Electricity bills: the government puts pressure on suppliers

It’s a hell of a pressure. This Friday, the Minister of Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacherannounced a “tightening of treatment” for “rogue” electricity suppliers in the event of failure in their “duty” to inform consumers about contracts and prices.

In August, the ministry indicated that some 100,000 customers had had their bills affected by the electricity supplier ENI. The latter had paid 50 million euros for “corrective measures” and had recognized incorrect invoices for customers who renewed their contracts in the second half of 2022, in particular because certain government protection measures had not been applied.

“Addressing the Difficulties”

Friday, Pannier-Runacher brought together consumer ociations, electricity suppliers, professional federations, companies and mediators in the sector, as well as the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) and State services, to “address the difficulties encountered on electricity contracts and provide rapid operational solutions”.

“This meeting made it possible to question the suppliers” on the “difficulties relating to relations” with consumers, the minister announcing “a toughening of the treatment of the few suppliers respecting neither the duty of advice nor the duty of loyalty and which discredits the sector to the detriment of more virtuous players”. Quoted in a press release, the minister declared: “I will not let rogue suppliers taint the professionals who in the vast majority ume their duty of advice and loyalty”

Respect the rules of the game

She asked the CRE, the mediators and the Fraud Repression Department (DGCCRF) “to ensure that the rules of the game are strictly respected and, where appropriate, sanction abuses”.

By the end of September, the Minister of the sector has “asked to distribute a guide specifying the information which must be made available to consumers by suppliers when subscribing to offers or during price changes during the contract, to allow consumers to make informed decisions. The energy ombudsman will also publish in its comparator information relating to the commercial practices of suppliers.

Furthermore, regarding the price of electricity for VSEs and SMEs, the minister “obtained from some of the suppliers that they offer specific solutions” for customers who have “electricity contracts with the lowest prices”. higher (above 400 euros/MWh) which will still remain in force in 2024, in addition to the support measures that the government will propose in the finance bill for 2024.

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