Energy. End of the regulated gas tariff in July: why it’s scary


Energy.  End of the regulated gas tariff in July: why it’s scary
Written by madishthestylebar

“We are asking for the postponement of the end of the regulated tariff to weather the storm”, has just asked the CLCV consumer association in a letter to Emmanuel Macron about the extinction of the regulated gas sales tariff for individuals, planned June 30.

Historically, the opening up of European energy markets to competition, pioneered by the United Kingdom in 1984, aimed to no longer depend on a national public monopoly and to promote competition. It worked until prices got very high and volatile.

What should we fear from this announced end? What will be the consequences ? We take stock.

How does the regulated tariff work?

The regulated gas tariff dates from April 1946, at the end of the Second World War. Set by the government, it depends on the cost of purchasing gas on the wholesale markets, storage and transport costs, and taxes. It could vary every month until the government froze it on October 1, 2021. But on January 1, the government increased it by 15%.

Why must he disappear?

The extinction of the regulated gas tariff stems from a decision of the Council of State in 2017, which deemed it contrary to European law. Since January 1, 2016, the majority of condominiums (consuming more than 150 megawatt hours per year) must already subscribe to a market offer, as well as individuals who have moved since November 20, 2019.

Market offers have long been cheaper than the regulated tariff. According to the Energy Regulation Commission (CRE), 60% of residential consumers have already switched to a market offer, compared to 26% who were still at the regulated tariff on March 30, 2022 and 14% at the identical indexed tariff.

Why such concern?

The CLCV, mobilized for a long time on the subject, considers “very risky to ask 2.6 million households to choose an offer in such a toxic market”. “Let’s go back for two years, Europe allows it!” “, pleaded Tuesday its general delegate, François Carlier, by publishing a letter addressed to Emmanuel Macron.

It’s gonna be a big cheat fair, there’ll be breakage in the fall

“It’s going to be a big deception fair, there will be breakage in the fall,” said François Carlier, predicting a brutal awakening for the public authorities who, “like for the bakers”, will have to “make a summit to re-institute a security tariff”.

The condominiums already concerned

According to the CLCV, what is happening in condominiums or HLMs is a harbinger of future difficulties. Far from being able to bring competition into play, condominiums, whose contract has expired in recent months, are facing a shortage of offers, and still at high prices. They do have a tariff shield, but it only absorbs part of the price increase and the aid arrives with a random delay.

“Rather than case-by-case measures which divide the French, are difficult to read and leave people without a solution, why don’t you take a simple, unique and fair measure: put back in place the regulated tariff? “, asked Tuesday in the Assembly the rebellious deputy Bénédicte Taurine.

“What you are proposing is an energy shield for all economic players and an exorbitant cost,” retorted the Minister of Industry, Roland Lescure.

What does the law say next?

“The risk is that consumers will be drowned in confusing commercial messages, since there is a market to be taken in a short period of time”, fears Antoine Autier, head of studies at UFC-Que Choisir. . He advocates the creation of an “automatic reference tariff which makes it possible to compare offers”.

The Energy Regulatory Commission could publish this famous reference tariff around March-April. Everything indicates that it will no longer return to the level of yesteryear.

For Raphaël Trotignon of Rexecode, “the price of gas will be permanently higher than in the past, so it is not logical to keep people under the illusion that the price of gas remains low. On the other hand, they should not be exposed to excessively violent variations and it may be justifiable to smooth the rise over time”, especially “as we know that we are going to need three years to reorganize the supply in European gas without Russia”.

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