Do gas price rises in France affect the cost of canisters also?

Household bills are scheduled to increase from July, as distribution tariffs go up

Person hooking up a gas canister
Many rural properties in France do not have access to mains gas

Reader Question: Do the impending gas price rises affect canisters and storage tanks or just bills for gas coming from the mains? Will the price of my canisters increase by a similar amount?

The cost of mains-supplied gas will increase for many households in France from July 1, with bills expected to rise by an average of 11.7%.

These rises, however, are mostly due to an increase in the amount being charged by GRDF for distribution network costs, which was agreed to by energy regulator Commission de régulation de l'énergie (CRE) earlier this year.

To a lesser extent, the rise is also linked to wholesale price rises for gas on the world markets, as a result of issues such as changes in supply from Russian gas to other sources.

The average rise of 11.7% relates to the new ‘reference price’ of €129.20/megawatt/hour set by the CRE as of July. 

This will directly affect the price of household gas contracts that are linked to this reference price (prix repère) which has replaced the old ‘regulated tariff ', while the impact will vary for other gas users, depending on the details of the contract they hold.

Read more: Gas bills rise in France: compare energy providers

Unlike gas from the mains, gas that is purchased as a canister (bidon de gaz) – which is then hooked up to your home – or delivered to your own storage tank is not directly affected by these reference price rises in the same way. 

The prices of the raw materials for both butane and propane in France are governed by the Platt’s index for natural gas according to Antargaz, a supplier of gas canisters. 

In its breakdown of costs for canisters, it does not explicitly state that price increases governed by the Commission de régulation de l'énergie (CRE) – that are causing bills to rise this July – directly affect product costs. 

However, it does say that ‘transportation and logistics costs’ can fluctuate and contribute to price increases. 

Knock-on effect may increase canister prices

A direct 11.7% increase should not therefore be added to canister prices or to gas bought for storage units.

Having said which, energy provider TotalEnergies states that gas price increases set by the CRE do “play an important role” in fluctuations in price of canisters. 

This is because the final costs of these gas products are also influenced by wholesale gas prices and to some extent, rises in distribution costs. 

The multiple companies which compete in offering these gas products to the market are free to adjust their prices as they see fit.