Consumer behavior Electricity market study sheds light on consumer behavior and attitudes towards energy deals

Today, the European Commission published its second consumer market study on the functioning of the retail electricity markets for consumers in the EU, Iceland and Norway. This final report assesses how market performance has evolved since the first electricity market study in 2010 and gives insights into consumers' experiences regarding product choice and comparability, billing information, complaint handling and other tools to make empowered decisions on energy deals. The research design included a regulatory review, consultation with stakeholders, a consumer survey, mystery shopping and behavioral experiments. These are the study’s central results: 

  • Electricity bills: 38 percent of consumers said they did not understand some basic information in their bill, such as how the price of their electricity is calculated. On the other hand, the majority of 77 percent of consumers agreed that their bills are easy to understand when asked in a survey.
  • Personal energy use: 32 percent of consumers lacked the knowledge on how much electricity they use, either on a monthly or yearly basis, and 42 percent could not indicate the sources of their electricity consumption.
  • Switching suppliers: 12 percent of consumers said they did not switch because it would be complicated. This is contrasted by only 2 percent of consumers who switched in the past three years and who actually did find it complicated. 

These and other insights were used to inform the Commission's legislative proposals for the "Clean Energy for All Europeans" package that was adopted in November 2016.

Source: European Commission

More information, final report and Factsheet