Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER)
ACER essentially took over the work of the European Regulators Group for Electricity and Gas (ERGEG) when the Third Legislative Package for the Liberalisation of the Energy Market entered into force on 3 March 2011.
ACER complements the voluntary cooperation between national regulatory authorities as a body with legal personality, clearly defined tasks and the power to take individual decisions in specific cases. Cooperation between regulatory authorities within the framework of ACER is based on the overarching aim of completing the EU internal market.
ACER helps ensure that the integrated European market in gas and electricity functions properly and fosters links with third countries. It assists national regulatory authorities in performing their regulatory function at European level and, where necessary, coordinates their work.
More specifically, ACER:
- complements and coordinates the work of national regulatory authorities;
- helps formulate European network rules;
- takes binding decisions on terms and conditions for access and operational security for cross-border infrastructure (only under certain conditions);
- advises EU institutions on energy issues (electricity and gas);
- monitors developments in the electricity and gas markets and reports on its findings;
- monitors wholesale energy markets to detect and deter market abuse, in close collaboration with national regulatory authorities (it took on this function in 2012 under EU Regulation No 1227/2011 on wholesale energy market integrity and transparency (REMIT).
ACER's organisational structure essentially comprises the Administrative Board, the Board of Regulators and the Director. ACER can exempt new infrastructure projects from the unbundling requirements and from network access and network charge regulation. It is also responsible for cross-border regulatory issues. Its scope of tasks includes issuing opinions and recommendations on network codes and certification decisions.