Academia de Studii Economice Bucuresti

Amfiteatru Economic
AN ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS RESEARCH PERIODICAL
Facultatea de Business si Turism

Historical study regarding the protection of consumers within the electric energy and natural gas markets

Author:Ramona Pîrvu and Roxana Bădîrcea

JEL:D18, N74, P48, Q43, Q46, Q48, L95

DOI:

Keywords:Consumer rights, general economic interest services, energy market, natural gas market regulated prices, vulnerable consumers, energy policy

Abstract:
The supply of electric energy and natural gas is a service of general interest, with a vital importance in satisfying the consumer’s basic needs. The conducted research is descriptive and its main focus is on the study of the field literature, aiming at aspects such as identifying the historic evolution of the electric energy and natural gas markets in Romania, the behaviour of companies operating on these markets and their impact on the consumers’ rights. The research methodology has been established starting from a synthetic analysis of the most recent published studies on the observation of the European policy in the energy field and EU’s efforts to build up a single, competitive market, including two sectors that not long ago were dominated by monopolistic national actors: electric energy and gas. The research methods imply study monitoring and reports as well as forecast analyses regarding the capacity of the Three Energy Packages, once implemented, to support the creation of competitive, transparent and uniformly regulated energy markets within the EU countries, in order to ensure the protection of the consumers of these general interest services. The research has a dual approach, combining quantitative and qualitative elements as well as conducting the analysis of the correlations between the efforts and effects registered in the field of consumer protection. The first section of the article offers conceptual clarifications regarding both the European policy in the energy field and the consumers of general economic services. The second section gives an insight into the energy and gas markets in Romania as well as the main obstacles in the way of their liberalization. The third section presents the efforts made with respect to consumer protection in the field of energy, analyzing the European Directives’ fundamental ideas regarding the protection of consumers and the phase of their embedment into our legislation in order to achieve a full legislative harmonization.
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