CLEAN ENERGY FUTURES
We are all consumers of energy services, and we all have the potential to drive forward the transition to clean energy.
Action from consumers is increasingly seen as key to reaching net zero. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that demand-side changes could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70% by 2050. However, people will need support in making fundamental changes to how they travel, cook, or heat, cool and power their homes.
At the same time, escalating and unstable energy prices have underscored the risks consumers face. Consumers have found themselves picking up the bill for market forces and geopolitical fallout far beyond their control.
We work to ensure consumers are protected, empowered, and engaged in a just and equitable transition to clean energy.
WHAT POLICY, BUSINESS MODELS AND INNOVATION DO CONSUMERS NEED IN THE TRANSITION?
Over the past year, we have carried out research on the state of consumer protection and empowerment across 11 countries.
Our White Paper, 'Consumer protection and empowerment for a clean energy future' outlines the barriers consumers face in adopting clean energy practices - and the interventions needed to ensure consumers everywhere can engage in and benefit from the transition.
A step-change in the way stakeholders work together is required to protect and empower consumers in the energy system. Our paper calls for ambitious, cross-cutting collaboration to:
- Align consumer and energy policy at international and national levels
- Support market offers and business models that protect and empower consumers by design
- Scale data and intelligence on the consumer side of energy transitions.
Our record of energy advocacy
Consumers International and its Members have worked on energy for almost sixty years, campaigning and advocating on issues such as affordable, reliable and safe energy supply, fuel poverty, energy efficiency, accountable markets, clean billing and tariffs, as well as new developments such as demand-side management and smart meters.
In 2015, we lobbied for the inclusion of ‘universal access to clean energy’ in the 2015 revision of the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection.
At the Sixth Session of the Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Consumer Protection Law and Policy, we collaborated with UN Member States to secure a place for 'Consumer Protection and the Energy Transition’ on the 2023 agenda.
2022 was a volatile year for energy consumers. Sharp price rises left households scrambling to pay mounting bills, facing a future where they would be unable to heat or cool their homes.
Against this backdrop, Consumers International and our Members chose ‘Empowering consumers through clean energy transitions’ as the theme for World Consumer Rights Day 2023.
The campaign was recognised in over 100 countries, with consumer organisations, government bodies, businesses and leading voices in energy coming together to help deliver a just transition for consumers. We saw Members carrying out diverse initiatives to educate, empower and protect consumers across the world, and we hosted our Clean Energy Conference, where over 500 leaders came together to discuss meeting the twin challenge of supporting consumers while aiding a rapid transition.
Our Global Network Campaigning for Change
We have 200 Members in 100 countries around the world working to support consumers in the transition to clean energy. For years, they have pioneered innovative action to protect, educate and empower consumers. As the need to shift towards renewable energy systems has become more urgent, we have seen Members step up efforts to protect consumers as well as the planet.
Consumentenbond in the Netherlands run a renewable energy collective of over 100,000 consumers, a comparison tool for sustainable energy, and an integrated audit and advice service for upgrading to a more sustainable home.
Consumer Council Zimbabwe has implemented a joint consumer education programme with the energy regulator ZERA and has run campaigns on clean cooking in urban areas.
YACP in Yemen is campaigning for the safe use of solar energy systems as a solution to energy access problems, especially during times of conflict and unrest.
The Network in Pakistan carried out a comprehensive review of consumer rights legislation and procedures in energy, and made a series of recommendations, for example, to improve consumer redress mechanisms.
Colectivo Ecologista Jalisco in Mexico organised a series of cross-community dialogues to raise awareness about the impacts of a thermoelectric power plant on vulnerable populations.World Consumer Rights Day 2023 | Do Gooder
COMING TOGETHER TO TRANSFORM ENERGY SYSTEMS
Raising the voice of energy consumers
Consumers International raises the consumer voice to energy leaders through representation within international policy-making bodies, convening with government and business, and leading global campaigns. We represent consumers at global events such as:
United Nations Climate Conference (COP)
Against a backdrop of food and energy crises, Consumers International joined world leaders, policy-makers and activists at COP27. At the world’s leading climate conference, we demanded greater collaboration between government, business and consumers to support people to make the demand-side changes needed to meet net zero.
We brought the voice of the consumer to the conference, demonstrating how our Members around the world are empowering and protecting consumers in the transition.
UNCTAD Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Consumer Protection Law and Policy
We are working with UN Member States at the Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Consumer Protection Law and Policy to update and expand consumer policy for the energy transition.
We are building a global, multi-stakeholder coalition to put consumer-powered energy transitions into action.
Launching in 2023, our CLEAN initiative will, for the first time, convene global consumer advocates with critical energy, industry and policy stakeholders. To find out more about the CLEAN initiative, or join our multi-stakeholder advisory group contact firstname.lastname@example.org.