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an alternative electricity supplier suspected of having made improper profits – RT in French

The Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) is putting pressure on alternative electricity suppliers, one of which is now under investigation, suspected of having made improper profits with cheap electricity purchased at EDF.

“A first investigation has been launched on the company Ohm Energie, which in no way prejudges at this stage the existence or not of breaches that only a substantive investigation will, if necessary, establish”, announced this September 9 the French Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) by press release.

As reported by AFP, the supplier in question is suspected of having made undue profits on the markets with nuclear electricity purchased cheaply from EDF, which it would have resold at a higher rate instead of sharing it. his clients.

This first survey, revealed by The Parisian, targets the alternative supplier Ohm Energie, founded in 2018 and which claims 250,000 meters, against around 100,000 a year ago. At midday, he confirmed to AFP that he had received “a notification informing him of an investigation carried out by the CRE”.

The suspected company claims to have “never sold the slightest kWh of Arenh on the markets”, according to its founding president, François Joubert, former engineer of EDF – Arenh (“Regulated access to nuclear electricity history”) being the mechanism by which suppliers buy cheap nuclear electricity from EDF. “Its prices after increase remain lower or equivalent to those of its competitors”, further supported the company which intends to maintain them all winter “without additional increase”. For his boss, “responsibility for the crisis is not to be found among the alternatives but more in a catastrophic unavailability of nuclear power”.

Suppliers called upon to adopt “responsible behavior”

The CRE confirms with AFP that “certain suppliers are the subject of ongoing investigations, in particular with regard to actions likely to constitute an abuse of Arenh”.

At the end of August, the CRE called on suppliers to adopt “responsible behavior”, in the midst of soaring wholesale prices, fueled first by the post-Covid recovery and then by the conflict in Ukraine which pushed gas prices up. For the regulator of the sector, it is a question in particular of ensuring the regularity of the modifications of the current contracts and of controlling the absence of “undue profit” on the Arenh.

The regulator recalls that individuals and certain small professionals can always change contracts and opt for EDF’s regulated tariffs, frozen since February by the government’s “tariff shield”.

Electricity, a market open to EU-wide competition

Wholesale electricity prices in Europe have exploded in the context, in particular, of the Russian military offensive in Ukraine and of Western anti-Russian sanctions, sometimes exceeding 1,000 euros per megawatt hour against less than 50 euros before the end of February. A phenomenon in the face of which the European Union would now consider market reform, according to AFP.

This surge in prices has led the French energy policeman to step up its surveillance of operators in France this summer, who benefit from electricity de facto subsidized.

As a reminder, the electricity market was opened up to competition in 2007 for individuals, an opening that began in 1999 for companies that consume a lot of energy, following the adoption of the first European directives in this area. “These directives aim to build an ‘internal energy market’ at European Union level. This consists of moving from several national markets operating independently of each other to a single integrated European market”, can we read on the site of the national energy ombudsman.


RT

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