Freedom to choose one’s own energy supplier also on private networks


Electricity and natural gas customers on private networks or grids are now also able to choose their own energy suppliers. They are not limited to the supplier of the owner of the private network, formally called a closed distribution system (CDS). Electricity customers on CDSs can even choose multiple suppliers. The Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has sent to stakeholders in the energy sector a letter in which it explains the rules concerning private networks in greater detail. ACM has had several discussions with the energy sector about these rules.

Freedom of choice is important

Examples of CDSs are the private networks of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Tata Steel, Shell, Akzo, Dow Chemical, University Medical Center Utrecht, Delft University of Technology, and Eindhoven University of Technology. Various companies that often use a lot of energy are connected to these private networks. ACM has received indications, which revealed that these large-scale customers of electricity and gas on CDSs wish to be able to choose their own energy suppliers. Even though it would be beneficial for the owners of the private network if everyone on their CDS had the same supplier (for example because of bulk discount), many buyers on private networks find freedom of choice to be important as well. It would, for instance, allow them to choose a supplier that offers green power.

Multiple suppliers

Electricity customers on CDSs are even able to choose more than one supplier on their connections. For example, they can choose one supplier for charging their electric cars, and another for powering their machinery. Furthermore, energy producers on CDSs are able to choose one supplier for their energy production, and another supplier for their energy consumption. This makes customized solutions possible, and buyers will have complete control over their energy needs.

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