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This document sets out the EAPN’s response to the Communication highlighting possible elements for a future Charter on the Rights of Energy Consumers that the European Commission published following the opening up of Europe’s gas and electricity markets to competition on the 1st July.
This consultation builds on the concerns raised by the Commission in the Communication on the internal gas and electricity market and the energy policy communication agreed in January 2007 which highlighted the importance of ensuring that consumer interest were fully taken into account and the “highest public standards of public services in energy across the EU applied”.
For most EAPN members, the provision of Energy services is a central concern. They highlight that the plight of people on low-incomes who cannot pay rising prices for fuel ( gas, electricity and other forms of fuel), increasing problems of debt and uncertainty about the continuity of supply and the quality of the services.
Severe doubts are expressed by our members about the current focus on liberating the internal market at all costs .Currently no efforts appear to being made to engage with people on the lowest incomes to discuss with them how these strategies are impacting, or to discuss adequate solutions. EAPN calls on the Commission to ensure that people experiencing poverty’s views are heard and acted on as a central pillar to the approach on the charter and to ensure that right to energy is guaranteed through EU legislative frameworks.