The Nordic energy regulators (NordREG) reveals in a new report that they believe the regulation of universal service provisions are of national concern. NordREG will therefore not issue any recommendations on a single harmonised Nordic model for universal service at this stage.

NordREG has from 2010 worked active to develop a harmonised Nordic retail market. The Nordic ministers for energy gave them the task to create common Nordic solutions to further harmonise the retail markets.

NordREG adds in the report that energy regulators should nationally regard the effects on the harmonised Nordic end user market, when developing the universal service obligations. They say that it`s important to issue recommendations on customer activity and neutrality by distribution system operators (DSOs), which is of great importance for the competition in the market.

Additionally, the report says that the cornerstone for achieving a common Nordic end-user market is the supplier centric model. It implies that the customer should contact the supplier in a majority of cases on the electricity market. All Nordic countries have systems – with different features – where there is a default supplier for those customers who choose not to make an active choice in the retail market. The study recognises the risk of not needing to be active on the retail market as one of the key issues.

NordREG recognises that in order to create an effective and well-functioning retail market it is important to encourage customers to make active choices. Even if NordREG doesn’t find it necessary to harmonise universal service obligations within the Nordic countries at this stage, all Nordic countries should try to remove from their universal obligations such existing features which unnecessarily support customers’ passivity.

Read the report: Nordic harmonisation of universal service supply obligations