energy market. Switching-related fees such as contract termination charges continue to constitute a significant financial barrier to consumer engagement. In addition, the high number of complaints related to billing16 suggests that there is still scope to improve the comparability and clarity of billing information.

In addition to shortcomings in meeting the original objectives sought by the Third Energy Package, a new set of challenges has emerged which had not been envisaged at the time of preparing the Third Energy Package. These include, as mentioned above, the very strong increase of renewable sources in electricity generation, the increase of state interventions in the electricity markets for security of supply purposes, and changes taking place on the technological side. These have all led to significant changes in the way markets operate, especially during the past five years, to a dampening of the positive effect of the reforms for consumers and also an untapped potential from modernisation. This has opened a gap in the existing legislation regarding how to deal with these developments.

In line with the outcome of the evaluation and the related Impact Assessment, the current proposal seeks to close the gap and present an enabling framework to reflect technological developments in the sector as our energy systems' transition to new production and consumption models.

Stakeholder consultations

In preparation for the present initiative, the Commission has conducted several public consultations. These were open to EU citizens and Member States' authorities, energy market participants and their associations, as well as to any other relevant stakeholders, including SMEs and energy consumers.

Three consultations and their respective results shall be highlighted in particular:

European Commission (2016), Second Consumer Market Study on the functioning of retail electricity markets for consumers in the EU ,


1) Resource adequacy related issues were the subject of a public consultation17 conducted from 15 November 2012 to 7 February 2013, as per the "Consultation on generation adequacy, capacity mechanisms, and the internal market in electricity". This was aimed at obtaining stakeholders' views on ensuring resource adequacy and security of electricity supply in the internal market.

The consultation received 148 individual responses from public bodies, industry (both energy producing and consuming) and academia. A detailed chart of responses to the consultation is available online18, as well as all individual contributions and a summary of results from the consultation19.

2) A public consultation dedicated to electricity retail markets and end-consumers20 was conducted from 22 January 2014 to 17 April 2014. The Commission received 237 responses to the consultation, with about 20% of submissions coming from energy suppliers, 14% from DSOs, 7% from consumer organisations, and 4% from NRAs. A significant number of individual citizens also participated in the consultation. A full summary of responses is available on the Commission's website21.

3) A wide public consultation22 on a new energy market design was conducted from 15 July 2015 to 9 October 2015.

The Commission received 320 replies to this consultation. About 50% of submissions have come from national or EU-wide industry associations. 26% of answers originated from companies active in the energy sector (suppliers, intermediaries, consumers) and 9% from network operators. 17 national governments and several NRAs also fed back on the consultation. A significant number of individual citizens and academic institutes participated to the consultation as well. A detailed description of stakeholders' opinions under each of the specific policy options is available in the Impact Assessment accompanying this legislative initiative.

Collection and use of expertise

The preparation of the proposed regulation and the Impact Assessment is based on a large body of material, all of which is referenced in the footnotes in the Impact Assessment. These include close to 30 studies and modelling tools, conducted mostly by independent external parties, aimed at assessing specific options under the current proposal. These are listed in full



European Commission (2012) Consultation Paper on generation adequacy, capacity mechanisms and the internal market in electricity

https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/20130207_generation_adequacy_consultation_do cument.pdf

https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/Charts_Public%20Consultation%20Reta il%20Energy%20Market.pdf


European Commission (2012) Consultation on generation adequacy, capacity mechanisms, and the internal market in electricity


European Commission (2014) Consultation on the retail energy market https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/consultations/consultation-retail-energy-market

https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/Charts_Public%20Consultation%20Reta il%20Energy%20Market.pdf

European Commission (2015) Consultation on a new Energy Market Design COM(2015) 340 final https://ec.europa.eu/energy/en/consultations/public-consultation-new-energy-market-design





under Annex V of the Impact Assessment. The studies cover a range of methodologies, with a focus on quantitative estimates of economic and social cost benefit analyses.

