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The Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) to receive new tasks under a provisional deal reached between MEPs and EU Member States on Tuesday.

After the deal was reached, rapporteur Morten Helveg Petersen (ALDE, DK) said: “When it comes to electricity trade, Europe suffers from bottlenecks across national borders. It’s slowing down our green energy transition and thereby our ability to combat climate change. In addition, it keeps consumer prices up and the EU’s competitiveness down. With the ACER reform we take important steps towards a more open and better regulated electricity market. This will benefit the climate, consumers and our economy at large.”

Strengthening ACER

ACER will see its tasks updated in the field of wholesale market supervision and cross-border infrastructure. It will also play an important role in the coordination of national regulatory actions thereby helping to solve bottlenecks and make decision-making faster and more efficient.

ACER will be able to issue recommendations to European Network of Transmission System Operators for electricity (ENTSO-E), the European entity of distribution system operators in the Union or Regional Coordination Centres on the compliance with their obligations. If a case of non-compliance is identified, the national regulatory authorities concerned must decide on measures to be taken. If no such decision is taken within 4 months, ACER should take the decision instead.

It was also agreed that the Agency should be properly resourced to carry out its tasks including through contributions from the general EU budget and contributions from national regulatory authorities.

More regional and European cooperation

ACER provides an integrated framework which enables national regulatory authorities to participate and cooperate about cross-border issues. This role becomes even more important in a more open and integrated European energy market.

The Agency should also monitor regional cooperation between transmission system operators in the electricity and gas sectors to guarantee regulatory oversight.

Membership of ACER will be open to third countries that have entered into an agreement with the EU in the area of energy.

Next steps

The deal will now be put to the Industry, Research and Energy Committee and plenary for approval as well as the Council. The Regulation will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal.

Background

The proposal for a revision of the Regulation establishing the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) forms part of the “Clean Energy for all Europeans Package” and is closely linked to other files of the package, in particular those related to the electricity market revision.

The purpose of the proposal is to adapt the ACER Regulation to changes to electricity market rules. It assigns ACER a number of new tasks related to the regional cooperation, the supervision of nominated electricity market operators and the assessment of generation adequacy and risk preparedness. The proposal also gives the Agency a stronger role in the development of network codes and the coordination of regional decision-making.

The increased scope of responsibilities and enhanced powers will give ACER a central a central role in the implementation of the clean energy package and in ensuring a well-functioning EU energy market.