why you may pay more for gas, despite the price shield


Margaux Fodéré, edited by Solène Leroux
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06:40, August 24, 2022

A flagship measure for protecting the purchasing power of the French, the tariff shield put in place by the government last October has been extended until the end of the year. However, some French people see their gas bill increase. But how is this possible? It actually depends on the type of contract you have taken out. It was a bad surprise for Chloé on August 8th. Looking at her mail, she discovers that her gas bill for the year 2022-2023 has increased: 180 euros per month, compared to 148 euros last year.

A 22% increase

A 22% increase that she does not understand. “Despite the fact that my consumption has decreased, I pay more.” However, she “still paid attention”, proposing “to anticipate the increases a little”. In January, she had received an email, but had not opened it. Her supplier warned her that the rates were going to increase.

The explanation can be found at the bottom of her contract: Chloé has subscribed to an offer indexed to the regulated gas tariff, the tariff established by the public authorities.

A shield that does not protect

Except that his subscription is not protected by the tariff shield. “The supplier is authorized to send a letter in which he can say that he is going to modify his prices”, specifies Jean-Baptiste Hecquet, energy specialist at Sia Partners. “If within a month, the customer has not terminated his subscription, from the moment the energy has been consumed, he can start manufacturing it at that price.”

No price freeze either for French people who have subscribed to an offer indexed to market prices. “If the market is over 50%, you will pay 50% more. If it is 50% less, you will pay 50% less”, confirms the specialist. “There’s absolutely nothing you can do about a contract you’ve signed. And the price shield doesn’t protect you at all.” In total, nearly eight million French people could see their bill increase despite the price freeze.

Price developments related to Russia

The price of gas reached 295 euros per megawatt hour on Monday, historic levels. The price is likely to remain high in the coming months due to the uncertainty hanging over gas supplies, particularly with the maintenance shutdown of the North Stream 1 pipeline. “The major uncertainty is, at From the beginning of September, what is happening? Are the Russians continuing this closure of Nord Stream 1 taps which is scheduled for three days? “Asks economist Christian de Boissieu.

“It is clear that the evolution of gas prices worldwide and in Europe, and therefore in France, will still be very linked to this political decision in the context that you know about the confrontation in Ukraine”, concluded- he.


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