Elmarkedet: reform av utformingen av EUs elmarked
BAKGRUNN (Fra europaparlaments- og rådsforordningen)
(1) Very high prices and volatility in electricity markets have been observed since September 2021. As set out by the European Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (‘ACER’) in its April 2022 assessment of EU wholesale electricity market design 17 , this is mainly a consequence of the high price of gas, which is used as an input to generate electricity.
(2) The escalation of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine, a Contracting Party of the Energy Community, and related international sanctions since February 2022 have disrupted global energy markets, exacerbated the problem of high gas prices, and have had significant knock-on impacts on electricity prices. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has also caused uncertainty on the supply of other commodities, such as hard coal and crude oil, used by power-generating installations. This has resulted in substantial additional increases in the volatility of price levels of electricity.
(3) In response to this situation, the Communication on Energy Prices presented by the Commission in October 2021 contained a toolbox of measures that the EU and its Member States may use to address the immediate impact of high energy prices on households and businesses (including income support, tax breaks, gas savings and storage measures) and to strengthen resilience against future price shocks. In its Communication of 8 March 2022 entitled ‘REPowerEU: Joint European Action for more affordable, secure and sustainable energy’ 18 the Commission outlined a series of additional measures to strengthen the toolbox and to respond to rising energy prices. On 23 March 2022, the Commission also established a temporary State Aid regime to allow certain subsidies to soften the impact of high energy prices. 19
(4) On 18 May 2022 the Commission presented the REPowerEU plan 20 that introduced additional measures focusing on energy savings, diversification of energy supplies and accelerated roll-out of renewable energy aiming at ending the Union’s dependency on Russian fossil fuels, including a proposal to increase the Union’s 2030 target for renewables to 45%. Furthermore, the Communication on Short-Term Energy Market Interventions and Long-Term Improvements to the Electricity Market Design 21 , in addition to setting out additional short-term measures to tackle high energy prices identified potential areas for improving the electricity market design and announced the intention to assess these areas with a view to change the legislative framework.
(5) To address urgently the price crisis and security concerns and to tackle the price hikes for citizens, and based on a series of Commission proposals, the Union adopted a strong gas storage regime 22 , effective demand reduction measures for gas and electricity 23 , price limiting regimes to avoid windfall profits in both gas and electricity markets 24 and measures to accelerate the permit-granting procedures for renewable energy installations 25 .
(6) A well-integrated market which builds on the Clean Energy for all Europeans Package adopted in 2018 and 2019 26 should allow the Union to reap the economic benefits of a single energy market in normal market circumstances, ensuring security of supply and sustaining the decarbonisation process. Cross-border interconnectivity also ensures safer, more reliable and efficient operation of the power system.
(7) The current electricity market design has also helped the emergence of new and innovative products, services and measures on retail electricity markets, supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy uptake and enhancing choice so as to help consumers reduce their energy bills also through small-scale generation installations and emerging services for providing demand response. Building on and seizing the potential of the digitalisation of the energy system, such as active participation by consumers, should be a key element of our future electricity markets and systems. At the same time, there is a need to respect consumer choices and allow consumers to benefit from a variety of contract offers.
(8) In the context of the energy crisis, the current electricity market design has however also revealed a number of important shortcomings linked to the impact of high and volatile fossil fuel prices on short-term electricity markets, which expose households and companies to significant price spikes with effects on their electricity bills.
(9) A faster deployment of renewable energy and clean flexible technologies constitutes the most sustainable and cost-effective way of structurally reducing the demand for fossil fuels for electricity generation and for direct consumption through electrification and energy system integration. Thanks to their low operational costs, renewable sources can positively impact electricity prices across the Union and reduce direct consumption of fossil fuels.
(10) The changes to the electricity market design should ensure that the benefits from rising renewable power deployment, and the energy transition as a whole, are brought to consumers, including the most vulnerable ones, and ultimately, shield them from energy crises and avoid more households falling into energy poverty trap. These should mitigate the impact of high fossil fuel prices, notably that of gas, on electricity prices, aiming to allow households and companies to reap the benefits of affordable and secure energy from sustainable renewable and low carbon sources in the longer term.
(11) The reform of the electricity market design should benefit not just household consumers but also the competitiveness of the Union’s industries by facilitating their possibilities to make the clean tech investments they require to meet their net zero transition paths. The energy transition in the Union needs to be supported by a strong clean technology manufacturing basis. These reforms will support the affordable electrification of industry and the Union’s position as a global leader in terms of research and innovation in clean energy technologies.
