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Unpaid Electricity and Gas Bills: Rising Interventions

Interventions on unpaid electricity bills, synonymous with blackouts or consumer restrictions, increased by 10% in 2022, despite a tariff shield put in place to curb the price spike that mediates energy.

“Despite the tariff shield and the allocation of additional energy vouchers, the number of interventions on unpaid bills increased in 2022: 863,000 were sold (…), which is 10% more than in 2021,” the intermediary said in a press release.

For the “first time” 2022 will be marked by a “drop in power outages” of 38%, with 157,000 outages recorded compared to 254,000 in 2021. suppliers, in particular EDF, following the recommendations of the national energy ombudsman, have decided to reduce power in the event of non-payment, and not power outages,” the press release emphasizes.

In fact, according to the intermediary, most of the interventions for unpaid bills were about “power reduction, which is less punitive for the consumers concerned” because they allow for a minimum set of services: light, refrigerator, phone charging, etc. .

Their number jumped in 2022: 610,000 power cuts were recorded, an increase of 36% compared to 2021 and a multiplication of 2.2 from 2019, the intermediary specifies. Less than a third – 226,000 – were produced by EDF, according to an incumbent supplier.

Minimal power supply required

From April 1, 2022, EDF has decided to no longer suspend the supply of electricity in case of non-payment by customers, but to reduce their capacity to 1 kVA or 3 kVA, regardless of the season. The regulation, published on February 26, 2023, is now mandatory for all suppliers: they must supply a minimum 1kVA of electricity for at least 60 days before a power outage in case of non-payment for households benefiting from energy verification. and the Housing Solidarity Fund, equipped with a meter.

So with this year’s measure, the end of the winter break on April 1 will no longer be synonymous with an outright power outage for tenants struggling to pay their rent and bills. “We have to go further,” says energy intermediary Olivier Challand Belval, calling for power outages to be replaced with power cuts in the event of unpaid bills. “The current energy crisis raises questions about long-term protection systems for the most vulnerable consumers,” he commented in a press release.

Source: Le Parisien

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