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French electricity costs to soar by 2016

Reuters/Benoit Tessier

Consumers in France could see electricity bills rocket over the next four years if current regulation governing the cost of electricity is not changed. 

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Philippe de Ladoucette, head of the Commission for Energy Regulation, CRE, predicts an annual six per cent rise in electricity costs over the period culminating in a 30 per rise by 2016.

This is bad news for the 35 million French households – over 60 per cent of the population - which has converted to electricity-only power.

Electricity bills in France automatically rise every year by the cost of inflation, currently around two per cent. Add to this an increase in the public service tax for supplying electricity deducted from each bill, and the expected increase in the cost over the next few years of renewing the country’s ageing supply network and it’s easy to see why prices are set to take-off.

“Prices will explode if the current legislation is not modified,” warns Ladoucette.

Nicolas Mouchnino of consumer organization, UFD-Que Choisir, is less optimistic. He believes prices will rise by 28 per cent by 2015.

French consumers, already reeling from the increase in gas and domestic fuel prices, will not be happy.

They currently benefit from electricity costs some 30 per cent lower than neighbouring countries because of special tariffs set by the state due to nuclear-generated power.

But the government is under pressure from Brussels to remove these tariffs by 2015.
 

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