After electricity, towards an increase in gas bills? The latter could experience a new increase next July, this time linked to an increase in the price of distribution networks announced on Friday by the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) and the network manager GRDF. “The gas price will increase in July 2024 to finance network maintenance expenses,” Emmanuelle Wargon, president of the CRE, confirmed on X (ex-Twitter) on Sunday.
The network usage tariff (known as “ATRD”) will increase on average by 27.5% on July 1, according to a CRE decision taken for four years. Concretely, the impact on the residential consumer's bill will amount to 5.5 %, or 7.30 euros per month or more than 90 euros over a year for an average heating customer, and 10.4 %, or 2.20 euros per month for an average domestic hot water/cooking customer. However, the proposal has not yet been adopted. It must first be submitted to the Higher Energy Council (CSE), which must give its opinion.
“In the price of the individual bill that we all pay, there is the price of the gas molecule itself, and then the fact that this gas passes through pipes. These pipes must be maintained, they must be replaced when they fail,” explained Emmanuelle Wargon this weekend on Franceinfo. She added this Monday morning on RMC that it was necessary to “invest in new pipes for the new gas, green gas”. Furthermore, the extent of this increase is also explained by the drop in gas consumption, because “it must be distributed among fewer consumers and less consumption”, underlined the boss of the CRE.
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However, this increase in network prices on July 1 does not necessarily mean that bills will increase accordingly. “Since December, the price of gas has fallen significantly on the wholesale markets, and therefore this is reflected in the consumer's bill. All in all, we will pay a little more for the pipes, but the price of gas goes down. If the price of gas remains where it is today compared to last December, (the bill) will be stable,” assured Emmanuelle Wargon on RMC.
GRDF explains for its part that the announced increase is for three quarters a carryover effect due to the vagaries of the previous period, during which costs increased - because the price of networks is reviewed every four years. Over the past four years, “the rate has remained stable and has therefore not been able to cover all of the company's costs,” explains the natural gas distributor. “ GRDF and CRE worked together to evolve the framework and structure of the new tariff in order to prepare for the future and make the model more resilient,” he adds. For its part, the CRE explains that “this tariff makes it possible to maintain a high level of security for the networks and to actively contribute to the energy transition, in particular by allowing the integration of biogas into the networks”.
The government had already almost doubled since January 1 the excise on gas, a tax paid by gas suppliers which will be passed on to subscribers' bills at a fixed price.