(12) Well-functioning and efficient short-term markets are a key tool for the integration of renewable energy and flexibility sources in the market and facilitate energy system integration in a cost-effective manner.
(13) Intraday markets are particularly important for the integration of variable renewable energy sources in the electricity system at the least cost as they give the possibility to market participants to trade shortages or surplus of electricity closer to the time of delivery. Since variable renewable energy generators are only able to accurately estimate their production close to the delivery time, it is crucial for them to have a maximum of trading opportunities via access to a liquid market as close as possible to the time of delivery of the electricity.
(14) It is therefore important for the intraday markets to adapt to the participation of variable renewable energy technologies such as solar and wind as well as to the participation of demand side response and storage. The liquidity of the intraday markets should be improved with the sharing of the order books between market operators within a bidding zone, also when the cross-zonal capacities are set to zero or after the gate closure time of the intraday market. Furthermore, the gate closure time of the intraday market should be set closer to the time of delivery to maximize the opportunities for market participants to trade shortages and surplus of electricity and contribute to better integrating variable renewables in the electricity system.
(15) In addition, the short-term electricity markets should ensure that small-scale flexibility service providers can participate by lowering the minimum bid size.
(16) To ensure the efficient integration of electricity generated from variable renewable energy sources and to reduce the need for fossil-fuel based electricity generation in times when there is high demand for electricity combined with low levels of electricity generation from variable renewable energy sources, it should be possible for transmission system operators to design a peak shaving product enabling demand response to contribute to decreasing peaks of consumption in the electricity system at specific hours of the day. The peak shaving product should contribute to maximize the integration of electricity produced from renewable sources into the system by shifting the electricity consumption to moments of the day with higher renewable electricity generation. As the peak shaving product aims to reduce and shift the electricity consumption, the scope of this product should be limited to demand side response. The procurement of the peak shaving product should take place in such a way that it does not overlap with the activation of balancing products which aim at maintaining the frequency of the electricity system stable. In order to verify volumes of activated demand reduction, the transmission system operator should use a baseline reflecting the expected electricity consumption without the activation of the peak shaving product.
(17) In order to be able to actively participate in the electricity markets and to provide their flexibility, consumers are progressively equipped with smart metering systems. However, in a number of Member States the roll-out of smart metering systems is still slow. In those instances where smart metering systems are not yet installed and in instances where smart metering systems do not provide for the sufficient level of data granularity, transmission and distribution system operators should be able to use data from dedicated metering devices for the observability and settlement of flexibility services such as demand response and energy storage. Enabling the use of data from dedicated metering devices for observability and settlement should facilitate the active participation of the consumers in the market and the development of their demand response. The use of data from these dedicated metering devices should be accompanied by quality requirements relating to the data.
(18) This Regulation establishes a legal basis for processing of personal data in compliance with Article 6(1)(c) GDPR. Member States should ensure that all personal data protection principles and obligations laid down in the GDPR are met, including on data minimisation. Where the objective of this Directive can be achieved without processing of personal data, providers should rely on anonymised and aggregated data.
(19) Consumers and suppliers need effective and efficient forward markets to cover their long-term price exposure and decrease the dependence on short-term prices. To ensure that energy customers all over the EU can fully benefit from the advantages of integrated electricity markets and competition across the Union, the functioning of the Union’s electricity forward market should be improved via the establishment of regional virtual hubs with a view to overcome the existing market fragmentation and the low liquidity experienced in many bidding zones. Regional virtual hubs should cover multiple bidding zones while ensuring an adequate price correlation. Some bidding zones may not be covered by a virtual hub in terms of contributing to the hub reference price. However, market participants from these bidding zones should still be able to hedge through a hub.
(20) Virtual hubs should reflect the aggregated price of multiple bidding zones and provide a reference price, which should be used by market operators to offer forward hedging products. To that extent, virtual hubs should not be understood as entities arranging or executing transactions. The regional virtual hubs, by providing a reference price index, should enable the pooling of liquidity and provide better hedging opportunities to market participants.
(21) To enhance the possibilities of market participants for hedging, the role of the single allocation platform established in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) 2016/1719 should be expanded. The single allocation platform should offer trading of financial long-term transmission rights between the different bidding zones and the regional virtual hubs. The orders submitted by market participants for financial transmission rights shall be matched by a simultaneous allocation of long term cross zonal capacity. Such matching and allocation should be performed on a regular basis, to ensure enough liquidity and, hence, efficient hedging possibilities to market participants. The long-term transmission rights should be issued with frequent maturities (ranging from month ahead to at least three years ahead), in order to be aligned with the typical hedging time horizon of market participants. The single allocation platform should be subject to monitoring and enforcement to ensure that it performs its tasks properly.
