Energy crisis: The Commission hosts a roundtable to discuss measures on consumer protection

Today, the Commission is organising a roundtable to consult key stakeholders on the protection of EU consumers in the context of the energy crisis.  In light of high energy prices and the overall impact of the crisis on the cost of living, both the EU and Member States have been taking measures to support consumers, especially vulnerable ones, in their ability to pay their energy bills and to ensure access to energy supplies. Today’s meeting will gather energy regulators, energy providers, consumers associations and representatives of the EU and Member States. Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, said: “Most European consumers have adapted their consumption patterns to save on energy. Nonetheless, many of them are worried about their capacity to pay their bills. In light of these challenging times, the Commission remains determined to find alternative options to help consumers alleviate the situation. This is precisely why we have decided to convene this roundtable for energy providers and authorities to learn from best practices.” Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, said: “EU consumers have been at the heart of our action to tackle high energy prices for the past year. It is our top priority to protect them from the impact of this energy crisis, making sure everyone gets the necessary support and no one is cut off from energy supply. With our recent proposals, the Commission has made additional funding available for the Member States to help vulnerable consumers, households and businesses.” With its Energy Prices Toolbox and further communications, the Commission has provided Member States with guidance on immediate measures to protect consumers such emergency income support, temporary deferrals of bill payments, temporary and targeted tax reductions and safeguards to avoid disconnections from the grid. Recently, it also came forward with an emergency market intervention to collect surplus revenues from the energy sector and redistribute them to consumers. Following up on the conclusions of the European Council of October, today’s meeting is aimed at fostering an exchange between key stakeholders at EU level on further potential measures to mitigate the impact of high energy prices on households. Indeed, results of a survey published today by the Commission confirm that almost half of European consumers (48%) are concerned about paying their bills in the next six months. It also shows that a large majority of them have changed habits to save energy at home (71%). The results of the survey can be found here.