ECJ OUTLAWS STRANDED COSTS LEVIES ON CONSUMERS

BY KEITH NUTHALL.

THE EUROPEAN Court of Justice has declared illegal under European Union (EU) billing consumers a surcharge to compensate private utilities saddled with 'stranded costs' liabilities. Because these were imposed when a utility was part of a regulated system without free competition, they are deemed eligible for subsidy competition under the 1996 electricity internal market directive. However, the Netherlands established a system where a surcharge was levied on power consumers to compensate utilities for these costs. This system was ...


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