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Electricity price increase in 2023 will be “limited”, assures Bruno Le Maire

The economy minister wanted to reassure the French amid a burst in prices on wholesale markets.

The increase in electricity and gas tariffs for consumers will becontainedin 2023, when prices exploded on wholesale markets, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire assured on Saturday. “The ceiling of 4% (on the regulated tariff, editor’s note) will be maintained until the end of 2022, there will be no catch-up to this ceiling in 2023 and the increases mentioned by the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister will contain increases“, the minister said on the sidelines of the congress of majoritarian leaders in Metz. He then specified thatcontains increasesto come in 2023 will also refer to the price of gas without going into further details.

Wholesale electricity prices for 2023 broke a record for France on Friday, reaching more than 1,000 euros per megawatt hour (MWh), up from around 85 euros per MWh a year ago. Gas prices, in turn, developed this week at historic levels seen more since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, ie. over 300 euros per MWh. “For the most modest households, there will be energy vouchers that will help the most disadvantaged to pay their energy billsadded Bruno Le Maire.

SEE ALSO – Inflation: “We will limit the rise in energy prices,” assures Gabriel Atal

We do not want inflation to become economic brutality for French households“, the minister emphasized. “We want it to be soft, tolerable, restrained” he snapped, adding that the effects of inflation on the population should be “smoothed over time“. He warned, however, that this surge cannot be cashed in forever by the public finances: “it does not mean that we can block everything ad vitam aeternamhe warned.

Counter endowed with 3 billion euros for companies

If some households are likely to struggle, so will businesses. Of course, the Minister of Economy recalled that 1.5 million SMEs benefited from the regulated electricity tariff and others benefited from preferential tariffs, but a fund was created for those who do not benefit from these advantages. “They have access to a €3 billion one-stop shop“, emphasized Bruno Le Maire. However, the minister admitted that the conditions for granting were too demanding. He promised that the government would do itsimplify in the coming days these criteria for accessing the one-stop service so that any company that is currently struggling because their electricity bill has exploded and is not protected by regulated tariffs can more easily get these freebies meanshe promised.

Asked about the cost to the state of this aid and the capping of energy prices, Bruno Le Maire pointed out that “all budget projections are made taking into account the very sharp increase in electricity and gas prices. We are not surprised“.

SEE ALSO – Blackout: French must ‘prepare for tension’, according to Gabriel Attal


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