Energy prices: why you should (really) monitor your supplier’s emails

The operator Ohm Energie is at the center of a procedure launched by the Energy Regulation Commission. The CRE suspects him of having made excessive margins on the resale of nuclear electricity bought at reasonable prices from EDF. (Illustration/AdobeStock)

The government is now stepping up calls energy saving. Consumers, who no longer eat much, are screaming. They just got a letter or email from their electricity supplier saying that their prices will go upand this to a great extent.

It was asked Actu.frthe national energy mediator, Olivier Challan Belval, confirmed the “increase of disputes” on this subject, and recalled the regulations: “Consumers of the regulated tariff for the sale of gas or electricity as well as those who have a fixed price contract or a price indexed to the regulated tariff are protected by the tariff shield placed by the Government. On the other hand, those who have an indexed price contract in the markets, with alternative suppliers, are not… “

Some suppliers change the price or the method of changing the prices of existing contracts. They have the right to do so, under certain conditions, especially to notify at least one month in advance, in a clear and understandable way.

Olivier Challan BelvalNational Energy Ombudsman

“Maybe it’s better to change the contract”

His recommendation is simple: “You must be careful with the messages received from your supplier, whether letters or emails. If a “change in prices or contract” is indicated, it is necessary to compare the new prices with the offers available for subscription. Maybe it’s better to change the contract,” insisted Olivier Challon Belval.

The contracts are indexed to wholesale prices

If you choose an alternative supplier, a contract indexed to wholesale prices, your bill will effectively increase. That’s why some operators are even suggesting that their customers leave! And that’s the only good news: there is one rule that applies to everyone: you can terminate your electricity contract whenever you want and without notice.

If your usual supplier has started charging very high prices at the moment, it is because he suffered from the increase in wholesale energy prices and passed it on to you. In this case, in general: direction EDF (the regulated tariffs, the tariff shield, etc.) which currently receives a surge of calls. You should also know that your bill will increase!

Two retirees saw their bills double

In France, another part of the price is determined by Arenh (regulated access to historical nuclear electricity). It allows all electricity suppliers to obtain electricity produced by nuclear power plants at a regulated price.

In Eure, for example, Sylvie and Yves Fourcin, retirees in Montfort-sur-Risle, know that their electricity bill will increase by more than 50% from September, says The Awakening of Pont-Audemer. “Old monthly payment: 583.98 euros. New monthly payment: 902.71 euros”. That’s an increase of more than 55%.

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Explanation ? The supplier justified this increase by “the energy market facing a unique and unprecedented situation. The argument seems easy.

Proceedings against a supplier

The Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) announced this Friday, September 9, 2022 that it launched proceedings against their supplier, Ohm Energie, which was founded in 2018 and claims 250,000 customers.

The independent authority, led by former minister Emmanuelle Wargon, suspects that the operator bought nuclear electricity from Arenh, regulated access to historic nuclear electricity, and resold it on the markets at a higher that price.
The facts disputed by Ohm Energie, which claims that “never sold the smallest kilowatt hours of Arenh in the markets”, according to its president, François Joubert, a former EDF engineer.

“We are trying to blame the [fournisseurs] alternative, while the authorities have an obligation of neutrality. (…) The responsibility for the crisis is not to be found among the alternatives, but rather in a disaster that does not use nuclear power”, he answered in AFP.

A few days ago, the CRE announced that it has strengthened market monitoring, calling on suppliers “to adopt responsible behavior”, amid the increase in wholesale prices.

Other methods may follow…

Practical information

To choose (or not) to leave your supplier, an official comparator is especially available on the energie-info.fr website. Associations can also come with you to help you or advise you if you want to see clearly: the UFC what to choose and its local branches throughout France.

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