Smart Electricity Systems: Access Conditions for Household Customers Under EU Law

Diestelmeier, L. & Kuiken, D., 31-Mar-2017, In : European Competition and Regulatory Law Review. 1, 1, p. 36-46 11 p.

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  • Smart Electricity Systems

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Achieving the EU policy goals of a secure, affordable, and sustainable electricity system available to all household customers requires the deployment of smart electricity systems (SES). In SES, all actors (eg consumer, producers, system operators) in the system are enabled to interact with each other by means of information and communication technology (ICT). From an infrastructural perspective SES can therefore also be described as electricity systems that are enhanced with communication systems. Both the electricity- and communication systems are subject to specific access conditions for household customers imposed by EU legislation. Whereas household customers have a clear right to access the electricity system, their right to access communication systems is limited. This article hypothesises that without the legal guarantees to ensure access for household customers to SES communication systems, the level playing field for household customers to participate in SES might be distorted. Therefore, this article addresses the following research question: what are the legal conditions for household customers to access SES communication services and what are their guarantees for accessing SES communication services? The article identifies four different options for household customers to access communication systems for SES under current EU legislation. Furthermore, it concludes that ensuring a level playing field for household customers to participate in SES requires EU and national policy makers to guarantee comparable conditions for household customers to access SES communication services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-46
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Competition and Regulatory Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31-Mar-2017

ID: 44052676