(22) Network tariffs should incentivise transmission and distribution system operators to use flexibility services through further developing innovative solutions to optimise the existing grid and to procure flexibility services, in particular demand response or storage. For this purpose, network tariffs should be designed so as to take into account the operational and capital expenditures of system operators or an efficient combination of both so that they can operate the electricity system cost-efficiently. This would further contribute to integrating renewables at the least cost for the electricity system and enable final customers to value their flexibility solutions.
(23) Offshore renewable energy sources, such as offshore wind, ocean energy and floating photovoltaic, will play an instrumental role in building a power system largely based on renewables and in ensuring climate neutrality by 2050. There are, however, substantial obstacles to their wider and efficient deployment preventing the massive scale up needed to achieve those objectives. Similar obstacles could arise for other offshore technologies in the future. These obstacles include investment risks associated with the unique topographical situation of offshore hybrid projects connected to more than one market. In order to reduce investment risk for these offshore project developers and to ensure that the projects in an offshore bidding zone have full market access to the surrounding markets, transmission system operators should guarantee access of the offshore project to the capacity of the respective hybrid interconnector for all market time units. If the available transmission capacities are reduced to the extent that the full amount of electricity generation that the offshore project would have otherwise been able to export cannot be delivered to the market, the transmission system operator or operators responsible for the need to limit the capacity should, in future, be enabled to compensate the offshore project operator commensurately using congestion income. This compensation should only be related to the production capability available to the market, which may be weather dependent and excludes the outage and maintenance operations of the offshore project. The details, including the conditions under which the measure may expire, are intended to be defined in an implementing Regulation.
(24) In the day-ahead wholesale market, the power plants with lower marginal costs are dispatched first, but the price received by all market participants is set by the last plant needed to cover the demand, which is the plant with the highest marginal costs, when the markets clear. In this context, the energy crisis has shown that a surge in the price of gas and hard coal can translate into exceptional and lasting increases of the prices at which the gas and coal-fired generation facilities bid in the day-ahead wholesale market. That in turn has led to exceptionally high prices in the day-ahead market across the Union, as gas and coal-fired generation facilities are often the plants with the highest marginal costs needed to meet the demand for electricity.
(25) Given the role of the price in the day-ahead market as a reference for the price in other wholesale electricity markets, and the fact that all market participants receive the clearing price, the technologies with significantly lower marginal costs have consistently recorded high revenues.
(26) To reach the Union’s decarbonisation targets and the objectives set out in REPowerEU to become more energy independent, the Union needs to accelerate the deployment of renewables at a much faster pace. In view of the investment needs required to achieve these goals, the market should ensure that a long-term price signal is established.
(27) In this framework, Member States should strive to create the right market conditions for long-term market-based instruments, such as power purchase agreements (‘PPAs’). PPAs are bilateral purchase agreements between producers and buyers of electricity. They provide long-term price stability for the customer and the necessary certainty for the producer to take the investment decision. Nevertheless, only a handful of Member States have active PPA markets and buyers are typically limited to large companies, not least because PPAs face a set of barriers, in particular the difficulty to cover the risk of payment default from the buyer in these long-term agreements. Member States should take into consideration the need to create a dynamic PPA market when setting the policies to achieve the energy decarbonisation objectives set out in their integrated national energy and climate plans.
(28) According to Article 15(8) of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Member States are to assess the regulatory and administrative barriers to long-term renewables PPAs, and shall remove unjustified barriers to, and promote the uptake of, such agreements. In addition, Member States are to describe policies and measures facilitating the uptake of renewables PPAs in their integrated national energy and climate plans. Without prejudice to that obligation to report on the regulatory context affecting the PPA market, Member States should ensure that instruments to reduce the financial risks associated to the buyer defaulting on its long-term payment obligations in the framework of PPAs are accessible to companies that face entry barriers to the PPA market and are not in financial difficulty in line with Articles 107 and 108 TFEU. Member States could decide to set up a guarantee scheme at market prices. Member States should include provisions to avoid lowering the liquidity in the electricity markets, such as by using financial PPAs. Member States should not provide support to PPAs that purchase generation from fossil fuels. While the default approach should be non-discrimination between consumers, Member States could decide to target these instruments to specific categories of consumers, applying objective and non-discriminatory criteria. In this framework, Member States should take into account the potential role of instruments provided at Union level, for instance by the European Investment Bank (‘EIB’).