In addition, the Commission has also been conducting a sector inquiry into national capacity mechanisms whose interim outcomes were promptly fed into the preparatory phase of the current proposal23. The results from these studies have complemented the extensive feedback obtained by stakeholders as described above and, overall, have given the Commission an extensive evidence basis on which to ground the current proposals.

Impact assessment

All proposed measures are supported by the Impact Assessment. The Regulatory Scrutiny Board issued a positive opinion on 7 November 2016. The manner in which the Regulatory Scrutiny Board's views were taken into account is set out in Annex I of the Impact Assessment.

The Impact Assessment looked at a number of policy options for each problem set identified. These problem sets and the alternative routes for intervention are listed below:

Adapting Market Design to the rise in renewables and technological development:

The Impact Assessment endorsed an enhancement of current market rules in order to create a level-playing field among all generation technologies and resources by removing existing market distortions. It addresses rules that discriminate between resources and which limit or favour the access of certain technologies to the electricity grid. In addition, all market participants would bear financial responsibility for imbalances caused on the grid and all resources would be remunerated in the market on equal terms. Barriers to demand-response would be removed. The chosen option would also strengthen short-term markets by bringing them closer to real-time in order to provide maximum opportunity to meet flexibility needs and by rendering balancing markets more efficient. The chosen option includes measures that would help pulling all flexible distributed resources concerning generation, demand and storage, into the market via proper incentives and a market framework better adapted to them and measures to better incentivise DSOs.

A non-regulatory approach was dismissed as providing little scope for improving the market and ensuring a level-playing field among resources. Indeed, the current EU regulatory framework in the relevant areas is limited or even non-existent for other areas. Furthermore, voluntary cooperation was deemed not to provide the appropriate level of harmonisation or certainty to the market. Equally, the option of full harmonisation of market rules was also discarded as the changes might breach proportionality principles and would generally be unnecessary given the state of European energy markets at present.

Addressing future generation investments and uncoordinated capacity mechanisms

Various policy options going beyond the baseline scenario were assessed, with each option proposing varying degrees of alignment and coordination among Member States at EU level, and a different extent to which market participants would rely on energy market payments.

A so-called energy-only market option would see European markets being sufficiently improved and interconnected that it provides the necessary price signals to spur investments in new resources and in the right places. In such a scenario, no capacity mechanisms would be required any longer.

Interim Report of the Sector Inquiry on capacity Mechanisms, C(2016) 2107 final.


The chosen option builds on this energy-only market scenario but does not discard the possibility for Member States of using capacity mechanisms, provided however these are based on a shared resource adequacy assessment methodology carried out in full transparency through ENTSO-E and ACER and comply with common design features for better compatibility between national capacity mechanisms and harmonised cross-border cooperation. This option builds on the European Commission Guidelines on state aid for environmental protection and energy 2014-2020, alongside the Sector Inquiry on capacity mechanisms.

A non-regulatory approach was rejected as existing provisions under EU legislation are not sufficiently clear and robust to cope with the challenges facing the European electricity system. In addition, voluntary cooperation may not provide for appropriate levels of harmonisation across all Member States or certainty to the market. Legislation is needed in this area to address the issues in a consistent way. The option in which, based on regional or EU-wide generation adequacy assessments, entire regions or ultimately all EU Member States would be required to roll out capacity mechanisms on a mandatory basis was discarded as being disproportionate.

Under-performance of Retail Markets: slow deployment and low levels of services

The endorsed option includes a gradual phasing-out by Member States of blanket price regulation by a deadline set in EU legislation, starting with prices below costs. This option allows for transitional price regulation for vulnerable consumers. To increase consumer engagement, the use of contract termination fees is restricted. Consumer confidence in comparison websites is to be fostered through national authorities implementing a certification tool. In addition, high-level principles will ensure that energy bills are clear and easy to understand, through minimum content requirements. Member States are also required to monitor the number of households on energy poverty. Finally, to allow the development of new services by new entrants and energy service companies, non-discriminatory access to consumer data is ensured.

