Electric shock: EDF’s retroactive price rise is on its way
If you are a Tarif Bleu EDF client in your home, then at some point over the first six months of 2016 you’ll be receiving a confusing invoice (if you haven't already), detailing a supplementary fee on your contract for the period from July 23rd 2012 to July 30th, 2013.
Why a tarif adjustment?
EDF is required to apply this as a result of a ministerial decree published in the Journal Officiel on July 31st, 2014.
How did this decree come about?
In July 2012, the authorities increased regulated rates – Tarifs Réglementés des Ventes, or TRV – ex-VAT by 2% on average for all electricity consumers on Tarif Bleu contracts. This concerns the period from July 23rd, 2012 to July 31st, 2013.
On April 11th, 2014, the Conseil d’Etat said that the increase in 2012 was insufficient to cover the cost of electricity, and urged ministers to review the tarif.
Pursuant to the decision of the Conseil d’Etat, the government has decided on an additional, and retroactive, increase of 5% ex-VAT on average for customers on Tarif Bleu for the period mentioned. A ministerial decree was published in the Journal Officiel, following the favourable opinion issued by the CRE (Commission de Régulation de l’Energie) – in July 2014, and it applies to all customers who had a Tarif Bleu contract during this period.
EDF is therefore obliged to apply an adjustment to all affected customers.
The adjustment will be calculated on the subscription and consumption of each customer over the period from July 23rd, 2012 to July 31st, 2013, and staggered between March 2015 and June 2016.
The adjustment could not be applied earlier because of the duration of the appeal process before the Conseil d’Etat, and also because of the time EDF needed to develop a technical solution in order to calculate the amount of the adjustment fee owed by each customer over the stated period. Their solution also allows the correction to be spread over time, to reduce the impact on customers’ bills.
Note: the Tarif Bleu rate is one of the prices set each year in the TRV by the ministers responsible for energy and the economy, on the advice of the CRE. The majority of EDF customers are subscribed to this contract rate.
How is the adjustment calculated?
The amount of this adjustment represents the difference between the prices fixed by the new ministerial order published on July 31st, 2014, and those that EDF had charged over the stated period. It is based on the subscription contract and electricity consumption. It represents 5% of the total net amount invoiced over the period.
Regularisation is only subject to VAT at 19.6% on consumption, and 5.5% on the subscription.
To give you an example, between July 2012 and July 2013, if the average bill of an EDF customer amounted to €700, then they can expect an adjustment invoice of €30.
When will the adjustment invoices be sent out?
This sample invoice shows how the regularisation will appear on your future bill.In agreement with the public authorities, EDF will spread the collection of this regularisation between March 2015 and June 2016. If your contract has not changed, the adjustment appears on your bill according to your usual payment frequency as follows:
Paying by monthly instalments:
– If you receive an annual bill between April to June, the amount is spread over the next two bills (2015 and 2016). Otherwise, the amount is added to your next annual bill.
– If you are billed every two months: the amount is spread in three instalments, one invoice out of two.
– If you are billed every six months: the amount is spread over the next two bills.
– If your contract has changed, you will get a clean bill to regularise the old contract.
– If you are no longer an EDF customer, then you will receive a bill dedicated to this regularisation.
As the old proverb says, “Forewarned is forearmed”; but, in my experience, the forewarned are no less miffed on receipt of any bill.