(29) Member States have at their disposal several instruments to support the development of PPA markets when designing and allocating public support. Allowing renewable energy project developers participating in a public support tender to reserve a share of the generation for sale through a PPA would contribute to nurture and grow PPA markets. In addition, as part of these tender evaluation Member States should endeavour to apply criteria to incentivise the access to the PPA market for actors that face entry barriers, such as small and medium-sized enterprises (‘SMEs’), giving preference to bidders presenting a commitment to sign a PPA for part of the project’s generation from one or several potential buyers that face difficulties to access the PPA market.
(30) Where Member States decide to support publicly financed new investments (“direct price support schemes”) in low carbon, non-fossil fuel electricity generation to achieve the Union’s decarbonisation objectives, those schemes should be structured by way of two-way contracts for difference such as to include, in addition to a revenue guarantee, an upward limitation of the market revenues of the generation assets concerned. New investments for the generation of electricity should include investments in new power generating facilities, investments aimed at repowering existing power generating facilities, investments aimed at extending existing power generating facilities or at prolonging their lifetime.
(31) Such two-way contracts for difference would ensure that revenues of producers stemming from new investments in electricity generation which benefit from public support become more independent from the volatile prices of fossil fuels-based generation which typically sets the price in the day-ahead market.
(32) However, to the extent that the limitation to set out direct price support schemes in the form of two-way contracts for difference narrows down the types of direct price support schemes that Member States can adopt as regards renewable energy sources, it should be limited to low carbon, non-fossil fuel technologies, with low and stable operational costs and to technologies which typically do not provide flexibility to the electricity system, while excluding technologies that are at early stages of their market deployment. This is necessary to ensure that the economic viability of generation technologies with high marginal costs is not jeopardised and to maintain the incentives of the technologies which can offer flexibility to the electricity system to bid in the electricity market based on their opportunity costs. In addition, the limitation to set out direct price support schemes in the form of two-way contracts for difference should not apply to emerging technologies for which other types of direct price support schemes may be better placed to incentivise their uptake. The limitation should be without prejudice to the possible exemption for small-scale installations and demonstration projects pursuant to Article 4 (3) of (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council and consider the specificities of renewable energy communities in accordance with Article 22 (7) of that Directive.
(33) In view of the need to provide regulatory certainty of producers, the obligation for Member States to apply direct price support schemes for the production of electricity in the form of two-way contracts for difference should apply only to new investments for the generation of electricity from the sources specified in the recital above.
(34) Thanks to the upward limitation of the market revenues direct price support schemes in the form of two-way contracts for difference should provide an additional source of revenues for Member States in periods of high energy prices. To further mitigate the impact of high electricity prices on the energy bills of consumers, Member States should ensure that the revenues collected from producers subject to direct price support schemes in the form of two-way contracts for difference are passed on to all final electricity customers, including households, SMEs and industrial consumers, based on their consumption. The redistribution of revenues should be done in a way that ensures that consumers are still to some extent exposed to the price signal, so that they reduce their consumption when the prices are high, or shift it to periods of lower prices (which are typically periods with a higher share of RES production). Member States should ensure that the level playing-field and competition between the different suppliers is not affected by the redistribution of revenues to the final electricity consumers.
(35) Furthermore, Member States should ensure that the direct price support schemes, irrespective of their form, do not undermine the efficient, competitive and liquid functioning of the electricity markets, preserving the incentives of producers to react to market signals, including stop generating when electricity prices are below their operational costs, and of final customers to reduce consumption when electricity prices are high. Member States should ensure that support schemes do not constitute a barrier for the development of commercial contracts such as PPAs.
(36) Thus, two-way contracts for difference and power purchase agreements play complementary roles in advancing the energy transition and bringing the benefits of renewables and low carbon energy to consumers. Subject to the requirements set out in the present Regulation, Member States should be free to decide which instruments they use to achieve their decarbonisation objectives. Through PPAs, private investors contribute to additional renewable and low carbon energy deployment while locking low and stable electricity prices over the long-term. Likewise, through two-way contracts for difference, the same objective is achieved by public entities on behalf of consumers. Both instruments are necessary to achieve the Union’s decarbonisation targets through renewable and low carbon energy deployment, while bringing forward the benefits of low-cost electricity generation for consumers.