Other options considered, but discarded, included a full harmonization of consumer legislation alongside extensive consumer safeguards; exemptions to price regulation defined at EU level on the basis of either a consumption threshold or a price threshold; a standard data handling model to be enforced and the responsibility assigned to a neutral market actor such as a TSO; all switching fees including contract termination fees would be banned and the content of energy bills partially harmonized; and finally, an EU framework to monitor energy poverty based on an energy efficiency survey done by Member States of the housing stock as well as preventive measures to avoid disconnections are put in place. These options were all discarded on grounds of subsidiarity and proportionality principles. Maintaining the status quo was not considered a viable option either by almost all of the stakeholders consulted.

Improvement of the institutional framework and role of the Agency

The Third Package institutional framework aims at fostering the cooperation of NRAs as well as between TSOs. Since their establishment, ACER and the ENTSOs have played a key role in the progress towards a functioning internal energy market. However, the recent developments in the European energy markets that are considered in the current Impact Assessment and the subsequent proposals of the Market Design Initiative require an adaptation of the institutional framwork. In addition, the implementation of the Third Package has also highlighted areas with room for improvement concerning the framework applicable to ACER and the ENTSOs. In terms of options considered for reforming the institutional framework, a business as usual scenario was discarded for it would open up regulatory and

market surveillance gaps, in line with evolving market provisions introduced elsewhere in this proposal as well as with the ongoing progress at EU level of secondary legislation.

A non-regulatory approach of 'stronger enforcement' and voluntary collaboration without any new, additional measures to adapt the institutional framework was considered. Improved enforcement of existing legislation entails the continued implementation of the Third Package and full implementation of network codes and guidelines – as described under option 'business as usual' – combined with stronger enforcement. However, stronger enforcement alone would not provide any improvement to the current institutional framework.

A legislative option transforming ACER to something closer to a pan-European regulator was also considered but ultimately discarded. In order for the Agency to perform such a role, it would require a significant reinforcement of ACER's budget and staff as this would make a strong concentration of experts in the Agency necessary. It appears also appropriate to maintain the involvement of national regulators in the Agency's decision-making process and not to substitute systematically majority decisions by national regulators through decisions by the director.

Legislative options to improve ACER on the basis of the existing framework were thus considered. The option endorsed by the Impact Assessment enables the adaptation of the EU institutional framework to the new realities of the electricity system. It also addresses the resulting need for additional regional cooperation and the existing and anticipated regulatory gaps in the energy market, thereby providing for flexibility by a combination of bottom-up and top-down approaches.

In addition, in order to address the existing regulatory gap as regards NRAs' regulatory functions at regional level, the policy initiatives under this option would set out a flexible regional regulatory framework to enhance the regional coordination and decision-making of NRAs. This option would introduce a system of coordinated regional decisions and oversight of certain topics by NRAs of the region (e.g. ROCs and others deriving from the proposed market design initiatives) and would give ACER a role for safeguarding the EU-interest.

Fundamental rights

The present proposal may have an impact on a number of fundamental rights established by the Charter on Fundamental Rights of the EU, in particular: the respect for private and family life (Article 7), the right to protection of personal data (Article 8), the prohibition of discrimination (Article 21), the right to social assistance (Article 34), access to services of general economic interest (Article 36), the integration of a high level of environmental protection (Article 37) and the right to an effective remedy (Article 47).

This is addressed in particular through a number of provisions concerning consumer protection, energy poverty, protection of vulnerable customers, access to services of general economic interest, data protection and privacy.

A summary of the Impact Assessment can be found on the Commission website24, alongside the positive opinion of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board.

Regulatory fitness and simplification


The proposal may increase administrative requirements, albeit to a limited extent. For example, by bringing in a level-playing field for all technologies to participate fully in energy

[OP: Please insert link to Impact Assessment]


markets, these technologies would have to abide with a number of market compliance requirements that may generate some administrative workload.

