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More electricity bill rises on way

July 1 is traditionally the day of the year when many prices change - including energy, transport and mobile rates

ELECTRICITY bills are to rise by an average of 2.9% from today, with warnings that a further increase of 5% or more could be necessary in the winter.

The energy regulation committee, which provides advice to the government on tariff changes, says the rising costs of nuclear energy will need to be passed on to consumers.

Electricity bills have already risen by 6.4% in the last year, with two consecutive price increases in August and January, according to national statistics body Insee.

Business electricity rates are up between 4.4% and 4.9% from this morning. Gas prices are stable for households but up 3.2% for businesses.

However, the committee has warned that gas tariffs cannot be frozen for much longer and that a rise is likely from October 1.

July 1 is traditionally the day of the year when many prices change. Here are some of the other areas affected:

Mobiles: Making or receiving a mobile phone call abroad will be cheaper in the EU from today. It will cost €0.35 a minute to make a phone call and €0.11 to receive one. The cost of sending a text message remains at a maximum of €0.11 while it costs nothing to receive one. The EU would like to see tariff differences between domestic and roaming calls disappear by 2015.

Public transport: Paris metro tickets are on average 2.7% more expensive from this morning. A monthly pass for the city centre now costs €62 instead of €60.40. Individual tickets remain unchanged at €1.70 but a carnet is up 50 centimes to €12.50. Passengers living in the suburbs, in zone six, will see their ticket prices fall by 11% as the area is merged into zone five. There are slight price rises on Intercités and TER trains in second class - between €0.10 and €2.70 depending on the ticket. Discount cards are the same price.

La Poste: The cost of sending a 20g letter in France goes up by two centimes from €0.58 to €0.60.

Employment: Unemployment benefits are up 1.5% from today. The minimum wage remains stable at €9 per hour and €1365 gross per month for a standard 35-hour working week. The rate is expected to rise automatically on August 1 because of inflation.

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