ACM imposes fine on PZEM Energy for violating rules for the wholesale energy market
The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has imposed a fine of 150,000 euros on PZEM Energy B.V., a Dutch energy producer, supplier, and trader, because it had failed to comply with the obligation to publish inside information.
PZEM is the owner of several power plants, and thus knew, for example, when these plants had to be shut down. This information may affect prices that are formed on the wholesale energy market. ACM’s investigation revealed that PZEM had violated the rules regarding publication of inside information in a timely and correct manner. PZEM thus had an edge over other market participants in terms of knowledge. PZEM has stated that it has since implemented changes to its organization in order to improve compliance.
Manon Leijten, Member of the Board of ACM, explains: “To ensure that the European energy market functions well, it is important that all companies have all of the relevant information at the same time. Knowledge about interrupting or adding production capacity is important information, which may affect prices formed on the energy wholesale market. That’s why market participants are required to publish this type of information quickly and correctly. As ACM’s investigation has revealed that PZEM did not always do so properly, ACM has decided to impose a fine of 150,000 euros on PZEM.”
Energy trading in a transparent and fair manner
To ensure that the prices for consumers and businesses are formed on the wholesale energy market in a fair and market-based manner, insider trading and market manipulation are prohibited. All market participants in all European countries must comply with the same rules. These rules are called REMIT (Regulation on wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency). One of the requirements is that market participants must publish important information.
ACM enforces compliance with the REMIT requirements among market participants. ACM may launch investigations into suspected violations, and may impose fines in the case of proven violations. To promote compliance, ACM will, over the next few months, further clarify what areas it will focus on in its oversight and enforcement efforts. Where necessary, ACM will explain to market participants the relevant rules in greater detail. ACER (the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators) coordinates the enforcement of REMIT rules across Europe. In that context, ACER also provides information to market participants on how to publish inside information in an effective and timely manner. This information can be found in its Guidance on the application of REMIT and REMIT Q&As, among other pages.
- 14-6-2022 ACM decision regarding fine on PZEM Energy for violating the rules regarding the energy wholesale market (in Dutch)
- REMIT requirements (in Dutch)