The Role of Consumers in EU Energy Policy

Carbon Management, Vol. 3., No. 2, pp. 175-183, 2012

20 Pages Posted: 20 May 2012

See all articles by Ans Kolk

Ans Kolk

University of Amsterdam Business School

Date Written: May, 19 2012


While EU energy policy attaches much importance to consumers, it is still far from realizing an energy system that is able to meet user needs and interests, and offer full freedom of choice in an efficient, low-cost, secure and sustainable manner. To shed more light on these issues and provide input to theory and practice, this article examines the assumptions on which EU policy has been based, using insights from different streams of literature. Policy development seems not to have really taken account of more specific behavioral peculiarities of consumers and (energy) product properties. Moreover, roles and interests of different types of consumers are deemed very important for the shape and functioning of liberalized markets, but appear insufficiently understood and embedded. And while competition, transparency and switching are central components, they are more complex than assumed on the basis of models, and that what emerges when actual behavior is considered.

Keywords: EU, consumers, energy, electricity, liberalization, business, competition, behavior, switching, transparency

JEL Classification: D13, D18, D21, D40, H40, H70, K10, K20, K33, L94, L98, M30, Q48

Suggested Citation

Kolk, Ans, The Role of Consumers in EU Energy Policy (May, 19 2012). Carbon Management, Vol. 3., No. 2, pp. 175-183, 2012, Available at SSRN:

Ans Kolk (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam Business School ( email )

Plantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018 TV
+31 20 525 4289 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5281 (Fax)


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