WorldFrance: Calls to lower the price of electricity multiply

France: Calls to lower the price of electricity multiply

AA / Paris / Fatih KArakaya

While the prices of energy (gas, fuels, fuel oil, etc.) have been soaring in recent months, the UFC-Que Choisir association, which defends the interests of French consumers, published a report on Monday September 20, “on the risk explosion in electricity prices in early 2022 ”.

Indeed, the price of electricity represents a significant weight in household spending and yet since 2007, when the distribution of electricity was opened to competition, it has increased by 60%.

According to UFC-Que Choisir, prices are likely to continue to rise and therefore, it recommends taking measures now to lower the energy bill.

“This gloomy prospect is not inevitable, however, since the public authorities have several levers to avoid it,” recalls the association which “therefore calls for resolute action from the Executive to immediately increase the access ceiling. Regulated by Historical Nuclear Electricity (ARENH), and to put an end to the fiscal aberration of VAT on energy taxes ”.

ARENH enables all alternative suppliers to obtain electricity from EDF under conditions set by the public authorities. The price is currently € 42 / MWh and the maximum overall volume allocated to the device is equal to 100 TWh / year.

The UFC-Que Choisir thus wants to see an increase in the share of nuclear power to 150 TWh / year in the production of electricity since it allows costs to be lowered compared to other modes, in particular “green energies”.

– A further 10% increase in sight

According to figures from the General Commission for Sustainable Development, the average price of electricity for French households increased by + 3.8% in 2019, + 2.4% in February 2020, + 1.5% in August 2020 and + 1.6% in February 2021 and finally 0.5% in August 2021.

However, the UFC-Que Choisir estimates that by January, wholesale prices could again increase considerably.

“In view of the current context, everything suggests that the total demand for ARENH will reach a record volume. Starting from the cautious assumption that it will be 170 TWh, the legal ceiling of 100 TWh will be greatly exceeded, and suppliers will therefore have to source more on the wholesale markets “, analyzes the association which calculates” an impact of 58.8% more on the cost of the supply part ”.

Judging that “the prices on the wholesale markets are currently very high”, the UFC-Que Choisir estimates that the increase at the beginning of the year 2022 will reach 11.3% HT, or nearly 10% TTC “. Thus, according to the association, this will have a direct impact of around € 150 on the annual bill.

Aware of the importance of the weight that energy weighs on the family budget, the French government has implemented “an energy check” in order to mitigate the bill. However, the association estimates that “this boost of 100 €, of which 80% of households are deprived, is supposed to respond only to the already massive increases in gas and fuels”. According to this calculation, “the increase in the electricity bill since January 1, 2019 will then be 25%”.

– Reduce the bill with good plans

“When it’s cold, I avoid turning on electric heaters,” explains Anadolu Jeanne Agency, reached by telephone. “As I am alone, I prefer to put myself under the duvet to warm myself. I do not know how I would have done if I had children ”, wonders again the young woman who tries at all costs“ to avoid unforeseen expenses ”.

However, she is not alone and dozens of articles discuss how to save on energy bills.

“To reduce your electricity bill, install a regulation and a heating schedule so as not to heat your home unnecessarily when you are away”, explains for example a specialized site.

– Intervene on taxes

For the UFC, there is another way to lower the bill. Thus, she explains that “a third of the electricity bill is made up of taxes and contributions such as, for example, old-age insurance for staff covered by the electricity and gas industries regime (2% of the bill)”.

Citing several other taxes, the UFC draws particular attention to the internal tax on final electricity consumption (TICFE) “which is integrated into the state budget (13% of the bill) and finally VAT (13 % the invoice’s) “.

Thus, the association for the defense of consumers recommends to the government “to lower the TICFE”. But what she hopes above all is the end of the Value Added Tax (VAT) on the listed taxes. Indeed, all taxes are also subject to VAT and according to calculations by UFC-Que Choisir, “this tax over-grab, which brings in 1 billion euros to the State, costs a heated household. electricity € 57 per year ”.

– Renewable energies, a miracle solution?

Some want to favor renewable energies to lower the bill. But for Yanick, “we will have to stop believing that renewable energies are free” who thinks that “renewable energies are used to protect the planet but not to lower the bills”. For this renewable energy engineer, “the bills are increasing because the price of transport increases due to the scattering of energies all over the territory”. He explains to the Anadolu Agency “that it is necessary to bring this electricity back to the distribution point and that is like building highways for the passage of a few cars”.

Paradoxically, even if he believes that “renewable energies must be developed to preserve the planet, for him nuclear power is the only solution to lower bills”. “But in this case, we should not be surprised that we will pay another much higher price this time,” concludes the engineer.

. . (HAS), ..