With electricity bills “as expensive as rent”, they had to change suppliers

In recent months, the French have seen their electricity bills rise. An outbreak due to the increase recorded in the wholesale market, where the price per megawatt hour reached 1,000 euros this summer, ten times more than in September 2021. However, this is where alternative suppliers buy their electricity, in not yet sold to their customers. When the market is low, they can show very attractive prices. But since they are not producers, when the market is high, their prices follow the curves.

EDF customers are on a regulated tariff. Ditto for Engie or local gas distribution companies. They benefited from the popular tariff shield that limited the increase to 4% this year. Elisabeth Borne indicated that this device will be extended next year for households. Instead of the price going up 120% by 2023, it will “only” go up 15%.

An increase limit that therefore does not concern alternative electricity suppliers. While some try to match, others sometimes double their prices. This is what Johanna experienced recently, who lives alone with her son in a small 30 m2 one-bedroom apartment. “I don’t have a freezer or a dryer, and I don’t use the oven much. The fee ranges from 68 euros per month to 156 euros. And in a regulation to pay 395 euros in January! With this rate, I will soon be paying for electricity instead of rent,” lamented this mother who responded to our call for testimonials.

He’s not the only one leading this rise. Jeannette does “almost all suppliers with interesting prices”. The one he chose was charging him 70 euros a month for gas, but a recent email told him it would now be 350 euros. “And for electricity, it doesn’t get any better. Times are going to get tougher and tougher,” he said.

Back to the regulated rate for some

Other alternative providers have announced the color, pushing their customers to take a closer look at the fees charged elsewhere. Ronald is at Cdiscount Énergie. “When they told me that the price of my monthly bill would increase by 70%, I started looking for a new supplier. Except that the cheapest price I found is 15 euros more per month than what I’m paying now. If in a few days, I don’t find a supplier that offers me a better price, maybe I’ll go back to EDF to make sure, at least we know that its prices are directly regulated by the State”, he explained.

Like him, in the energy crisis, many have turned to historical suppliers and producers. After losing customers for many years who were attracted by attractive tariffs when it was opened to competition fifteen years ago, EDF has seen the return of consumers who want stability again, even in short term, with regulated tariffs.

Mae-line was at Engie. But his monthly payment jumped from 65 to 108 euros, “including the subscription, which went from 15 to more than 50 euros”. “We have recently changed the blue tariff of EDF to 70 euros per month and will avoid other unpleasant surprises”, he hoped.

Aurélien, too, had little taste of seeing the changes written on the very small renewal form of his contract with Engie. “Looking closely at the appendix, the kWh rate is almost triple that of the old one. In other words, even if there is a moderate consumption for a large house (about 4 kWh per year), it is not really in my taste. So I went to the most advantageous and I do not hesitate to change overnight depending on the prices if there are big price changes. However, I think I should avoid going to small operators because of what’s happening now.”

Like Ohm Energie, which since the beginning of September has been the subject of an investigation by the Energy Regulatory Commission. Many readers pointed out the practices of this alternative supplier, which for example did not give an explanation to Ludivine when he asked them to know why the pain received in August increased from 75 to 117 euros. “Today, I went to Total Energie for the same price, 76 euros. Hoping and crossing our fingers that it doesn’t change… If not, we’ll go back to the candle”, he joked.

Iberdrola does not make its customers laugh

If he has the possibility to abandon his supplier, others have no choice. Arriving in 2019 on the French market, the Spanish Iberdrola did not make his customers laugh in the middle of the summer when he sent them a letter telling them that he thanked them… By ending the their contract. Siven was one of the unfortunate recipients. “In comparison, the supplier Alpiq seems competitive to me. I subscribed immediately. A week later, I had the unpleasant surprise of seeing that my registration was canceled due to a technical error. Later on the phone I was told that in fact Alpiq is no longer taking new clients. I decided to go to EDF, but it was impossible to get it on the phone. Finally, I returned to Total Energie where I was a client in 2018 under name Direct Energie”, says someone who has experienced a real obstacle course.

This Wednesday, Elisabeth Borne said that the government was not deceived, knowing well that “some speculated on the crisis”. At a time when inflation is destroying the French budget, the Prime Minister explained that the State intends to act against the risks of profiting thanks to the electricity behind the consumers. A desire that Philippe, one of the readers of 20 minutes, share. “We can only hope that the energy police will stop these methods of weather vanes, which mislead and defy the trust of customers. In the meantime, he offers an alternative to all these suppliers: “The installation of photovoltaic panels with good management in use is a good investment with a possible return of 10 years”.

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