Engaged customers driving the energy transition

The development of renewables together with the digitalisation of the power system have made possible a paradigm change at the European system level. The growing need for flexibility makes customers the key enabler of the energy transition. They are now playing a more and more active role in the energy market through smart networks, smart homes and new services, taking ownership of the way they use and consume their electricity.

This shift will be the topic of discussion during a panel debate moderated by professor Leonardo Meeus, Director of the Vlerick Energy Centre. The panel debate is part of the annual Policy Conference, Europe’s most important conference dedicated to sustainable energy policy issues. The conference is the high point of the European Commission’s Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW16), taking place in Brussels from 13 – 17 June.

The Energy Union, from its inception, has given the customer a central role. The forthcoming update of the energy legislation, the so-called ‘Winter Package’, will further develop the regulatory framework for active customers. The purpose of this panel debate is to showcase innovative examples and draft key recommendations for policy makers on how the customers can engage, benefiting from the smarter energy markets. The debate is co-organised by the main European industry and regulatory associations, being ENTSO-E, EDSO for Smart Grids, CEER, SEDC and the IDEAS Platform. They have joined forces to explore the various ways in which customers themselves can drive the energy transition.

The focus will be on the role of demand-side flexibility in achieving EU energy objectives:

  • The need for active customers to participate in all markets, including the balancing markets through enhanced cooperation between transmission and distribution levels;
  • Smart meters benefits in providing accurate and secure data on energy consumption, while enabling customers to make smart choices helping them to save money and energy;
  • Best practices on sharing experiences and conducting market monitoring, making sure that Europe’s energy markets are delivering the promised benefits to customers;
  • Challenges and opportunities of customer engagement in the use of new technologies such as smart homes, self-consumption and storage.

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