Inefficient policies governing the electricity sector are leading to increased energy costs for business and consumers, according to a European electricity industry trade body.

Eurelectric, an association of electricity producers, says that policy makers across the EU should set policies that will make the region’s energy system "cleaner, simpler and smarter".

It says that policies can be formulated that encourage investment and ensure cost-efficient energy while meeting environmental goals, and has called on Brussels and EU governments to implement a set of clear policies for the post-2020 period.

Eurelectric’s stance is outlined in its response to the European Commission’s consultation on the 2030 climate and energy policy framework. It wants to see an economy-wide 2030 emissions reduction target of at least 40 per cent over 1990 levels imposed as well as the progressive phase-out of all energy sector subsidies.

"Inefficient policies today are unnecessarily raising costs for businesses and consumers," said Eurelectric Secretary-General Hans ten Berge. "The EU cannot afford to continue down this road. Instead, it must focus on delivering an energy system that is cleaner, simpler and smarter."

Other policies put forward by Eurelectric include strengthening the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in order to drive low-carbon investment and a re-commitment to the completion of the internal energy market.

It also thinks that renewable energy generators require better market integration.

Such policies will help to replace "today’s incoherent approach" to energy policy with one that is "integrated" and "mutually reinforcing", said ten Berge. They would also encourage "investment and innovation at the lowest possible cost", he added.