Blocking the increase in the regulated price, catching up in 2023 and increasing the volume of nuclear electricity sold at a limited price are the means considered to cope with the soaring cost of electricity in France.
An amendment should be tabled this Thursday as part of the examination of the 2022 finance bill, granting the possibility of unilaterally blocking the increase in regulated sales tariffs (TRV) of electricity to the ministries of the Economy and Ecological transition.
The government had already announced at the end of September a limit to 4% of the increase in these TRVs, but this measure may not be enough in view of the soaring markets, while also weighing much more heavily than expected on public finances. .
Catching up in 2023
After the exceptional blocking of TRVs in February, during their annual revaluation, the State plans to catch up in 2023, via a gradual increase in tariffs, to cover the losses borne by EDF. A compensation mechanism, still under discussion, is planned for alternative electricity suppliers.
So that this catching-up does not weigh too heavily on consumers, the plan provides for obliging EDF to sell more nuclear electricity at a limited rate to alternative suppliers. They would no longer have to supply themselves on the markets at prohibitive prices.
France will still have to go and negotiate with Brussels so that the ceiling of this device known as “Arenh” (“regulated access to historic nuclear electricity”) can be raised.
As electricity prices break records every day, the 2022 forecast for TRV continues to soar. The government thought it should have taken 12% next February, but experts are now talking about an increase of almost 25%.
As a result, the cost to public finances of “consumer protection” measures may increase considerably compared to what was initially planned.
The government initially thought to spend 4 billion euros, then 5.9 billion according to the version of the 2022 budget presented in mid-October. Neither Bercy nor the Ministry of Ecological Transition have since delivered a new assessment.