The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) today welcomed the opening of the 15th annual European Commission Citizen’s Energy Forum, which is being held in the Royal Dublin Society from 9-11 November 2023.

The European Commission established the Citizens' Energy Forum in 2008 and meets on an annual basis to explore the consumers' perspective and role in a competitive, 'smart', energy-efficient and fair energy retail market.

As such, the Forum serves to structure the debate and channel consumers', regulators' and industry's views on the energy market and its future, directly feeding into the work of the Commission in the energy and consumer policy areas.

The 2023 Forum will focus on citizens and the solutions they can access to lower their bills and participate in the energy transition, building on the learnings from the energy crisis and emergency measures implemented by Member States and regulatory authorities to better protect and empower household consumers.

Forum participants will also explore the building blocks for a more resilient energy system and future where all consumers can reduce and steer their demand, as well as access affordable renewable energy, including energy poor and vulnerable households.

The European Commission have invited a cross section of industry stakeholders and consumer representative groups from across Europe to participate in the policy debate on energy consumer rights.

The objective of the Forum is to place the discussion on the role of consumers in the energy market in the context of the measures proposed by the Clean Energy for all Europeans package and the recently adopted New Deal for Consumers package.  The forum will also receive presentations on innovative solutions in the energy retail market in terms of consumer engagement and business models.

Aoife MacEvilly, CRU Commissioner with responsibility for Retail markets said, “The CRU is delighted to welcome the European Commission and all delegates to the 15th Citizens’ Energy Forum.  We appreciate Minister Eamon Ryan’s opening address and call to action. This year’s Forum will reflect on lessons learned from the crisis – how quickly we can move to protect and empower consumers when we operate in “crisis mode” and collaborate across Government, regulators, industry and customer representative groups. The challenge for the Forum is to share learnings, sustain that momentum and ensure we do better in offering customers options to save money and through smart tariffs, flexible demand and participating in Energy Communities.

The challenge for regulators is also to leave no customers behind and ensure that vulnerable customers and customers in energy poverty are supported, not just through short term income supports but also through longer term energy efficiency upgrades and provision of renewable energy.“