* To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the extent to which, at EU Council meeting, any discussions has revolved around the energy cost through the European Union and the need to ensure that price reductions on the international markets are transferred to the consumer, without exception; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Bernard J. Durkan.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 16th June, 2015.
(1304 Received on 11th June, 2015.)
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Alex White)
The European Commission recently published the Energy Union Package, A Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union with a Forward-Looking Climate Change Package. The package and accompanying suite of documents are available at http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/energy-union/index_en.htm . These documents set out the European Union policy to achieve secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy for all EU energy customers, be they households, businesses, or other consumers. Together with my fellow EU energy ministers I have contributed to the debate on the Energy Union strategy, most recently at energy ministers’ meetings in Luxembourg, Brussels and Riga.
Among the proposals in the strategy designed to achieve the full integration of the European internal energy market are measures to ensure greater transparency in the composition of energy costs and prices by developing regular and detailed monitoring and reporting on energy prices, with particular attention to the role of taxes, levies and national supports. The Commission also intends to prepare an ambitious legislative proposal to redesign the electricity market, including a proposal to link wholesale and retail markets. For our part, the Integrated Single Electricity Market Project (I-SEM), led by the regulators in Ireland and Northern Ireland, will deliver improved electricity regional market integration.
I have engaged with the energy supply companies to impress on them the importance of the market passing on savings to customers in a timely manner. While I have no statutory role in the setting or review of energy prices I welcome the announcements of major suppliers over that last few months to cut domestic gas and electricity prices.