No more power time available at the same price at any time of day? With the Russian invasion of Ukraine putting pressure on Europe’s hydrocarbon supply, household demand will have to adjust to actual supply this winter to avoid power outages. Even in the UK, heavily dependent on gas to produce its electrons, and where electricity prices for people will more than double in a year by next January, according to current forecasts.
Indeed, the country’s national electricity grid operator (ESO) is preparing to announce a plan to encourage Britons to reduce their consumption during peak hours or days of demand, in order to ease pressure on electricity. network during these critical times. And this, through a clear price signal: households that prefer off-peak hours (that is, outside the range from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.) to recharge their electric vehicle, run their washing machine or even turn on your dryer, they should be rewarded for discounts. Specifically, they pourraient receive just 6 livres (8 euros) for chaque kilowattheure (KWh) used at these precise moments, a welcome help to the fact that the inflation atteint left more than 10% on an outre-Manche, a record in 40 years.
“We are in the process of developing a new service that consumers will be able to benefit from this winter and will provide additional information soon,” said a spokesperson for ESO, which will administer the programme.
How this money will be reimbursed to customers according to their practices should be made public in the next fortnight, after consultations with energy providers and the UK’s energy regulator, Ofgem.
Drastic price increases
In fact, as for its European neighbours, the UK’s energy situation is getting worse, leading to fears of the worst for this winter – although the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nadhim Zahawi, has ruled out the possibility of cuts at this point. And rightly so, beyond the question of a possible temporary shortage, the issue of future electricity bills is emulated.
Unlike France, however, the maximum amount energy providers can charge has been capped since January 2019 by the national regulator. But faced with the uncontrollable increase in prices, Ofgem decided to review this amount every three months, instead of the previous six months, despite the lack of visibility for individuals. Thus, it has recently increased by 54%, standing at around 1,970 pounds per year for a current average household. And even when the energy price cap was set to rise to £2,800 in October, that number is showing that “ already obsolete “, warned at the end of July the deputies of the Commercial, Energy and Industrial Strategy Commission.
Result: the maximum price framed by Ofgem should reach 3,500 pounds in October, before reaching 4,200 pounds in January. According to the consulting firm Auxilione, it could even go up to 6,000 pounds from next April. An explosive situation that on Friday led professionals in the sector to warn of a ” humanitarian crisis on the horizon, and call on the government to increase ” quickly » consumer assistance.
But despite the urgency, the resigning Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has sent this file to his successor, who is being appointed by activists from the Conservative Party, and whose result should be known on September 5. On this hot topic, her favorite Liz Truss favors tax cuts, while her rival Rishi Sunak talks ” moral responsibility » provide more direct support to consumers, with the public subsidy currently being £400 per year.
The French encourage to move their consumption
In France, the executive is also trying to find economically acceptable solutions to the crisis, playing on the price signal. Although the risk of interruptions in the electricity supply is high for the coming winter, the Minister of Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, also seeks to mechanically adapt demand to supply through a price signal, a clear message sent to the consumer, in exchange for financial rewards. as more advantageous valley rates.
“It is an issue that we are following very closely. The voltages in the electrical network are highly concentrated in a few hours or days a year. This type of offer will therefore be essential to get through next winter”, a ministerial source slipped to La Tribune at the end of July.
However, unlike the United Kingdom, the mechanism would go through special offers subscribed by certain voluntary households, called “mobile peak”, that is, whose price per megawatt hour would vary according to the voltage level of the network. Like EDF’s “EJP” (Erasing peak day) tariff, created in 1982 but withdrawn from sale a few years ago, the consumer would know the day before for the following day if peaks are expected, in which case he would pay double as in “normal” times… and therefore would change their consumption. In mid-July, Agnès Pannier-Runacher requested by letter the main suppliers to relaunch this type of offer, in order to soften the demand of the French and thus, the government hopes, avoid the worst this winter.
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