Economically encourage the French to reduce their electricity consumption during hours or days of peak consumption by increasing prices at these specific times, in order to pass periods of tension without incident. This was the meaning of the famous “Erasing peak day” (EJP) subscription introduced by EDF in 1982, and which the government wishes to bring up to date, according to our information.
The executive is indeed seeking to encourage electricity suppliers to commercially relaunch this type of offer, called “mobile peak” and whose number of customers has only dropped in recent years. In a letter sent last week to electricity suppliers and that The gallery obtained, the Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, asks them to mobilize for ” develop this model ” and ” promote it “.
And for good reason, this option makes it possible to mechanically adapt demand to supply via a clear price signal sent to the consumer, in exchange for financial consideration such as more advantageous rates outside peak periods.
“It is a subject that we are watching very closely. Tensions on the electrical network are highly concentrated over a few hours or days per year. This type of offer will therefore be essential to get through next winter, ”we say to the cabinet of Agnès Pannier-Runacher.
In fact, without clear action on French consumption, the winter promises to be harsh: while the country has already greatly reduced its margins by closing many controllable power plants, the lack of corrosion currently affecting the nuclear fleet promises to contract a little more the supply available during the heating season. Especially since import capacity to fill gaps during peak periods will be limited; the neighboring countries risking themselves not having enough gas to produce their electrons because of the war in Ukraine. Under these conditions, each major supplier will therefore be encouraged to “ advertise to say: ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country », Explains a ministerial source.
Tariff expansion ” Tempo » from EDF
So far, however, the paradigm seemed quite different. Last year, the government implemented a tariff shield, which it intends to maintain until the end of 2022, and limited the increase in the regulated electricity sales tariff (TRV) to +4% (compared to almost +40% if he had not acted). However, if these protections make it possible to largely contain the bills of the French, they do not encourage them to adapt their consumption to the real offer, and therefore to shift their consumption in the event of overvoltage.
” Therefore, there is a disconnect between the price actually paid and the supply on the network. However, the price of the kilowatt hour (kWh) increases, and especially varies enormously during the day according to the demand “, explains Aurian de Maupeou, energy broker and co-founder of Selectra.
In fact, the kWh consumed at 3 p.m. on a low summer day does not have the same value on the market as that of a peak on a winter evening in the midst of an energy crisis. To take this into account, there are certainly the famous peak/off-peak tariffs, to which nearly half of TRV customers have subscribed. But this option doesn’t care about actual dips and peaks on the network at any given time. ” The schedules were set in the 1980s and have not changed since “says Aurian de Maupeou.
Conversely, a “moving peak” offer takes actual variations into account. Concretely, with the “EJP” tariff (which is no longer offered for sale but from which some still benefit), the consumer learns the day before for the next day if peaks are expected, in which case he will pay twice as much as in “normal” period…and will therefore shift its consumption.
“In this case, a red light sent by an impulse lights up on a kind of device with two lamps installed on a box”, specifies Aurian de Maupeou.
In addition, EDF still offers the “Tempo” tariff, which is the combination of a “full hour/hour” tariff, off-peak (6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and a “mobile peak” tariff, distinguishing between three types days: 22 red days, 43 white days and 300 blue days. According to our information, it is this type of hybrid option that the public authorities intend to encourage.
“For 22 days not defined in advance, the tariff is dissuasive and, in return, there is a reduction of 20% on average in the price per kWh for those who agree to it”, underlines Aurian de Maupeou.
For this “Tempo” tariff, EDF only targets large consumers (minimum power of 9kVA) with a ” an alternative heating mode “. Thus, in all, nearly 600,000 individual customers only have subscribed to the “Tempo” or “Erasing Peak Day” options of the TRV, according to the energy company. ” The historical model of the EJP is a customer with a chimney that he can light when prices rise during peak hours. But this model has changed: we think that many French people must have the possibility of modulating their consumption a lot over a few days a year. “, says one in the entourage of Agnès Pannier-Runacher. In other words, the target audience will be much larger.
Inform everyone about their consumption
Still, not all consumers will be affected, since it is only one option among the various offers. ” It will only be voluntary “, we insist at the Ministry of Energy Transition.
” Dynamic pricing does not apply to all customers of a given provider. In the end, the basic offer will be the cheapest for those who never pay attention, the most suitable peak hour/off-peak hour offer for those who align their consumption with off-peak hours, and the best mobile peak offer. for the one who controls it via an intelligent system and arrows his consumption when it is the least expensive “says Aurian de Maupeou.
Above all, such an offer requires appropriate means to be put in place to inform consumers quickly and easily. In this respect, the Linky smart meter has made it possible to accurately measure consumption hour by hour. But the project to install a remote display, in other words a dial placed in homes to show customers their consumption every day, has taken a lot of delay. In these conditions, ” suppliers must be asked to communicate with customers about everything that exists to know their consumption and learn to control it “, we say to the cabinet of Agnès Pannier-Runacher. Information that will no doubt also pass through online applications, like the EcoWatt platform developed in 2020 by the national electricity network manager, RTE.
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