Plus 12.6% for gas on October 1, 2021, plus 10% for electricity, plus 12 and 16% for gasoline and diesel: this price hike could well trigger a social explosion.
Concern for many French households: how to cope with the increase in the price of gas, electricity, gasoline so necessary for everyday life?
The Commission for Energy Regulation (CRE) announced this September 27, 2021: “The monthly change in the regulated rate of sale of natural gas (TRVG) noted by Engie, is +12.6% including VAT on October 1, 2021.” Several tens of millions of consumers are affected by this sudden increase in the price of gas, which follows an increase of 8.7% on September 1, 2021, after more than 5% in August and nearly 10% in July.
Why these successive increases? “France imports 99% of the natural gas it consumes, and variations in supply costs reflect the price of gas on the European and world markets, and it is the international gas producers (Russia, Norway, Algeria, Qatar, etc.) that benefit from these increases,” says the Energy Regulation Commission.
In addition, European CO2 emission quotas – these “pollution permits” to which large industrial companies are entitled – have doubled in one year.
And it’s not over yet!
In France, electricity is produced. However, prices are constantly rising. UFC-Que Choisir is once again sounding the alarm: “Red alert on the price of electricity. The public authorities must act to prevent a 10% explosion in bills.
The regulated rate of sale (TRV) of electricity would have experienced an increase of nearly 50% in a decade explains the consumer advocacy association.
Why these increases? First, because the price of electricity is correlated to the price of gas. Then, still according to the UFC, because of the organization of the electricity market. Indeed, EDF is obliged to sell a part of its nuclear electricity (about a third) to its competitors at low prices, under a 2010 agreement called Arenh, which stands for “Accès Régulé à l’Électricité Nucléaire Historique”.
12 billion Flamanville EPR project, whose commissioning date is unknown, is weighing on electricity prices.
Fuel prices are soaring
All motorists can see that the price of gasoline at the pump is constantly rising. More than 12% for diesel, more than 16% for gasoline in a few months. This is the fault of the global economic recovery, which needs oil to run its factories.
According to the latest figures published by the Comité Profession du Pétrole, deliveries of road fuels on the French market increased to 4.204 million cubic meters in August 2021 (+ 5.7%) compared to August 2020. Deliveries of premium unleaded fuels were up 12.9% and deliveries of gas oils were up 3.1%. In August 2021, deliveries of heating oil were up 103.6% compared to August 2020.
The risk of a social explosion
How far and for how long will French households be able to bear these successive energy price increases? The Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, is perfectly aware “of the problem and sees perfectly how much it can weigh on the purchasing power of households. He added: “There is an aberration at the European level. The rise in gas prices is reflected in the price of electricity. From an economic point of view, this is absurd and from an ecological point of view, it is incoherent.
Of course, the government will sign an “energy voucher” for the most vulnerable households. But this will probably not be enough to calm everyone down. Because when you add these crazy increases in energy prices to the equally unbearable increases in food and basic necessities in supermarkets, which are added to the increase in taxes (on income, property tax, etc.), you get a highly explosive cocktail.
With less than seven months to go before the presidential election, the smallest fuse could trigger the detonation.