Opinion & Analysis

National policies to shield consumers from rising energy prices

By Giovanni Sgaravatti Simone Tagliapietra Georg Zachmann

The current increase in wholesale energy prices in Europe has prompted governments to put in place measures to shield consumers from the direct impact of rising prices. The purpose of this dataset is to track and give a (non-exhaustive) overview of the different policies used by countries at national level to mitigate the effect of the price spike for consumers.

Measures at the sub-national and supra-national levels are excluded from the scope of this dataset, but this by no means implies that they are less relevant. While policies at the regional level can have a sizeable impact on consumers, for example in Belgium, in most European Union countries both energy regulation and levies are set at the national level. Similarly, long-term measures to counteract energy-price volatility are also of extreme importance. Countries like Italy and Spain (among others) are calling for joint action at the EU level to implement strategic stocks and joint procurement of natural gas while others, such as Hungary and the Czech Republic, want to rethink the Emissions Trading Scheme mechanism and France is vocal about reforming the pricing mechanism of the European energy market. We recognise these developments as worth investigating and have looked into them in a publication ahead of the European Council meeting in December, where EU leaders returned to the issue of energy prices.

Access the full data set here