CI’s proposal for work on energy services standard gains ISO approval
26 Apr 2012
An international standard for energy services, proposed
by CI and some of its member organisations, has been approved by
the global standards body, ISO.
The new standard will mean better
service and better protection for consumers, whether they are
inside or outside fixed networks, as well as more information on
plans for network changes.
It will provide an effective tool to help both government and
business deliver access to sustainable energy. It will also provide
guidance on how to identify users' needs and expectations and how
to assess whether they are being met.
CI has done similar work on water which resulted in ISO
24510: 'Activities relating to drinking water and
wastewater services: Guidelines for the assessment and for the
improvement of the service to users.'
The services covered by the energy standard will include gas,
electricity and hot water district heating systems, as well as
distributed fuels and off-grid systems.
It will promote consumer protection, mechanisms for network
extension where they are incomplete, and standards and safeguards
for new and existing consumers.
What are the benefits of the new standard?
For consumers, benefits will include:
- Rights to service for those outside fixed networks
- For those within fixed networks, greater equity and certainty
in hours of service
- Greater transparency in such matters as plans for network
roll-out, price setting and contractual rights
- Greater ease of payment
- Better concentration of subsidy on the poor
For suppliers, benefits will include:
- Greater clarity of obligations
- Rational use of subsidy rather than arbitrary diversion of
- Greater clarity of public and regulatory expectations
- The opportunity to develop more market-based and
market-sensitive means of addressing energy user issues as local
- Development of forums for policy discussion with associated
improvement in reputation
For regulators, there will be benefits in greater clarity of
service planning and tariff setting,
greater public pressure for release of service information, and
more rational use of subsidies.
Where will the standard apply?
The standard is intended to apply globally, therefore, most of
the issues covered will apply to all countries, such as service
contracts, payment methods, price determinations, tariffs and
subsidies and the needs of poor consumers.
But the standard will also take into account the local
circumstances, particularly in developing and transitional
economies, such as non-integrated systems and equitable supply
management. With new energy networks being developed and planned
in emerging countries, the standard will give good guidance to
energy authorities and operators to meet the expectations of
consumers and the principles of sustainable development.
Who will develop the standard?
The proposal CI and its partners submitted to the Committee on
Consumer Policy of the International Organization for
(COPOLCO), 'Guidelines for the assessment and improvement of
energy services to users', was drafted by CI experts and has been
strongly supported by CI members in Korea and Malaysia, among
This is the first time that an international standard will be
developed based on a new work item proposal submitted by CI.
Standards are normally proposed by industry or requested by
governments to underpin legislation.
The Korean Standards Body will host the secretariat that will
organise the committee to develop the standard. National
bodies who have said they will actively participate in writing the
standard are Argentina, Iraq, Ireland, Korea, Malaysia, South
Africa, Sweden, with Peru and the USA as observers.
It's important that consumer representatives are part of this
process and CI members can do this either at the national level or,
if nominated, as part of their national delegation at international
meetings or through CI representation.
If you are a CI member organisation and interested in
getting involved in our work with ISO, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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