Against the delusional offers of electricity suppliers, the CRE launches a compass

Against the delusional offers of electricity suppliers, the CRE launches a compass

Illustration: Getty/Canva.

To help businesses and local authorities understand the new offers offered by their electricity supplier, the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) is launching a “compass” to see things more clearly.

In the context of soaring energy prices, not all companies and local authorities benefit from the measures provided for by the tariff shield which has made it possible to contain the increase in the regulated sales tariff (TRV) for electricity. CRE wanted to help these consumers find their way through the jungle that the energy supply market has become at the end of 2022. For that, nothing better than a compassto avoid getting lost.

Indeed, for companies and local authorities who have seen their electricity supply contract expire for several months, a new commitment with a supplier must be renegotiated. And that’s where the trouble begins. Suppliers are facing soaring prices on the wholesale electricity market, prompting them to increase their tariffs for new contracts.

Several companies and communities have been sounding the alarm for several months, to draw the attention of the public authorities to their situation. Indeed, some consumers are not in a position to accept the new prohibitive prices offered to them, the amount of which would hurt their cash flow.


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A compass to analyze prices

In order to help these consumers to analyze the prices proposed by the suppliers, the CRE provides them with the means to check that these prices are competitive and correspond to the reality of the supply costs. The institution publishes a compass every Tuesday which consists of a price list broken down into several consumption profiles. Indeed, each heavy consumer has totally different profiles that are difficult to compare.

This grid is intended for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and local authorities with up to 250 employees and whose turnover does not exceed 50 million euros (or 43 million euros on the balance sheet). Buyers subject to the public procurement code are also concerned. The CRE has thus established three consumer profiles according to the power subscribed and the size of the company. Their needs are also taken into account according to the seasons and peak and off-peak hours.


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Check if the prices are consistent

Each consumer can thus refer to the profile that best corresponds to the characteristics of his company. Then, for each profile, a reference price is given by the institution. CRE indicates that the prices it publishes “are calculated for an offer from a supplier, for a period of one year for delivery in calendar year 2023, valid for 24 hours, based on wholesale electricity prices on Monday”.

The company can thus check whether the price proposed by the supplier is consistent with that indicated by CRE. Obviously, these are indicative prices given by the institution, but they must allow business leaders and elected officials to find their way in the best possible way when renewing their contract.

Another clarification: it is strongly recommended that companies sign a new contract before November 21, the date of the ARENH (Regulated Access to Historical Nuclear Electricity) window for 2023. This is the only way to be certain to benefit from ARENH in their price for their new contract.

SMEs and local authorities will therefore be able to count on this compass, while waiting for the public authorities to come to their aid. This is what was recently announced by the government, which is going to improve the aid system for businesses.


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