The measures envisaged to improve the liquidity and integration of energy markets may also generate some short-term impact to businesses as these would have to adapt for new energy trading arrangements. These are however considered minimal compared to the baseline scenario of no action, as the economic gains of the reform would very largely surpass any short or long-term administrative reorganization.

Equally, the gradual phasing out of regulated prices at Member State level will require NRAs to step up efforts in monitoring markets, ensuring efficient competition and guaranteeing consumer protection. These impacts may be offset by increased consumer engagement, which would naturally act to foster competition in the market.

The range of activities to be performed under the updated institutional setting shall also generate a new set of requirements for engagement at administrative level on the part of national regulators and transmission operators. These include participation within ACER and through the decision-making processes leading to the agreement of methodologies and practices for the smooth trading of energy at the border.

A detailed administrative and economic impact on business and public authorities for each of the policy options considered can be found in chapter 6 of the Impact Assessment.


The budgetary impact associated to the proposal under this package concerns the resources of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) which are described in the Legislative Financial Statement accompanying the Commission proposal for a recast of the Regulation establishing ACER. Essentially, the new tasks to be carried out by ACER, notably as regards the assessment of system adequacy and the establishment of Regional Operation Centres, require a phasing in of up to 18 additional FTE in the Agency in 2020, as well as corresponding financial resources. 5. OTHERELEMENTS

Implementation plans and monitoring, evaluation and reporting arrangements

The Commission will monitor the transposition and compliance of the Member States and other actors with the measures that shall be ultimately adopted, and shall take enforcement measures if and when required. In addition, as it has already done in the context of the implementation of the Third Energy Package, the Commission will provide guidance documents providing assistance on the implementation of the adopted measures.

Across monitoring and implementation purposes, the Commission will notably be supported by ACER. The annual reporting by the Agency and parallel evaluations carried out by the Commission, together with the reporting from the Electricity Coordination Group are all part of the provisions in the current initiative. The Agency will be invited to further review its monitoring indicators to ensure their continuing relevance for monitoring progress towards the objectives underlying the present proposals, so that these may be adequately reflected, amongst other things, through ACER's annual market monitoring report document.

Parallel to the proposed initiatives, the Commission will bring forward an initiative concerning the governance of the Energy Union that will streamline the planning, reporting and monitoring requirements. Based on the initiative of the governance of the Energy Union, the current monitoring and reporting requirements of the Commission and Member States in the Third Energy Package will be integrated in horizontal progress and monitoring reports.

More information on the streamlining of the monitoring and reporting requirements can be found in the impact assessment for the governance of the European Union.

A more extensive treatment of monitoring mechanisms and benchmark indicators can be found in Chapter 8 of the Impact Assessment.

6. Explanation of the specific provisions of the proposals

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council

on common rules for the internal market in electricity (Recast)

Chapter I of the proposed Directive provides some clarifications to the scope and subject matter of the Directive, emphasising the focus on consumers and the importance of the internal market and its main principles. It provides also for an update of the main definitions used in the Directive.

Chapter II of the proposed Directive lays down the general principle that Member States have to ensure that the EU electricity market is competitive, consumer-centred, flexible and non-discriminatory. It emphasises that national measures should not unduly hamper cross-border flows, consumer participation or investments. It further enshrines the principle that supply prices shall be market-based, subject to duly justified exceptions. The chapter also clarifies certain principles relating to the functioning of the EU electricity markets, such as the right to choose a supplier. It also provides for updated rules on possible public service obligations which may be imposed by Member States on energy undertakings under certain circumstances.

