Why is your bill unlikely to skyrocket in the coming months?

Surge in the market electricity in France. In one year, the wholesale price went from 85 euros to more than 1,000 euros per megawatt hour for 2023. A multiplication by 12 which is enough to worry households, already tested by galloping inflation. Across the Channel, moreover, the news is scary: the United Kingdom announced an 80% increase in energy prices from October.

Can such a scenario reach our borders? “The price of the invoice should increase in the coming months, but they will never be multiplied by 12”, reassures Lamis Aljounaidi, energy economist and leader of the consulting company. Paris Infrastructure Advisory.

Minimal part of the bill

The expert dissects an electricity bill for us, which we can roughly divide into three parts. First, the cost of distributing and transporting energy. The latter increases a little, due to the renewal of a now dilapidated network, but of the order of 2-3% per year. Not enough to blow the price of your budget. Secondly, the contribution to the public electricity service (CSPE), which helps to finance renewable energies, the additional cost of electricity production in non-metropolitan areas and the energy check for the most modest households. This share will logically increase with the increase in precariousness in France, but there too it should be a contained increase.

Third, the price of energy itself. It is divided into two (courage, we are coming to the end): the cost of marketing – which tends to increase at the same rate as inflation (6% in about a year), and the cost of electricity itself , namely the cost of ARENH (the historical nuclear, at a globally stable price) and the famous market cost, the very one which has been multiplied by twelve.

A reasonable bill

As a result of this autopsy, “the share subject to the market price remains low, 5 to 10% of the bill. Only this share will be impacted by the sharp price increases observed on the electricity market”, demonstrates Lamis Aljounaidi. Not enough to imagine adding a zero to your bill.

Sophie Meritet, lecturer in economics (with HDR), energy specialist, also reassures: “In July, the megawatt hour was already at 800 euros without anyone worrying. It’s a back-to-school panic, but the bill shouldn’t increase that much.

The tariff shield to the rescue

All the more with the tariff shield. This one should keep the French safe, at least as far as EDF customers. And this, thanks to the “blue tariff”, explains Patrice Geoffron, professor of economics at the University of Paris-Dauphine: the price of electricity for individuals is regulated by the public authorities. The blue tariff is 174 euros per megawatt hour, far from the 1,000 euros on the market.

Alternative suppliers, such as Engie or Total, are divided into two categories: those who operate at the regulated electricity tariff, which are therefore also affected by the tariff shield, and those who depend solely on the market price. For the latter, the bill could increase massively. Not increase tenfold either, once again: “There is a” shock absorber “linked to the fact that EDF had to sell quantities of its nuclear electricity at “broken” prices to other suppliers”, specifies Patrice Geoffron.

However, many alternative suppliers no longer take on new customers, even advise theirs to return to EDF for the current yearinforms Sophie Meritet.

Avoid the new “yellow vests”

The tariff shield must end at the beginning of 2023. What only to shift the problem? Raphaël Boroumand, professor of economics at the Paris School of Business, cannot believe it: “An 80% increase like in the United Kingdom, which would plunge millions of citizens into fuel poverty, seems impossible to me. We have seen with the crisis of “yellow vests” like a few cents on gas can get people on the street. In such a tense social context, the government will never let the electricity bill increase so much. The Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, was very clear; he and the president of the Renaissance deputies, Aurore Bergé, ensuring that even in 2023, the electricity bill would not soar by 30 to 50%. The Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, however warned this Tuesday evening on TMC that there would be “certainly price increases at the beginning of the year 2023”.

In parallel, new aid, another solution can be considered: drastically reduce consumption, aka the famous energy sobriety. Basic idea: if we no longer buy electricity, it does not cost us much. And if France supplied itself? Not easy. Already, the country has become a net importer, and, given the state of its nuclear fleet – more than half of the reactors are shut down for maintenance or repair – it risks being so again, specifies Patrice Geoffron, “especially in cold winters”, sobriety or not.

Moreover, even if France was self-sufficient, “a significant part of electricity has passed through the market since the opening of the energy markets”, develops Lamis Aljounaidi. So even taking only French electricity, part of the bill would be linked to this passage from 85 to 1,000 euros per megawatt hour.

Electricity, the most profitable energy

Despite these two nuances, “a drop in consumption remains one of the most effective levers for combating soaring prices and reducing the rise in bills. The less we buy, the easier it is for the State to give aid, ”says Raphaël Boroumand.

But is this the meaning of the story?. “The trend is towards an increase in electricity consumption, which remains the cheapest energy for households, compared to gas or petrol”, supports Lamis Aljounaidi: “Thus, it should be interesting for households to opt for electric heating to lower their gas bill and to change to an electric or hybrid car to lower their fuel costs. “In full misinterpretation.

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