In recent months, the French have seen their electricity bills soar. An outbreak due to the increases recorded on the wholesale market, where this summer the price per megawatt hour reached 1,000 euros, ten times more than in September 2021. However, this is where alternative suppliers buy their electricity, before to resell it to their customers. When the market is low, they can show very attractive prices. But because they are not producers, when the market is high, their prices follow the curves.
EDF customers are at the regulated rate. Ditto for those of Engie or local gas distribution companies. It is they who benefit from the famous tariff shield which this year limited the increase to 4%. Elisabeth Borne indicated that this device would be extended next year for families. Instead of climbing 120% in 2023, it will “only” increase by 15%.
A cap on the increase that will therefore not affect alternative electricity suppliers. While some try to match, others sometimes double their prices. This is what Johanna recently experienced, living alone with her son in a small 30m2 one-bedroom apartment. “I don’t have a freezer or a dryer and I don’t use the oven very often. The bill went from 68 euros per month to 156 euros. And with a regulation to pay of 395 euros in January! At this rate, I will soon pay more for electricity than for rent, “complains this mother who responded to our request for testimony.
She is not the only one to have taken this rise with her head held high. Jeannette ensured that “almost all suppliers had attractive prices”. The one she chose made her pay 70 euros a month for gas, but a recent e-mail from her told her it would now be 350 euros. “And for electricity, it’s not much better. Times will be getting tougher, unfortunately, “she notes.
Return to the regulated rate for some
Some alternative suppliers have announced the color, prompting their customers to take a closer look at the rates charged elsewhere. Ronald was at Cdiscount Énergie. “When they told me that the price of my monthly bill would go up 70%, I looked for a new supplier. Except that the lowest price I found was already 15 euros more per month than what I pay now. If in a few days I cannot find a supplier that offers me a better price, I will probably contact EDF to be sure, at least we know that its prices are regulated directly by the state “, he explains.
Like him, with the energy crisis, many have turned back to the historic supplier and manufacturer. After losing customers for many years attracted to attractive rates when it opened to competition fifteen years ago, EDF is seeing the return of consumers who want stability again, even in the short term, with regulated rates.
Mae-line was from Engie. But his monthly payments went from 65 to 108 euros, “including the season ticket, which went from 15 to more than 50 euros”. “We have just switched to EDF’s blue tariff at 70 euros per month and avoid other unpleasant surprises,” he hopes.
Aurélien also had little taste of seeing the changes written in very small form when she renewed her contract with Engie. “Looking closely at the appendix, the kWh rate was almost three times the previous one. In other words, despite having a modest consumption for a large house (about 4 kWh per year), it was not at all to my taste. So I went to the most advantageous and will not hesitate to change overnight depending on the prices if there are large variations in price. But I think I should refrain from going small traders in view of what is happening right now. “
As for Ohm Energie, which has been the subject of an investigation by the Energy Regulatory Commission since the beginning of September. Many readers point to the practices of this alternative provider, who for example did not explain to Ludivine when she asked them to find out why the pain received in August went from € 75 to € 117. “Today I went to Total Energie for the same price, 76 euros. Hoping and crossing our fingers that this doesn’t change… Otherwise let’s go back to the candle ”, he jokes.
Iberdrola does not make its customers laugh
If he had a chance to turn his back on his supplier, the others had no choice. Arriving on the French market in 2019, the Spanish Iberdrola did not make his customers laugh in the height of summer when he sent them a letter telling them that he was thanking them … By canceling their contract. Siven was one of the unfortunate recipients. “In comparison, the supplier Alpiq seemed to me to be competitive. I signed up right away. A week later, I had the unpleasant surprise of having my registration canceled due to a technical error. Later on the phone I was told that Alpiq was actually no longer hiring new customers. I decided to go to EDF, but impossible to have them on the phone. In the end I returned to Total Energie where I was a customer in 2018 with the name of Direct Energie ”, says the one who has experienced a real obstacle course.
On Wednesday, Elisabeth Borne said the government has not been fooled, knowing full well that “some speculate on the crisis”. At a time when inflation is undermining the French budget, the prime minister explained that the state intends to take action against those who risk making profits thanks to electricity on the shoulders of consumers. A wish that Philippe, one of the readers of 20 minutes, sharing. “We can only hope that the energy policeman will put an end to these wind vane methods, which are misleading and defying customer confidence. In the meantime he proposes an alternative to all these suppliers: “The installation of photovoltaic panels with good management of use is a good investment with a possible return in 10 years”.