Chapter III of the proposed Directive reinforces pre-existing consumer rights and introduces new rights that aim at putting consumers at the heart of the energy markets by ensuring that they are empowered and better protected. It sets rules on clearer billing information and on certified comparison tools. It contains provisions ensuring that consumers are able to freely choose and change suppliers or aggregators, are entitled to a dynamic price contract and are able to engage in demand response, self-generation and self-consumption of electricity. It entitles every consumer to request a smart meter equipped with a minimum set of functionalities. It also improves pre-existing rules on the consumers' possibility to share their data with suppliers and service providers by clarifying the role of the parties responsible for data management and by setting a common European data format to be developed by the Commission in an implementing act. It also aims to ensure that energy poverty is addressed by Member States. It further requires Member States to define frameworks for independent aggregators and for demand response along principles that enable their full participation in the market. It defines a framework for local energy communities which may engage in local energy generation, distribution, aggregation, storage, supply or energy efficiency services. It further provides some clarifications to pre-existing provisions on smart meters, single points of contacts, and rights to out-of-court settlement, universal service and vulnerable consumers.

Chapter IV of the proposed Directive provides for some clarifications concerning the tasks of DSOs, notably relating to the activities of DSOs concerning the procurement of network services to ensure flexibility, the integration of electrical vehicles and data management. It also clarifies the role of DSOs with respect to storage and recharging points for electric vehicles.

Chapter V of the proposed Directive summarises the general rules applicable to TSOs, largely based on existing text, providing only some clarifications concerning ancillary services and the new Regional Operational Centres.

Chapter VI of the proposed Directive, setting out the rules on unbundling as developed in the Third Energy Package, remains unchanged as concerns the main substantive rules on unbundling, notably with respect to the three regimes for TSOs (ownership unbundling, independent system operator and independent transmission operator), as well as with respect to the provisions on TSO designation and certification. It only provides a clarification on the possibility for TSOs to own storage or to provide ancillary services.

Chapter VII of the proposed Directive contains the rules on establishment, scope of powers and duties as well as rules of functioning of the independent national energy regulators. The proposal notably emphasises the obligation of regulators to cooperate with neighbouring regulators and ACER in case issues of cross-border relevance are concerned and updates the list of tasks of regulators, inter alia with respect to the supervision of the newly created Regional Operational Centres.

Chapter VIII of the proposed Directive changes some general provisions, inter alia on derogations to the Directive, exercise of delegated powers by the Commission and the Committee established under comitology rules pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.

The new Annexes to the proposed Directive set out more requirements on comparison tools, billing and billing information and amends pre-existing requirements for smart meters and their roll-out.

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the

internal electricity market (Recast)

Chapter I of the proposed Regulation sets out the scope and subject matter and the definitions of terms used in it. It emphasises the importance of undistorted market signals to provide for increased flexibility, decarbonisation and innovation and updates and complements the main definitions used in the Regulation.

Chapter II of the proposed Regulation introduces a new Article which sets out the key principles to be respected by national energy legislation in order to allow for a functioning internal electricity market. It also sets out the main legal principles for electricity trading rules within different trading timeframes (balancing, intraday, day-ahead and forward markets), including principles for price formation. It clarifies the principle of balancing responsibility and provides for a framework for more market compatible rules for the dispatch and curtailment of generation and demand response, including conditions for any exceptions thereof.

Chapter III of the proposed Regulation describes the process to define bidding zones in a coordinated manner, in line with the review process created in Regulation 1222/2015 establishing a Guideline on Capacity Calculation and Congestion Management25. In order to address the persisting problem of significant national limitations to cross-border electricity flows, the conditions for such exceptional limitations are clarified, notably by rules that shall ensure that electricity imports and exports are not restricted by national actors for economic reasons. This Chapter further contains amendments to pre-existing principles for transmission and distribution network tariffs and sets a procedure for fostering the progressive convergence of transmission and distribution tariff methodologies. It also sets out amended rules for the usage of congestion rents.

25 Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/1222 of 24 July 2015 establishing a guideline on capacity allocation

and congestion management OJ L 197, 25.7.2015, p. 24–72.