(37) The accelerated deployment of renewables necessitates a growing availability of flexibility solutions to ensure their integration to the grid and to enable the electricity system and grid to adjust to the variability of electricity generation and consumption across different time horizons. Regulatory authorities should periodically assess the need for flexibility in the electricity system based on the input of transmission and distribution system operators. The assessment of the flexibility needs of the electricity system should take into account all existing and planned investments (including existing assets that are not yet connected to the grid) on sources of flexibility such as flexible electricity generation, interconnectors, demand side response, energy storage or the production of renewable fuels, in view of the need to decarbonise the energy system. On this basis, Member States should define a national objective for non-fossil flexibility such as demand side response and storage which should also be reflected in their integrated national energy and climate plans.
(38) To achieve the national objective for non-fossil flexibility such as demand side response and storage investment needs, Member States can design or redesign capacity mechanisms in order to create a green and flexible capacity mechanism. Member States that apply a capacity mechanism in line with the existing rules should promote the participation of non-fossil flexibility such as demand side response and storage by introducing additional criteria or features in the design.
(39) To support environmental protection objectives the CO2 emissions’ limit, set out in Article 22(4) of Regulation (EU) 2019/943 of the European Parliament and of the Council, should be seen as an upper limit. Therefore, Member States could set technical performance standards and CO2 emissions’ limits that restrict participation in capacity mechanisms to flexible, fossil-free technologies in full alignment with the Guidelines on State aid for climate, environmental protection and energy 27 which encourage Member States to introduce green criteria in capacity mechanisms.
(40) In addition, if Member States do not apply a capacity mechanism or if the additional criteria or features in the design of their capacity mechanism are insufficient to achieve national objective for demand response and storage investment needs they could apply flexibility support schemes consisting of payments for the available capacity of non-fossil flexibility such as demand side response and storage.
(41) The connection of new generation and demand installations, in particular renewable energy plants, often faces delays in grid connection procedures. One of the reasons for such delays is the lack of available grid capacity at the location chosen by the investor, which implies the need for grid extensions or reinforcements to connect the installations to the system in a safe manner. A new requirement for electricity system operators, both at transmission and distribution levels, to publish and update information on the grid capacity available in their areas of operation would contribute to decision-making by investors on the basis of information of grid capacity availability within the system and thus to the required acceleration in the deployment of renewable energy.
(42) Furthermore, to tackle the problem of lengthy reply times on requests for connection to the grid, transmission and distribution system operators should provide clear and transparent information to system users about the status and treatment of their connection requests. Transmission and distribution system operators should endeavour to provide such information within a period of three months from the submission of the request.
(43) During the energy crisis, consumers have been exposed to extremely volatile wholesale energy prices and had limited opportunities to engage in the energy market. Consequently, many households, have been facing difficulties when paying their bills. Vulnerable consumers and the energy poor are the hardest hit 28 , but middle-income households have also been exposed to such difficulties. It is therefore important to update consumer rights and protections, allowing consumers to benefit from the energy transition, decouple their electricity bills from short term price movements on energy markets and rebalance the risk between suppliers and consumers.
(44) Consumers should have access to a wide range of offers so that they can choose a contract according to their needs. However, suppliers have reduced their offers, fixed-price contracts have become scarce, and the choice of offers has become limited. Consumers should always have the possibility to opt for an affordable fixed price and fixed term contract and suppliers should not unilaterally modify the terms and conditions before such contract expires.
(45) When suppliers’ do not ensure that their electricity portfolio is sufficiently hedged changes in wholesale electricity prices can leave them financially at risk and, result in their failure, passing on costs to consumers and other network users. Hence, it should be ensured that suppliers are appropriately hedged when offering fixed price contracts. An appropriate hedging strategy should take into account the suppliers' access to its own generation and its capitalisation as well as its exposure to changes in wholesale market prices.
(46) Consumers should be able to choose the supplier which offers them the price and service which best suits their needs. Advances in metering and sub-metering technology combined with information and communication technology mean that it is now technically possible to have multiple suppliers for a single premises. If they so wish, customers should be able to use these possibilities to choose a separate supplier notably for electricity to power appliances such as heat pumps or electric vehicles which have a particularly high consumption or which also have the capability to shift their electricity consumption automatically in response to price signals. Moreover, with fast-responding dedicated metering devices which are attached to or embedded in appliances with flexible, controllable loads, final customers can participate in other incentive-based demand response schemes that provide flexibility services on the electricity market and to transmission and distribution system operators. Overall, such arrangements should contribute to the increased uptake of demand response and to consumer empowerment allowing them to have more control over their energy use and bills, while providing to the electricity system additional flexibility in order to cope with demand and supply fluctuations.
