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Electricity bills in France set to rocket

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Photo: Luc Jardon
12:38 CET+01:00
Consumers in France are bracing themselves for a projected 30% 'explosion' in electricity bills over the next five years. A significant chunk of the increase is due to a doubling of the contribution to renewable energy.

A new report by France’s ‘Commission de regulation de l’énergie’ (Energy regulation commission) has revealed that consumers should expect a 30% increase in the cost of electricity by 2017.

More than one-third of that hike is accounted for by a doubling of the ‘contribution au service public de l’électricité’, a tarif which goes towards funding renewable energy development in France.

President of the energy watchdog, Philippe de Ladoucette, was blunt in his appraisal. “We are confronted with a reality. We can’t have a policy of renewable energy development, but also tell you it will cost nothing,” he told Europe 1 radio on Monday.

In recent years, French consumers have been accustomed to an annual increase in electricity costs of between 1% and 3%, according to French daily Le Figaro.

Because of that, Henri Proglio, CEO of French energy giant EDF, has called for "a reasonable increase in prices in the years to come," to cover the company's investments.

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The 6 percent yearly increase on 2012 prices is to cover an estimated 4% rise in the cost of public electricity networks, and a estimated 2% rise in contributions to France’s nuclear power capacity.

The commission's report stated, however, that the five-year rise in costs would be more modest for business-owners and industrial customers. By 2017, they will pay between 16% and 25.8% more than current levels, according to financial news website Les Echos.

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