The European Commission commissioned a study from the Deutsche Energie-Agentur – the German Energy Agency (dena) in order to devise suitable methods for designing the future labelling of prices at filling stations, thereby making it easier to compare prices of alternative and conventional fuels. When launching alternative fuels on the market, success or failure depends on providing the consumer with comprehensive and transparent information. Here the market-determining effect of prices is of paramount importance. The existing fuels on the market are priced in different units of sale. At the same time, to a certain extent there are wide variations of energy content per sales unit between the different types of fuel. This means that fuel prices are not comparable.
As well as taking stock of methods already existing in other countries, part of the study also looked at both legal and economic issues and the consumer’s point of view, and investigated which points were decisive for the consumer, in order to improve the price transparency of different fuels at the filling station. Taking various presentation options into consideration, different methods that might result in more transparent price labelling at filling stations were developed.
In the present circumstances, the price indications at filling stations do not provide the consumer with any direct comparison between the energy content of different fuels, because they are based on different units of measurement.The approaches described in the study make it easier for the consumer to compare the prices of alternative and conventional fuels. This improved transparency makes possible price advantages of alternative fuels more visible.