(47) Due to the increasing complexity of energy offers and different marketing practices, consumers have often difficulties to fully understand what they sign up to. In particular, there is a lack of clarity on how the price is set, the conditions for the renewal of the contract, the consequences of terminating a contract or the reasons for changing conditions by the supplier. Therefore, the key information on energy offers should be provided to consumers by suppliers or market participants engaged in aggregation in a short and easily understandable manner prior to signing the contract.
(48) To ensure continuity of supply for consumers in case of supplier failure, Member States should be obliged to appoint suppliers of last resort which may be treated as the provider of universal service. That supplier might be the sales division of a vertically integrated undertaking which also performs distribution functions, provided that it meets the unbundling requirements of Article 35 of Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council. However, this does not imply an obligation of Member States to supply at a certain fixed minimum price.
(49) Energy sharing can create resilience against the effects of high and volatile wholesale market prices on consumers’ energy bills, empowers a wider group of consumers that do not otherwise have the option of becoming an active customer due to financial or spatial constraints, such as energy poor and vulnerable consumers, and leads to increased uptake of renewable energy by mobilising additional private capital investments and diversifying remuneration pathways. With the integration of appropriate price signals and storage facilities, electricity sharing can help lay the foundation to help tap into the flexibility potential of smaller consumers.
(50) Active customers that own, lease or rent a storage or generation facility should have the right to share excess production and empower other consumers to become active, or to share the renewable energy generated or stored by jointly leased, rented or owned facilities, either directly or through a third-party facilitator. Energy sharing arrangement are either based on private contractual agreement between active customers or organised through a legal entity. A legal entity that incorporates the criteria of a renewable energy community as defined in Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council or a citizen energy community as defined in Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council can share with their members electricity generated from facilities they have in full ownership. The protection and empowerment framework for energy sharing should pay particular attention to energy poor and vulnerable consumers.
(51) Energy sharing operationalises the collective consumption of self-generated or stored electricity injected into the grid by more than one jointly acting active customers. Member States should put in place the appropriate IT infrastructure to allow for the administrative matching within a certain timeframe of consumption with self-generated or stored renewable energy for the purpose of calculating the energy component of the energy bill. The output of these facilities should be distributed among the aggregated consumer load profiles based on static, variable or dynamic calculation methods that can be pre-defined or agreed upon by the active customers.
(52) Vulnerable customers should be adequately protected from electricity disconnections and should, as well, not be put in a position that forces them to disconnect. The role of suppliers and all relevant national authorities to identify appropriate measures, in both the short and the long-term, which should be made available to vulnerable customers to manage their energy use and costs remain essential, including by means of close cooperation with social security systems.
(53) Public interventions in price setting for the supply of electricity constitute, in principle, a market-distortive measure. Such interventions may therefore only be carried out as public service obligations and are subject to specific conditions. Under this Directive regulated prices are possible for energy poor and vulnerable households, including below costs, and, as a transition measure, for households and micro-enterprises. In times of crisis, when wholesale and retail electricity prices increase significantly, and this is having a negative impact on the wider economy, Member States should be allowed to extend, temporarily, the application of regulated prices also to SMEs. For both households and SMEs, Member States should be temporarily allowed to set regulated prices below costs as long as this does not create distortion between suppliers and suppliers are compensated for the costs of supplying below cost. However, it needs to be ensured that such price regulation is targeted and does not create incentives to increase consumption. Hence, such price regulation should be limited to 80% of median household consumption for households, and 70% of the previous year’s consumption for SMEs. The Commission should determine when such an electricity price crisis exists and consequently when this possibility becomes applicable. The Commission should also specify the validity of that determination, during which the temporary extension of regulated prices applies, which may be for up to one year. To the extent that any of the measures envisaged by the present Regulation constitute State aid, the provisions concerning such measures are without prejudice to the application of Articles 107 and 108 TFEU.
(54) The measures envisaged by the present Regulation are also without prejudice to the application of Directive 2014/65/EU, Regulation (EU) 2016/1011 and Regulation (EU) 648/2012.
(55) Regulation (EU) 2019/942 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Regulation (EU) 2019/943 of the European Parliament and of the Council, Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council should be amended accordingly.
(56) Since the objectives of this Regulation cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States, but can rather be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve those objectives.