Chapter IV of the proposed Regulation sets out new general principles for addressing resource adequacy concerns by Member States in a coordinated manner. It sets out principles and a procedure for the development of a European resource adequacy assessment to better determine the need for capacity mechanisms and, if appropriate, the setting of a reliability standard by Member States. It clarifies how and under which conditions capacity mechanisms can be introduced in a market-compatible manner. It also clarifies market compatible design principles for capacity mechanisms, including rules for the participation of capacity located in another Member State and for interconnection usage. It sets out how Regional Operational Centres, national TSOs, the ENTSO for electricity and national regulators via ACER will be involved in the development of technical parameters for the participation of capacities located in another Member State as well as the operational rules for their participation.

Chapter V of the proposed Regulation sets out the tasks and duties of the ENTSO for Electricity and the monitoring tasks of ACER in this regard whilst clarifying its duty to act independently and for the European good. It defines the mission of Regional Operational Centres and provides for criteria and a procedure for defining system operation regions covered by each Regional Operational Centre and the coordination functions that these centres perform. It also sets out working and organisational arrangements, consultation requirements, requirements and procedures for the adoption of decisions and recommendations and their revision, the composition and responsibilities of the management board and liability arrangements of Regional Operational Centres. The chapter also incorporates rules on the connection if cogeneration units, previously included in Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency. The rules on a ten-year network development plan, inter-transmission system operator compensation, information exchange and certification remain largely unchanged.

Chapter VI of the proposed Regulation sets up a European entity for DSOs, defines a procedure for its establishment and its tasks including with regard to the consultation of stakeholders. It also provides detailed rules on the cooperation between DSOs and TSOs with regard to the planning and operation of their networks.

Chapter VII of the proposed Regulation sets out pre-existing powers and rules for the Commission to adopt delegated acts in the form of network codes or guidelines. It provides for clarifications as to the legal nature and the adoption of network codes and guidelines and enlarges their possible content to areas such as distribution tariff structures; rules for the provision of non-frequency ancillary services; demand response, energy storage and demand curtailment rules; cyber security rules; rules regarding to Regional Operational Centres; and, the curtailment of generation and redispatch of generation and demand. It simplifies and streamlines the procedure for the elaboration of electricity network codes and gives national regulators the possibility to decide within ACER on issues concerning the implementation of network codes and guidelines. It also includes the European entity for DSOs and other stakeholders more closely in the procedure of the development of proposals for electricity network codes.

Chapter VIII of the proposed Regulation sets out the final provisions of the proposed Regulation. It includes the pre-existing rules for the exemption of new direct current interconnectors from certain requirement of the Electricity Directive and Regulation whilst clarifying the procedure for subsequent amendments made by NRAs thereof.

The Annex to the proposed Regulation defines in more detail the functions attributed to the Regional Operational Centers created by the Regulation.

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council

establishing a European Union Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (recast)

In general, the rules concerning ACER are proposed to be adapted to the 'Common Approach' on EU decentralised agencies agreed between the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission (Common Approach)26. Keeping limited deviations from the 'Common Approach' is, however, warranted for ACER at the present stage.

Chapter I of the proposed Regulation describes the role, objectives and tasks of ACER and the type of acts that it can adopt, and provides for rules on consultations and monitoring. The list of tasks has been updated to include ACER's duties in the field of wholesale market supervision and cross-border infrastructure which were attributed to ACER subsequent to the adoption of the Regulation.

With respect to the adoption of electricity network codes, ACER is given more responsibility in elaborating and submitting the final proposal for a network code to the Commission, while maintaining ENTSO-E's role as a technical expert. The proposal also includes a formal place for DSOs to be represented at EU level, notably in the development of network code proposals, in line with an increase in their responsibilities. The Agency is given the competence to decide on terms, methodologies and algorithms for the implementation of electricity network codes and guidelines.

For tasks in a regional context concerning only a limited number of national regulators, a regional decision-making process is introduced. Accordingly, the Director would have to give his opinion on whether the issue in question is primarily of regional relevance. If the Board of Regulators agrees that this is the case a regional sub-committee of the Board of Regulators should prepare the decision in question which would finally be taken or rejected by the Board of Regulators itself. Otherwise the Board of Regulators would decide without the intervention of a regional sub-committee.

