Electricity bill: why it could cost less than expected in 2023

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Bad news that could perhaps lead to good news. The consumer association CLCV (Consommation Logement Cadre de vie) denounced “manipulations by certain suppliers who have deliberately abused the mechanism for access to nuclear electricity”, as François Carlier, general delegate of the association, with Capital.

But what exactly happened? Every November, alternative suppliers submit their request for Arenh to the Regulated Energy Commission (CRE). This is the historic mechanism for regulated access to nuclear electricity. Thanks to this, EDF is obliged to sell part of its production for around forty euros per megawatt hour, i.e. a much lower price than the base price.

The system thus ensures that each of the suppliers can benefit from this electricity at a reduced price according to their needs, which means that the volume to which they are entitled depends on the size of their customer portfolio.

However, according to François Carlier, “some suppliers have overestimated their needs, sometimes voluntarily, with the intention of defrauding”. Thus, the CLCV denounces that this exaggeration would lead to a mechanism which would ultimately have an impact on the regulated sales tariff (TRV).

Indeed, for the year 2022, Arenh’s demand was 160 terawatt hours, while Arenh’s cap was set at 120 terawatt hours. Because of this, suppliers had to supplement their supply at full price, which ended up inflating the TRV.

“According to the market data we have, we believe that these requests have been overestimated by 15 to 20 TWh. This means that the cost of capping calculated by CRE, and applied to the TRV, has been overestimated. This which led to an illegitimate increase in the regulated tariff”, explains the general delegate of the CLCV to our colleagues.

In his view, the rise in electricity prices this year is therefore not solely due to the energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, but also because of this increase which, according to him, could be around 7% to 10%.

For this reason, the consumer association sent a letter to the CRE with the aim of obtaining a lower tariff catch-up.

“We are asking for a lower tariff catch-up on the TRV”, this is what François Carlier told our colleagues at Capital. “We sent a letter to the CRE services asking them to review the price calculation formula for the year 2022 and to apply a downward catch-up in February 2023”, he specified.

For the time being, no news has been given and the CRE could well wait for the results, in June 2023, before announcing a decision. “If this were to be the case, we will offer them to make a catch-up in two stages, by applying a deposit in February, then by paying the catch-up in July, after the results of the checks”, he explains.