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Electricity price to rise by 5.9 percent in France in move likely to anger ‘yellow vests’

In a move likely to enrage France’s “yellow vest” protestors, the government has announced that electricity prices are set to rise by a whopping 5.9 per cent this summer.

Electricity price to rise by 5.9 percent in France in move likely to anger 'yellow vests'
Consumers will see a spike in their electricity bills this summer. Photo: AFP

Ecology Minister François de Rugy said the price hike had been postponed over the winter, when electricity consumption is at its highest, because of the “yellow vest” movement but now must soon be implemented.

“We cannot indefinitely put off this rise,” he said.

The government is planning to follow the recommendation of the French energy market regulator CRE, which argued for a steep rise, and to ignore the state competition authority, which opposed such a large increase.

“The competition authority is entirely right to oppose this rise, which is without justification,” François Carlier of the consumer protection association CLCV told Le Parisien newspaper.

READ ALSO: Bills, benefits and boilers: What changes in France in April 2019?

The CLVC said it planned to file a suit at the country's highest court, the council of state (Conseil d'Etat), to block the rise.

The government late last year postponed planned increases in gas and electricity prices as part of a package to try and defuse the then newly-formed “gilet jaune,” or yellow vest movement.

The yellow vests began as a protest against a planned hike in fuel taxes but quickly grew into into a broader movement denouncing President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist government as out of touch with the hardships of the country’s poorer households and workers.

The yellow vest movement is still continuing, albeit on a smaller scale, with tens of thousands of demonstrators turning out every Saturday in cities across France.

The protesters are likely to add the announced electricity price hike to their list of grievances.

 

Member comments

  1. The Yellow Vests — a pot-pouri if genuinely concerned “normal people,” being tricked into fake-“populist” anger by radical nihilists who essentially just HATE . . . everything. The most extreme elements of those bored, Not-Having-A-Life haters of course are the usual racists, homophobes, sexists and anti-Semites . . . who do not see how not only destructive, but how CARTOON-LIKE they are. Get a life, would be my advise to all those “rebels against the 21st century. They are mostly pathetic.

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ENERGY

France increases to €9,000 grants for property owners

A French scheme to provide financial aid to property owners seeking to replace oil and gas boilers with eco-friendly alternatives has been extended, with grants of up to €9,000 now available.

France increases to €9,000 grants for property owners

The French government will increase the amount of money available to replace gas and oil-powered boilers through the MaPrimeRenov’ scheme, part of a package of measures announced by Prime Minister Jean Castex on Wednesday

Environment Minister Barbara Pompili said that from April 15th, some households would be able to benefit from an extra €1,000 to “accelerate the replacement of fossil fuel-powered boilers with renewable heating solutions”, such as heat pumps and biomass heaters. 

It will no longer be possible to use state funding to replace a gas boiler with another, more efficient gas boiler. 

This brings the total state aid available for replacing boilers up to €9,000. 

Who can benefit? 

The funding for boiler replacement is available through the MaPrimeRenov’ scheme – which is available to anyone who owns property in France. 

Applicants for funding do however need a French numéro fiscal (tax number) and a copy of their latest tax declaration, which means those who do not file the annual tax declaration in France are effectively excluded. 

You can only apply for funding if your property is more than two years old. 

The amount of money you could receive depends on a range of criteria including: household income; the number of people living in the household; and the location of the property. 

You can read more about the MaPrimeRenov’ scheme HERE

Why is the government doing this? 

The move essentially allows France to faire d’une pierre deux coups – hit two birds with one stone.

One one hand, it will allow the country to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions in the face of the global climate crisis. 

On the other, it allows France to reduce its dependency on Russian gas – which has become a government priority ever since the invasion of Ukraine.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the government would target and end to dependency on Russian energy by 2027. The construction of new nuclear plants announced in February will also assist in reaching this objective.

You can read more about the government’s measures to insulate the French economy from the war in Ukraine HERE

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