(Montel) EU energy regulatory agency Acer would be able to carry out on-site inspections to gather data on suspected market manipulation under an informal deal agreed by EU lawmakers.
It would also be able to issue requests for information and take statements, lawmakers agreed late Thursday in provisional updates to the EU’s Remit rules on energy market integrity and transparency.
Acer would be able to impose fines to ensure compliance with on-site inspection decisions and requests for information.
National regulators would remain solely responsible, however, for enforcing the rules against manipulation and abuse, and for imposing any fines for breaching them.
The draft deal gives Acer the right to investigate cases where suspected illegal activity affects at least two EU countries, and to prioritise such cases.
National regulators would be able to object within three months to Acer investigating such cases if they themselves had formally opened or carried out an investigation based on the same facts.
Market participants from outside the EU – which includes Norway, Switzerland and the UK – would have to designate a representative in an EU country where they actively trade wholesale gas or power.
This representative would have to be authorised to act on behalf of the market participant and be able to ensure its “efficient and timely compliance” with national regulators’ or Acer’s decisions and requests for information.
The draft deal has to be formally approved by both the parliament and the council, representing national governments, before it can become binding.
The European Commission proposed updating Remit in March along with changes to the EU’s power market design rules as part of efforts to shield consumers from price spikes, make power prices less dependent on fossil fuels and speed up renewable energy take up.
EU leaders want the power market design rules agreed by the end of this year.