Electricity customers told to pay ‘catch-up’ payments

Households are being charged extra for electricity used in previous years

MILLIONS of households across France have been receiving letters from electricity provider EDF alerting them to rattrapage (‘catch-up’) payments of around €35 that are payable for electricity use in 2014-2015.

You might have a sense of déjà vu – this is not the first time such payments have been in the news – however the matter was raised last summer due to a court judgment requiring the payments and it is only now customers are being informed and asked to pay.

It is also not the first time it has happened – it happened in 2015, with regard to payments for 2012-2013.

The rise affects some 28million households that were on tarifs réglementés (state-regulated tariffs) in the period August 1, 2014 to July 31, 2015.

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In 2016 the Conseil d’Etat annulled a decision in 2014 by Energy Minister Ségolène Royal to limit the rise in tariffs with a view to ‘give a helping hand’ to families. She had cancelled a 5% rise planned for summer 2014 and had then decreed a 2.5% one from November 2014 to July 2015.

The Conseil said this had been insufficient, hence the need for extra payments now.

EDF say that for those who are still EDF customers, the rise – around €35 with VAT for the average household – will usually be spread out in bills over 18 months, but for those who have since changed to a different provider it will be billed in one go.

Consumer group 60 Millions de Consommateurs says this probably will not happen in the future as the government is no longer involved in decisions on the tariffs. They are set by the Commission de Régulation de l’Energie, which is more likely to follow the standard formulas for working out price rises instead of opting for freezes or reductions for political reasons.

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