The Chapter also defines a number of new tasks for ACER concerning the coordination of certain functions related to the Regional Operational Centres within the Agency, concerning the supervision of Nominated Electricity Market Operators and related to the approval of methods and proposal related to generation adequacy and risk preparedness.

Chapter II of the proposed Regulation contains organisational rules relating to the Administrative Board, the Board of Regulators, the Director, the Board of Appeal and, as a new provision, on the Agency's working groups. While adapting several individual provisions to the Common Approach on EU decentralised agencies or to the new Council voting rules, the main features of the existing governance structure, in particular the Board of Regulators, are preserved.

This deviation of ACER, from the Common Approach is justified as follows:

The main objectives of European Electricity Policy, security of supply, affordability of electricity and decarbonisation could be reached most cost effectively by an integrated European electricity market. Accordingly, the electricity transmission infrastructure is progressively interconnected, increasing volumes of electricity are traded cross border, generation capacities are shared at a European scale and the transmission system is operated

See joint Statement of the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission on decentralised agencies of 19.7.2012.


taking regional, cross-border aspects into account. The present legislative packages further enhance these trends which are expected to result in efficiencies to the benefit of European customers.

A precondition for the creation of an internal electricity market is the opening of the sector to competition. As in other sectors of economy as well, the opening of the electricity market required new regulations, in particular with regard to the transmission and distribution system, and regulatory oversight. To this effect, independent regulatory authorities were put in place. These entities remain with a particular responsibility when it comes to overseeing national and European rules applicable to the electricity sector.

However, with the increasing cross-border trade and system operation which takes the regional and European context into account, NRAs were required to increasingly coordinate their action with NRAs from other Member States. ACER was designed to become the platform for this interaction and fulfils this duty since its creation in 2011. The body within the Agency where most opinions, recommendations and decisions of the Agency are prepared, together with ACER staff, is thus the Board of Regulators comprising senior representatives of the NRAs and a non-voting representative of the Commission. The first years of the existence of the Agency have shown that the Board of Regulators managed to contribute effectively to the fulfilment of the tasks of the Agency.

Since energy markets are still largely regulated at national level, national regulators are actors with a key role for energy markets. The main role of ACER is not the execution of delegated regulatory Commission competencies, but the coordination of the regulatory decisions of independent national regulators. The present legislative proposal still largely preserves this distribution of roles. The current structure strikes a fine-tuned balance of powers between the different actors, having regard to the special features of the developing internal energy market. Changing the balance at this stage might risk jeopardising the implementation of the policy initiatives in the legislative proposals and thereby would pose obstacles to the further integration of the energy market which is the main purpose of the present proposal. It therefore appears as premature to transfer decision-making powers to a Management Board as provided for in the Common Approach. Instead it seems rather appropriate to keep the current structure which ensures that the national regulators act without any direct intervention of EU institutions or Member States in the specific matters. At the same time, the overall work of the regulators remains subject to the approval of the EU institutions via programming, budgetary and strategic documents. EU institutions are also involved in administrative matters. As a consequence, it is not proposed to change the set-up and operation of the existing Board of Regulators.

Likewise, it is not proposed to adapt the concept of the Administrative Board to the model of the Common Approach Management Board. The Agency's Administrative Board in its existing composition proved to be particularly effective and efficient over the last years. Its operation is assured by representatives of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission.

Even though at this stage, the Commission does not find it appropriate to adapt the governance structure of the Agency fully to the Common Approach, it will continue to monitor if the described deviations from the Common Approach are still justified, with the next evaluation scheduled for 2021 which in addition to an assessment of the Agency's objectives, mandate and tasks will have a particular focus on the governance structure of the Agency.

Chapter III of the proposed Regulation contains financial provisions. Several individual provisions are proposed to be adapted to the Common Approach on decentralised agencies.

Chapter IV of the proposed Regulation updates several individual provisions in line with the Common Approach and contains otherwise largely unchanged provisions on staff and liability.

^ 714/2009 (adapted)