Barriers to Entry project
Barriers to Entry project
Barriers to Entry in EU Retail Energy Markets research project

Take part in our project survey!

Your chance to make your views heard on how the energy market in the country where you operate functions and supports competition and innovation.

We are looking for suppliers, aggregators and other players – active or potential – in the electricity and gas markets in the EU28 countries, plus Norway and Switzerland, to give quantitative and qualitative evaluations of their experiences.

Through the button you will first be asked to give your email address, and will then be sent a link to the questionnaire.

If you wish to be kept up-to-date with project progress beyond the questionnaire, and receive news of outputs & events, please register for the project mailing list at the bottom of this page.

A Europe-wide research project that focuses on the challenges that competitors face in entering and competing in and across retail energy markets in Europe.

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VaasaETT, REKK, MRC and The Advisory House are carrying out a Europe-wide research project to analyse barriers to entry in retail energy markets in the EU. The ground-breaking project, the most extensive of its kind to-date, will research the challenges facing suppliers and other retail market competitors such as aggregators and ESCOs in 30 European electricity and gas markets. All 28 EU Member States plus Switzerland and Norway, will be researched.

An initiative of the European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy

The project will draw on carefully crafted and extensive interviews and questionnaires with an extensive array of stakeholders in every market to get to the routes of the most significant hurdles. A comprehensive literature review, workshops and webinars will also be conducted.

The project will enable a comparative view of how easy it is to enter and compete in and across retail energy markets in Europe. Specifically, it will result in tools to assist entrants and policy makers alike.

Key project facts



This project is an initiative of the European Commission – DG Energy


consultant consortium

The Advisory House (based in Germany, Austria, Switzerland); VaasaETT (based in Finland), REKK (based in Hungary) and MRC Consultants (based in Spain)



Analysis of the entry barriers to the retail energy markets in the EU 28 + Norway and Switzerland



From January 2019 till March 2020 (final results)


interaction with market players

Interaction with market players will take place primarily in the period from April to October 2019



Country "handbooks", final project report, European barriers to entry index, stakeholder workshop

Information for participants

The objectives

The objectives of our interactions with stakeholders as part of this project are simple:

  • to identify and understand barriers resulting from entry processes, but also from the operation processes, such as balancing, switching etc. that new entrants face as they try to survive and grow in the retail energy (electricity and gas) market.

  • to understand how the barriers are set to change in the near future as a result of planned or expected structural, regulatory, procedural, or other changes in the market.

  • to gain some comparability between markets and where appropriate, to identify best practice.

  • ultimately and most importantly, to facilitate the benefits of increased choice for consumers across Europe.

The Stakeholders

We are keen to have the participation of the following stakeholders:

National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) for electricity and gas

New Entrants. By new entrants, we are referring to retail market entrants, including:

Independent electricity: Suppliers of electricity and /or gas which do not have any incumbent (by default) customers and are not owned by a presently or formerly incumbent energy company. These are essentially independent suppliers which have organically grown their entire customer base and can also include suppliers which have not yet, but plan to, or are considering entering a given market. Suppliers which have supplemented their customer base through M&A activities are also included in this category, as long as they fulfil the other criteria of this category.

Trans-State Suppliers: Suppliers of Electricity and /or Gas suppliers from one state (country) who have entered or have seriously considered entering another state electricity or gas retail market by means of organic customer growth (not only through M&A).

Trans-Market Suppliers: Suppliers from other markets (such as telco) who have or have seriously considered entering a given state market as a supplier of electricity or gas.

New Model entrants: Independent demand-side aggregators, ESCOs, community energy companies other new model businesses which provide services to consumers in the retail electricity and gas market.

What do we want to know from the Stakeholders


We would like NRAs to provide:

  • high-level insight into key market entry and operation processes.

  • clarification to processes and regulations relating to barriers identified by new entrants.

  • foresight into processes and regulations that are expected to change in the foreseeable future that might affect identified barriers.

New Entrants:

We would like New Entrants to provide their views on the barriers to entry as they see it.

How Can Stakeholders Participate


Interviews: We will be aiming to talk directly with all NRAs and a broad selection of other willing stakeholders. If you would like to talk, please let us know

Questionnaires: We will be asking new entrants around Europe to participate in an online questionnaire.

Webinars: We will be hosting two webinars. One for regulators and one for new entrants. These will give stakeholder the chance to understand the project and its objectives, to comment on its approach and to give ideas for the research.

Workshops: Towards the end of the research we will be hosting a major workshop to present initial results and invite stakeholders to comment on those findings.


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We look forward to contacting stakeholders in the market to learn more about their challenges and possible solutions and the context and processes within which they operate. If you represent a new entrant in the market, a regulator, or another key stakeholder within the retail process, we want to hear from you. By registering below, you consent to our Privacy Policies. We will respect your privacy and handle your personal data with care.

If you would like to participate, then please register your interest by filling in the form below. Please note, filling in the form does not oblige you in any way to participate and you can, of course, opt-out at any time.

Name *
Is your organisation an incumbent supplier?
If you answered "Energy supplier" to the question before, please provide details here
Which of the following would you be interested in? *

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