Market rules

Fostering the integration of the European internal electricity market

Market rules, (or “market codes”) are binding EU rules that couple the national electricity markets and foster their integration into a single European electricity market. The rules promote:

  • Market integration

    • Allowing the most efficient use of infrastructure and resources available at European level

    • Creating hedging and new trading opportunities

    • Contributing to the creation of the European internal electricity market

    • Ensuring an adequate level of security of supply

    • Ensuring long-term operation and network development across the European Union

  • Fairness and non-discrimination

    • Access to cross-zonal capacity’s access

    • Creating a level playing field among the parties involved

    • Facilitating the participation of demand response and renewable energy sources

  • Transparency and reliability of information

  • Competition

    • Avoiding market distortions and entry barriers

    • Facilitating the formation of cost-reflective market prices.

The Regulation on the internal market for electricity and the three European Commission regulations on market rules constitute the main legal framework for the European electricity market.

The three regulations are:

  1. Forward Capacity Allocation (FCA) Regulation 2016/1719, covering the forward timeframe.

  2. Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM) Regulation 2015/1222, covering the day-ahead and intraday timeframe.

  3. Electricity Balancing (EB) Regulation 2017/2195, covering the balancing timeframe.

The regulations envisage the establishment of more detailed rules and procedures, called “terms and conditions or methodologies”, which need to be developed by Transmission System Operators (TSOs) or Nominated Electricity Market Operators (NEMOs) and approved by National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) or ACER.

Read more on the different market rules for the various electricity market timeframes.

What's the role of ACER?

Besides helping to shape the first generation of these common rules, ACER plays a key role in their future amendment to ensure they remain fit for purpose in the clean energy transition.

ACER consults with TSOs, NEMOs and NRAs when terms and conditions or methodologies are developed or approved.  Where terms and conditions or methodologies are developed by all European TSOs or NEMOs or if the NRAs cannot agree on them on a regional level, ACER is competent to review and decide on them.

Read more on the approval process of terms conditions and methodologies.